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The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

A Message About the Second CARES Act Funding & Tribal Assistance Programs

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By Treasurer Courtney Burgess on June 24, 2020

  • COVID-19 Relief part 1 Assistance $100
  • COVID-19 Relief part 2 Assistance $1,000
  • Extraordinary Assistance $250 third quarter assistance starting July 1, 2020; second quarter available to June 30, 2020 if you have not already applied
  • Elder Assistance $500 second half assistance starting July 1, 2020
  • COVID-19 School Expenses Reimbursement $250 program beginning July 1, 2020; Must use COVID-19 School Expense Application
  • Homebuyers Assistance Program up to $6,000 reinstated beginning July 1, 2020
  • Home Repair Program up to $10,000 reinstated beginning July 1, 2020
  • Health Benefit Card Program $300 loaded to card July 1, 2020
  • Tribal Loan Program Suspended
  • No 2nd Quarter Per Capita Payments

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe received $9,029,212.14 on June 15th, 2020, and on June 18th, 2020, the Tribe received an additional $2,851,330.15 from the Department of Treasury CARES Act Fund. Tribal Council understands everyone’s need during these harsh times and agreed to issue a second round of COVID-19 Relief Assistance in the amount of $1,000 per tribal member including minors.

This assistance will be available to all tribal members through our Tribal Assistance Program. However, you must complete an application to receive the assistance. The assistance will be available starting July 1st through December 30, 2020 (you can only apply once). We are also looking into an electronic application form so that you will be able to apply fast online and receive the assistance sooner. Please watch our social media outlets to keep you updated on this release. You can also apply for the 1st round of COVID-19 Relief Assistance of $100 as well.

COVID-19 Relief Assistance checks will be mailed to your address on file with the Enrollment Office. Also, ALL Tribal Assistance Cards for Extraordinary Assistance and Elder Assistance will be MAILED. We understand the need and importance of receiving it quickly. Due to the severity of COVID-19 we are keeping your well-being and safety of staff first, so we are mailing everything. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, but our little community and surrounding tribes have been hit hard with COVID-19.  Please stay safe, keep your social distance, wash your hand regularly and wear your mask when out in public.  

In the first announcement, I mentioned there are three rules set by Treasury that we must follow when utilizing these funds:

1) are necessary expenditures of the tribe incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

2) were not accounted for in the tribe’s budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government

3) were incurred by the tribe during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.

The Tribal Council is responsible for these funds and these funds are subject to the Single Audit Act. Which means the funds will be audited and the tribe must comply with the Uniform Guidance.

This pandemic has caused a burden for all of us and we never thought it would cause our gaming operations to close. Without funding from tribal businesses, we don’t have the funds to provide all the services and assistance, so we are suspending the Tribal Loan Program and our School Expenses program. We are still providing Extraordinary Assistance, Elder Assistance and Medical Assistance for third quarter.

Beginning July 1, 2020, we will reinstate our Homebuyers Assistance and Home Repair Assistance programs. There is also a new COVID-19 Related School Expenses Reimbursement program for COVID-19 related expenses and there are new guidelines to apply.

Nobody was prepared for this pandemic and with these funds we must plan for another outbreak. We will be working with our directors to determine what they need to protect their workers and better serve our tribal members should another outbreak happen in the fall and winter. A portion of the CARES Act funding will go to help our departments prepare.  

Since the last announcement there has been many inquiries related to our second quarter per capita payment and questions related to our Tribal Assistance Program. Our gaming operations must generate income to pay for per capita payments, supplement tribal programs and fund the general fund operation of the Tribe. I’m sad to inform you that, with our gaming operations closed for most of the second quarter, there will not be a second quarter per capita disbursement.

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe has a total of 34 departments. Of those departments, 24 are either entirely funded from our business revenue, partially funded by our business revenue or have a matching grant. With our casinos closed, many of our operating expenses were paid by our lending company revenue.

This is all new to all of us, we are working the best that we can with limited abilities. These CARES Act funds will help the Tribe to prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19. We will also be able to continue our social benefit programs such as the Tribal Assistance Program and not have to furlough any of our staff during this time.

We know this has been a difficult time. Many of our tribal members have battled the virus. We hope this assistance helps you in some small way. I will continue to keep you updated as we determine how all of these funds in the tribal newsletter.

APPLICATIONS CAN BE PRINTED FROM THE TRIBE'S WEBSITE AT THE LINK BELOW OR YOU CAN PICK UP APPLICATIONS AT THE OTOE-MISSOURIA POLICE DEPARTMENT. THEY MAY BE RETURNED BY MAIL OR IN THE DROPBOX AT THE OMPD, 22915 Otoe Cemetery Road, Red Rock, OK  74650 or emailed to tap@omtribe.org or faxed to 580-723-4440.

APPLY FOR ASSISTANCE