FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: August 4, 2020
Contact: Tribal Administration, (707) 487-9255
TOLOWA DEE-NI’ NATION’S NEXT STEP IN THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Smith River, CA – The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation unanimously approves an expenditure plan totaling $10,675,172 as part of the Nation’s share of an $8 billion dollar allocation set aside in the CARES Act funding from the US
Treasury in response to support Tribal governments recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nation’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild expenditure plan will largely offset unbudgeted expenses due to the global coronavirus outbreak. Funds have been allocated to add important safety measures to infrastructure and
facilities for the protection of employees and citizens, increase service delivery for citizens and invest in the continued strengthening of our community recovery.
Faced with the worst crisis of our generation, we have reacted and adjusted to make the tough but necessary decisions, taking appropriate steps to protect our governmental functions and programs due to the more than $2.5 million in revenue shortfall sustained from the COVID-19 restrictions. “We the Tribal Council are striving to continue to build a stronger tribe and community even during this Tribal, State and National crisis,” said Tribal
Chairperson Leann McCallum. “We are looking at multiple ways to offer relief to citizens through our vital programs, as part of the continued goal of continue to provide for the general welfare of our membership”.
“Unfortunately, many employers across the country have had to make drastic program cuts along with mass layoffs or business shutdowns,” Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Jeri Lynn Thompson Vice Chairman stated, “We the council are very proud that the Nation did not have to completely take that route in our operations. We are able to make appropriate reductions to continue to pay our government employees so they did not financially suffer while keeping essential tribal services operational.”
The Attorney General’s office issued an opinion of federal CARES Act funding saying funds should be directed to necessary expenses and programs that support the recovery of the Tribe from disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Tribal ‘per capita scheme’ is a prohibited use of the funds and the funds must be tied to costs incurred due to the public health emergency the Nation is facing. The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s plan is to help guide all facets of the Tribal Government and citizen concerns.
Our spending plan is allocated to multiple areas; personal protective equipment (PPE), adding facility space for employee’s social distancing, investment in information technology (IT) for preparations to continued operational restrictions, restoration of operations, payroll functions, continued investment to assist the Tribal citizens with economic recovery and for the on-going response to COVID-19.
The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Tribal Council has modified the Tribe’s FY2020 budget to accommodate our spending plan and will continue to monitor and provide input on the plan as it further develops. Plans will be subject to
change as the pandemic and needs change. Councilmember Dr. Joseph Giovannetti stated, “We will continue to work together to meet this un-seen predator head-on and ensure our continued survival of the Tolowa people and as an end result be a stronger united people”.
Waa-saa-ghitlh-‘a ~ Wee-ni Naa-ch’aa-ghitlh-ni (OUR HERITAGE IS WHY WE ARE STRONG)