Statement Issued in Support of ANCs Receiving CARES Act Funding

On Sept. 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) are ineligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. In October, both Alaska Native regional and village corporations and the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In November, the ANCSA Regional Association (ARA) and Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA) issued a statement following the filing of an amicus brief from the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) in support of ANC eligibility to receive COVID-19 relief funding under the CARES Act.

The statement, in part, reads that “AFN notes how Congress carefully chose the statutory definition of ‘Indian Tribe’ to determine funding eligibility for the CARES Act to specifically include Alaska Native corporations, recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic affects us all. AFN also highlights how the appellate court’s misinterpretation of ANCs wrongfully disqualifies our communities from CARES Act funding and sets a dangerous precedent that could undermine the self-determination of Alaska Native people and threaten access to current and future federal programs that our communities rely on.”

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