Michigan tribes receive $3.6 million to support coronavirus recovery efforts

PESHAWBESTOWN, Mich.—Officials of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an award of $17.8 million to Native American tribes across the nation as part of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant Imminent Threat program, which provides funding to help address problems that pose an imminent threat to the public health or safety of tribal residents.

This funding is intended to help tribal governments prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding included a $900,000 grant to the Peshawbestown-based Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to purchase and install generators in several buildings that will be used to treat people affected by the coronavirus. The funds were presented in a virtual check presentation that was captured on video.

Grand Traverse Band Chairman David M. Arroyo said the funding will provide emergency power generators to tribal community centers in Benzie and Charlevoix counties, and the Strongheart Civic Center and GTB Medicine Lodge, both in Peshawbestown. A smaller existing generator at the Medicine Lodge will be reused to provide backup power to the GTB Fire Station in Peshawbestown. In addition, the buildings will get improved air filtration to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new generators will allow the buildings to be designated as Red Cross shelters.

Other tribes will use funding to support many projects, including building new housing to address overcrowding and homelessness, building transitional housing for quarantined individuals and families, and the construction of emergency operations centers.

Tribes also receiving funding in Michigan were: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga, $900,000; Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee, $898,560; and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Dowagiac, $900,000,

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