BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Alaska tribes will receive over $1 billion from the most recent $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill.
The tribes can take as long as three years to spend these funds, unlike a similar bill that was passed in 2020, which had a shorter deadline, KYUK-AM reported Wednesday.
Teresa Jacobsson from the Alaska Tribal Administrators Association said tribes will have more leeway on how to spend the funds compared to previous legislation. But, the government will not just give tribal members checks without a reason.
“You have to show a need, which is show basic living essentials like housing and rent expenses, utilities, internet connectivity, personal cleaning and sanitation products,” Jacobsson said. “You have to tie the money to a COVID-related need.”
Alaska tribes will be required to document their spending because records will be reviewed by auditors. They can spend part of the federal funds to get professional help to manage the spending, but Jacobsson said beneficiaries will have to be cognizant of consultants and contractors who have taken advantage of tribes who have received virus relief funds in the past.