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COVID-19 in Indian Country

Briefing: July 17, 2020

In 2018, the Commission issued Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans, which addressed the inadequacy of federal funding for Native American programs despite the United States’ trust responsibility to promote tribal self-government, support the general wellbeing of Native American people, tribes, and villages, and to protect their land and resources. In June 2020, the Commission began to evaluate the extent to which COVID-19 in Indian Country is exacerbated by these broken promises. On July 17, 2020, the Commission heard testimony from experts on how the pandemic has impacted Native American communities with respect to healthcare, housing, and infrastructure components such as access to water and broadband, and whether the federal government is meeting its obligations to Native American people in this current crisis. The Commission also accepted written public comments through July 24, 2020.

Briefing Agenda (PDF)

Briefing Transcript (PDF)

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Virtual Briefing:

Expert Testimony

Updated Expert Testimony

Geoffrey Blackwell, Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel, AMERIND Risk (PDF)

Francys Crevier, Executive Director, National Council of Urban Indian Health (PDF)

Chief Lynn Malerba, Secretary, USET Sovereignty Protection Fund (PDF)

Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation (PDF)

Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians (PDF)

Chief William Smith, Chairman, National Indian Health Board (PDF)

Public Comments


   Updated: February 18, 2021