by the Akiak Native Community This is a letter dated March 31, 2021 sent to Secretary Janet Yellen, United States Department of the Treasury from the Akiak Native Community.
I write on behalf of the Akiak Native Community, a federally-recognized Tribe located on the Kuskokwim river in remote Western Alaska. Our village is only accessible by boat or plane most of the year, but COVID-19 has still found its way here and exacerbated the many challenges faced by our community residents.
We thank you for providing the opportunity to consult on the Treasury’s allocation of the additional Coronavirus Relief Funds provided in the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”). Given the unique circumstances of our Tribal communities, we ask Treasury to distribute at least a quarter of the Funds to Alaska’s 229 Tribes.
The ARP set aside $20 billion to support Tribes in their effort to reduce the rate of transmission, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. In addition to health-related goals, the relief package is designated to improve access to clean water and electricity, to facilitate access to reliable internet, and to improve the economic condition in Tribal communities. These service deficiencies are perhaps most extreme in Alaska, where many of our remote communities still rely on the “honey bucket” and have limited access to clean water, and broadband is virtually non-existent. These goals align directly with the needs of Alaska Tribes.
First, the previous CARES Act relief package left Alaska’s Tribes in need when it did not account for […]