Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > CARES Act Lawsuit
Posted: April 20, 2020

The E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse houses both the federal court for the District of Columbia and the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Six tribal governments — including three from Alaska — are suing the Trump administration in order to prevent Alaska Native corporations from cashing in on the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund.

At 5:45 am on April 20, 2020, the tribes asked a federal judge for a preliminary injunction. They want an order directing Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to distribute all $8 billion to “Tribal governments as Congress intended,” according to the 40-page motion.

“Because Congress specified that the Secretary must distribute all $8,000,000,000 in tribal relief funding on or before April 26, 2020, payments will issue in short order,” the motion reads.

“Once those payments are made, it will likely be impossible for the Tribes to recover any of the diverted funds and to use them, as Congress plainly directed, to meet the critical needs of their communities which have been besieged by the coronavirus pandemic,” the motion continues.

“Plaintiffs only learned of the Secretary’s intention to divert governmental funding to private corporations less than a week ago, and filed this suit almost immediately,” it concludes.

PDF: Motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction

The six tribal plaintiffs are:

  • Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation (Washington)

PDF: Declaration of Chairman Harry Pickernell

  • Tulalip Tribes (Washington)

PDF: Declaration of Chairwoman Teri Gobin

  • Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (Maine)

PDF: Declaration of Chief Clarissa Sabattis

  • Akiak Native Community (Alaska)

PDF: Declaration of Chief Mike Williams

  • Asa’carsarmiut Tribe (Alaska) 

PDF: Declaration of First Chief James Landlord

  • Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska)

PDF: Declaration of President Amos Philemonoff

Additional Declarations:

PDF Attorney Riyaz Kanji

PDF: Attorney Riyaz Kanji

The lawsuit is Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Mnuchin.

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