Ute Mountain, Southern Ute tribes receive $300,000 in COVID-19 aid

The two tribes in Colorado, Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute, will each receive $150,000 in federal grants to help with COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Project grants will help each tribe’s response to the pandemic, including supporting redevelopment and revitalization efforts in the local economy. The grants are part of a $4 million funding effort by the U.S. Department of Commerce to support Native American organizations.

“The Trump administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help Native American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a news release. “These funds will help provide Native American planning organizations with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

Twenty-seven federally recognized tribes received grants through the department’s Economic Development Administration. In addition to the two tribes in Colorado, other regional recipients included the Hopi Tribe and Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona. The Navajo Nation, which has been hard hit by the virus, was not specifically awarded a grant.

The grants are part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus-recovery package passed by Congress in March.

The Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes also received $194,800 total from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in May, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. The Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe also received about $1.1 million from HHS in June and July, the release said.

“I’m grateful to see this important funding delivered to the Southern Ute Indian and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribes to respond to COVID-19,” Gardner said. “We must continue working to ensure our two federally recognized tribes have access to necessary resources to get through this pandemic.”


By: Shannon Mullane

Durango Herald