News

The coronavirus continues to devastate reservations

August 12, 2020
"The pandemic also has crippled reservations’ economies. Taxes from casinos and other reservation-run businesses dried up after March. Joseph Kalt, co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, told the Harvard Gazette that many states and local governments have seen reduced taxes but not to the extent of tribal governments: “Native American tribes’ tax base have been cut literally to zero, and tribal governments don’t have money to run the health clinic or child protection services.” —S.J."

Tribes struggle to meet deadline to spend virus relief aid

July 11, 2020
"Eric Henson, an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard University, said tribes should have greater leeway, considering no one knows how long the virus will stick around or whether tribes will have to pivot on reopening businesses."

Federal Virus Relief Snags Bedevil Tribes' Recovery

June 26, 2020
"Miriam Jorgensen, research director at the Native Nations Institute and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, said the immediate pressures of the pandemic are making it difficult for tribes to make plans to deal with similar future problems.

"Tribal governments are doing what many other governments are doing — looking for places where they can cut, slow down, delay and defer," Jorgensen said. "And many of those things end up being effective in the short term, but they're often one-off types of savings, and that puts a premium on figuring out the CARES Act and future legislation."

Tribes in a Battle for Their Share of Virus Stimulus Money

June 19, 2020
"A policy analysis compiled by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development cited in the lawsuit found that a number of tribes received “payments that are clearly not reflective of the population of tribal citizens or of tribal needs” and that in using the population metric, the Treasury Department produced “arbitrary and capricious allocations.”

COVID-19: Senecas face economic uncertainty

June 18, 2020
"Joseph Kalt, a Harvard University faculty member and the co-director of its Project on American Indian Economic Development, said the establishment of Native enterprises to fund services, like the casinos, has largely improved conditions on tribal lands.

 

Kalt said he’s confident the communities will economically rebound, but he cautioned it may be a “painful process.” He has compared the situation in scope and speed to white colonists’ annihilation of bison herds on North American grasslands in the 19th century."

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