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Tue Sep 29, 2020, 06:55 AM

Alaskan Native Corporations Barred From Covid Relief Funds


Alaskan Native Corporations Barred From Covid Relief Funds (1)

Sept. 25, 2020, 5:34 PM; Updated: Sept. 28, 2020, 8:51 AM

Alaskan Native Corporations aren’t eligible for pandemic-related federal funds because they don’t count as “tribes” under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday.

The ANCs were established to receive land and money for Alaska Natives who settled their aboriginal land claims with the federal government.

But they aren’t “Indian Tribes” under the CARES Act, and consequently can’t receive part of the $8 billion in pandemic aid allocated to tribal governments, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said.

A Washington, D.C., federal district court ruled in June that ANCs were eligible for CARES funds following a lawsuit filed by 18 tribes. The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act specifically includes ANCs in its definition of “Indian Tribes,” and the lower court found the CARES Act covers ANCs under this definition.

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