Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Sealed motion in CARES Act lawsuit
Posted: April 22, 2020

As part of their new CARES Act lawsuit, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe have filed a sealed motion in federal court.

The motion is not visible to the public so it’s not clear what it contains. But since it was filed under seal, it likely contains sensitive information in connection to the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund at issue in the case.

“This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons,” an April 22, 2020, entry in the court docket reads.

Nicole Ducheneaux, an attorney who is representing the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in the case, offered a statement to Indianz.Com in connection to the sealed motion.

“At best, the sealed document is a display of the administration’s gross ineptitude and total abandonment of its trust duty,” Ducheneaux, who is a Cheyenne River citizen, told Indianz.Com “At worst, it was deliberate and retributive and intended to harm federally recognized tribes who are already reeling under the burden of this Covid crisis.”

“Even so, it is important evidence of the unthinkable toll that allowing ANCs to act as tribes would take on real tribal governments,” Ducheneaux said of the Alaska Native corporations whose share of the $8 billion fund is at issue in the case.

“The court should use it to understand that treating for profit, multinational corporations, neither owned nor directed by tribes, as tribal governments would devastate Indian Country,” Ducheneaux, from the Big Fire Law and Policy Group, a Native-owned firm, said of the sealed motion.

“It’s illegal, “Ducheneaux said of the inclusion of the corporations in the fund.

The Department of the Treasury has yet to determine how to distribute the $8 billion, just days before the money is supposed to go out.

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