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Pandemic Leaves Tribes Without US Recognition at Higher Risk

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As COVID-19 disproportionately affects Native American communities, many tribal leaders say the pandemic poses particular risks to tribes without federal recognition.

 

Lacking a political relationship with the United States means those tribes are denied federal coronavirus relief funding for state, local and tribal governments.

 

Without federal funding, tribal leaders say they are less-equipped to prevent infections and curb the significant economic toll the pandemic has had on their communities.

 

Tribes seeking federal recognition also face a long, expensive process that makes the designation often feel out of reach.