Choctaw Nation outlines virus relief funds

Choctaw Nation
Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton on June 26 announced plans for the distribution of more than $200 million of CARES Act funding.

DURANT – On June 26, the Choctaw Nation announced plans for the distribution of more than $200 million of CARES Act funding.

Tribal member support programs will receive the bulk of the funds.

“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,” Chief Gary Batton said. “The majority of funding we received is being allocated for tribal members living across the United States.”

Some $112.8 million is earmarked for 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 can receive vouchers for clothing, masks, school supplies and technology to assist with distance learning and internet connectivity.

Meanwhile, Choctaw elders and those who are disabled may be eligible for food vouchers.

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 costs related to the 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 pandemic.

Beginning July 6, tribal members and communities in need of assistance can visit for additional information.