Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Kiowa Tribe (Oklahoma)
Posted: May 27, 2020

The Kiowa Tribe will not use its CARES Act funding for per capita payments, Chairman Matthew M. Komalty said in a May 24, 2020, letter.

The Oklahoma-based tribe received about $19.5 million from the first round of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund.  But Komalty said distributing the money to citizens could possibly run afoul of federal guidelines and regulations.

“Unfortunately, there is talk on social media and by certain actions being promoted by the Legislators about paying out $1,000 to every tribal member from these funds,” Komalty wrote in the two-page letter to citizens. “This is not permissible under the current guidance issued by the US Treasury.”

While tribes have asked the Department of the Treasury for guidance, Komalty warned that the Kiowa government does not have a plan in place to distribute any money received in the form or such payments.

“We cannot disguise a flat payment of the relief funds to everyone to circumvent the current rules in place,” Komalty wrote.

“The Executive Branch of the Kiowa Tribe will not run the risk of having to pay this money back,” he added. “The Kiowa Tribe cannot be put in a position to jeopardize its operations because of a misinterpretation of the current rules or guidance by certain elected officials. These rules are changing by the day and we must remain on top of the changes.”


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