COVID-19 Response and Recovery Policy Briefs Published by Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and Native Nations Institute

05/26/20 04:13:am

Over the last three weeks Miriam Jorgensen, NNI’s director of research, and three other scholars affiliated with NNI and its sister program, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, have been engaged in an urgent effort to track the economic impact in Indian Country of the COVID-19 pandemic and to analyze and, ideally, inform both federal and tribal responses to this rapidly evolving situation. The research team has released three policy briefs summarizing their findings so far.

The first – initially released as a letter to Secretary Mnuchin on April 10, 2020 and formally released as a policy brief on May 18, 2020– looks at the pandemic’s devastating economic impact on tribes, where it has sent unemployment rates soaring, upended tribal budgets, and crippled the ability of most tribal governments to meet their people’s needs. It also details ripple effects on adjacent, non-Native economies. The second, also released on May 18, evaluates the response to date by the US Treasury Department, responsible for the allocation of CARES Act COVID-19 Relief Funding for Tribal Governments. The researchers found that the first allocation of those funds, in early May, relied on faulty tribal population data, over-funding some tribes, under-funding others, and virtually ignoring still others. The third policy brief, released on May 25, proposes a more appropriate funding formula for upcoming allocations and a way to correct mistakes already made.


COVID-19 Response and Recovery Policy Briefs

POLICY BRIEF #1: The Need for a Significant Allocation of COVID‐19 Response Funds to American Indian Nations

POLICY BRIEF #2: Dissecting the US Treasury Department’s Round 1 Allocations of CARES Act COVID‐19 Relief Funding for Tribal Governments

POLICY BRIEF #3: Proposal for a Fair and Feasible Formula for the Allocation of CARES Act COVID‐19 Relief Funds to American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Governments


COVID-19 Response and Recovery Interviews

On the Front Lines: Tribal Nations Take on COVID-19 panel featuring:

  • Dr. Laura Hammitt, Director of Infectious Disease Programs, Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health
  • Prof. Joe Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor (Emeritus) of International Political Economy & Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
  • Mr. Del Laverdure, Attorney. Former Acting Assistant Secretary, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary & Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, US Dept. of the Interior
  • Hon. Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Community, HKS MPA 2006
  • Megan Minoka Hill, Moderator, Program Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development & Director, Honoring Nations


Miriam Jorgensen on New Policy Brief Dissecting Round 1 Allocations of CARES Act Tribal Funding


Interview with Dr. Stephanie Carroll about New Research on COVID-19 Spread in Indian Country


The Impact of the Pandemic on Native American Communities: Interview with Joseph Kalt


Dr. Randall Akee Discusses New Interactive COVID-19 Graph Tracker with Specific Tribal Data

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