"In an interview, the Harvard scholar Joseph Kalt likened the far-reaching devastation caused by shutdowns of tribal businesses around the country this year to the demise of the bison herds in the 19th century and the contentious attempt in the 1950s to disband tribes and relocate Native Americans to cities."
"According to Joseph Kalt with Harvard's Project on American Indian Economic Development, the budget crisis they're facing isn't unique.
"All across the country, we're seeing tribes either having to dip into some assets, rainy day funds, if they've been able to to build them up over the years, or going into debt," Kalt said. "So it's a really drastic situation. Because there's just been this abrupt cut off in the flow of funds."
Kalt said tribes have been running serious gaming operations since the 1970s, and that's allowed them to diversify their economies.
"As a result of that, we've seen a massive expansion across the country in the ability of tribes' governments to deliver the whole range of basic public services that we expect any city, county or state to provide," Kalt said."
“Native American tribes are having a disproportionate health effect that is highly problematic, and they’re having a disproportionate impact to the revenues that can be used to take on the health crisis,” said Henson. “A lot of tribes are having the worst of both worlds at the same time.”
"Four Indigenous researchers found in a new study that the rate of COVID-19 cases per 1,000 people on a reservation is more than four times higher than the United States as a whole.
Findings from the “American Indian Reservations and COVID-19: Correlates of Early Infection Rates in the Pandemic” study confirms that these positive COVID-19 cases were more likely to occur in tribal communities with a higher proportion of homes lacking indoor plumbing, prevalent household crowding, and households where only non-English languages are spoken. The study will be published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice."