Choctaw Nation outlines COVID-19 relief funds

Photo provided. Choctaw Nation.

Choctaw Nation
Kelsey Brown

DURANT – The Choctaw Nation announced plans today for distribution of $200.8 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The majority of relief funding will go directly to tribal member support programs.

“The Choctaw Nation’s approach to our COVID-19 Coronavirus Relief Fund is to do the most good for our tribal members who have been impacted by the global pandemic,” said Chief Gary Batton. “The majority of funding we received is being allocated for tribal members living across the United States.”

The lion’s share, $112.8 million, of the funding received will go to tribal member relief in the form of food security, education and training, emergency services, housing, and small business relief. Tribal members will be able to request needed assistance for expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, car payments, and insurance premiums. Elementary through higher education students will benefit from clothes, masks, school supplies and technology vouchers that will assist with distance learning and internet connectivity. Choctaw Elders and disabled Choctaws will be eligible for food vouchers to assist with food security.

Job protection, technology, prevention, infrastructure and supplies will account for an additional expenditure of $66.7 million. The response category includes investment in medical and personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, healthcare expenses, and payroll expenses for frontline employees. The recover category will pay for the costs associated with reopening and stabilizing operations at Choctaw Nation facilities for members, employees, and guests. This includes paying for COVID-19 communications and training, protective physical barriers, information technology systems, infrastructure, and equipment that includes remote work capabilities.

The remaining $21.3 million will be utilized for future response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Tribal members and communities seeking assistance are encouraged to visit the Choctaw Nation’s website beginning July 6 for more information and details on the expanded service programs available:

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