September 25, 2020

ARA and ANVCA Comment on U.S. Court of Appeals’ Ruling on CARES Act Funds for ANCs

Today we learned that ANCs received and adverse opinion in the DC District Court below is our statement regarding the case decision today:

“This ruling is a devastating blow to Alaska Native communities facing an alarming increase in COVID-19. Both CDC and Alaska data show that Alaska Native people suffer from a disproportionate number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. We fear this deeply flawed ruling will only make things worse by keeping critical health services and economic relief from reaching our remote communities and villages who are most at risk.

For forty years, courts and administrative agencies have consistently recognized that Alaska Native communities are uniquely organized, as designed by Congress. Within this framework that includes both regional and village corporations, we strive every day to bring our ‘shareholders’ – our Alaska Native brothers and sisters – economic opportunity, as well as vital social, health, cultural and educational services. Until today, our status as Indians under the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act, which expressly includes Alaska Native Corporations among other types of Indian Tribes, has never been called into doubt.

As a leading voice for Alaska’s Native communities, the ANCSA Regional Association and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association will continue to fight for the Federal assistance our people need to survive this pandemic.”