• Cherokee Free Press

Joe Byrd Requests $100 Million in CARES Act Funding

The Council Speaker took aim at Oklahoma's congressional delegation via Facebook today.

In early March, President Donald J. Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, securing $8 billion for tribal governments impacted by COVID-19. As of publication of this article on May 5th, the Cherokee Nation says that it has not yet received any money allocated in this act.


This afternoon, Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd released the following statement:


"Siyo,


As we are now in the seventh week of the COVID-19 shutdown, I find it interesting the Cherokee Nation, the largest tribe in the United States, has yet to receive its portion of the $8 billion set aside in the CARES Act for tribes.


Our council and administration have been working around the clock to see that our people have basic needs met - food, utilities, shelter - as well as making sure our employees are safe at home while not missing a paycheck.


The Council recently appropriated $100 million for use in our fight against COVID-19, all in anticipation of the $100 million we were promised by Congress via the CARES Act.

Where is our Oklahoma congressional delegation? Why are they not speaking up for one of the largest - if not THE largest - portions of their constituencies? Where are OUR lobbyists? I suppose the big takeaway from all of this is that we, the Cherokee Nation, need to be more self-sufficient and independent of the federal government, as we are seeing, once again, promises broken and funding withheld. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned. In the meantime, we will continue our work. We have faced adversity before and emerged stronger. We are resilient and will prosper.

My hope is that you and yours remain safe and healthy. Wado!"

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