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Tribal Lobbying Brings Big Coronavirus Aid Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – Native American tribes across the U-S say their persistent efforts to be included in a massive stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus have paid off.

The first aid bill had $40-million dollars for Indian Country, but the tribes insisted it was far too little and lobbied Congress hard for more to help address shortfalls in the already underfunded Indian Health Service.

Their efforts were successful – the bill President Trump signed Friday had $10 billion set aside as a relief fund to be distributed based on need, including more than $1 billion for the IHS – which provides primary health care for more than 2 million Native Americans.

The Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest is the tribe hit hardest so far by the coronavirus/COVID-19 with more than 90 confirmed cases.