Treasury to begin distributing virus relief money to tribes

National & World News

FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2014, file photo, students walk between buildings at the Little Singer Community School in Birdsprings, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. The tribe is among plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that seeks to keep the U.S. Treasury Department from disbursing coronavirus relief funding for tribes to Alaska Native corporations. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – The U.S. Treasury Department says it will begin distributing billions in coronavirus relief funding to tribes.

The announcement Tuesday comes more than a week after a congressional deadline to get $8 billion to tribal governments. Tribes sued to keep the funding from Alaska Native corporations, which own Native land but aren’t tribal governments.

The Treasury Department says tribes will receive a combined $4.8 billion based on population over the next several days and the rest will be doled out later. Tribes are relying on the money to stay afloat, respond to the coronavirus and recover after shutting down casinos, tourism operations and other businesses.

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