A meeting to form the Regional Tribal Government has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (read the March 27 letter).
Despite this postponement, we encourage Tribes to send in their Resolution to participate. Your tribal government is invited to send one (1) delegate for purposes of participating in and voting at this meeting. Calista will fund travel, lodging and per diem for the tribal delegate.
Required to attend: Tribal Resolution (authorizing tribal delegate to attend)
For many years, the People of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region have considered the question of whether to form a regional tribal government. Several options for doing this have been considered, but the goal of achieving a regional tribal government to unify our People has remained elusive.
Five years ago in Bethel, Calista Corporation convened a Regional Committee to explore the issue of forming a Regional Tribal Government. This Committee, comprised of 100 delegates from around the Region, considered several options, including formation of a regional borough under Alaska state law. 76% of the Regional Committee attendees voted to create a regional tribal government.
For your consideration, we have drafted a proposed constitution for the “Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Tribal Government”. This form of Regional Tribal Government is simpler than the effort five years ago with limited powers that are not intended to infringe upon the sovereignty or interfere with the power of any tribal government within the region.
We believe other funds can be identified that would bring new resources to the Region and not harm the current federal funding stream the tribal governments and nonprofit associations are entitled to receive. In fact, we believe that a widely-accepted Regional Tribal Government would create new opportunities for individual tribal governments to work better together to help our People and improve social service delivery. A unified Tribal Government would strengthen Tribes and communities, reduce costs, create jobs, and could provide for an effective regional public safety department and tribal court system in the future.
The meeting agenda will include:
- Discussion of the Regional Tribal Government Constitution (draft)
- Vote on adoption of the Constitution (draft for or against resolution)
- If approved, convene delegates as an Interim Regional Tribal Council
- Interim Regional Tribal Council would convene before November 2020 to begin the process of scheduling the first election by the People to elect a Regional President, Clerk, and Council in November 2020.
This is an exciting opportunity, and we hope you will support this effort to help empower the People of our Region.
If you have any questions, please contact the Calista Government Relations Department by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or our fax number is (907) 562-0026.
Calista Advocacy on Coronavirus Tribal Relief Fund
April 24, 2020 Update
Calista Corporation submitted the following letters to the U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding its implementation of the CARES Act’s Tribal Relief Fund.
- Calista Requests Minimum of $2M per Alaska Tribe (April 11, 2020)
- Calista Responds to Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (April 23, 2020)
April 20, 2020 Update
Calista Corporation staff worked until 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, helping YK Tribes and Village Corporations with their submissions necessary to be considered for participation in the CARES Act’s Tribal Relief Fund. With their approval, Calista submitted information on behalf of 13 Tribes and Village Corporations. The Calista Land Department also assisted over a dozen more by providing land base information.
April 17, 2020
The current novel coronavirus pandemic is deeply impacting individuals, communities, non-profits, Tribes and for-profits alike. One of the measures Congress made was passing the CARES Act in late March, which was also signed into law. This package includes an $8 billion set aside for a Tribal Relief Fund.
The U.S. Department of Treasury is requesting data from Tribal governments, including Alaska Native corporations, to assist in making a determination as to the distribution of the Tribal Relief Fund. Calista Corporation has provided its data. Calista is also actively assisting YK Delta Tribes and village corporations with their submissions upon request. The Treasury web portal and additional information is located at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/state-and-local-governments.
The U.S. Treasury Department will make the final determination on which entities will receive funding, and how much each entity will receive. Should Calista be allocated Tribal Relief Funding, we will redirect COVID relief support to YK Delta communities and/or directly to Shareholders in accordance with any directives or conditions the U.S. Treasury attaches to such funding.
“We will hold consultations with YK Delta Tribes to determine how best to use any Tribal Relief Funding provided to Calista,” said Calista Corp. President/CEO Andrew Guy.
“Additionally, Calista will seek to absorb managements costs so that as many dollars as possible reach the YK Delta communities. Calista’s sole focus in participating in the Tribal Relief Program is to benefit YK Delta people and communities and not Calista’s corporate finances.”
The U.S. Treasury and federal agencies have been clear that any and all Tribal Relief Funding may be audited to confirm compliance with the CARES Act.
If the U.S. Treasury provides Tribal Relief Funding to Calista, we will host consultation conference calls with YK Delta Tribes. Details will be announced later, pending federal determinations.
COVID-19 shows need for Regional Tribal Government
It is clear in times of crisis, like the one we face with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, that a regional tribal government is needed now more than ever for the YK Region.
A regional tribal government could:
- Partner with existing regional organizations
- Centralize and disseminate safety information
- Coordinate communication and outreach with the state and federal governments
- Unite tribal political power
All to ensure the people of the Region have access to everything they need to deal with the current pandemic and other issues that are certain to arise in the future.
With sincerity and urgency, we encourage Tribes to send in their Resolution to participate. Your tribal government is invited to send one (1) delegate for purposes of participating in and voting at this meeting. Calista will fund travel, lodging and per diem for the tribal delegate.
When it is safe to gather, an invitation letter will be distributed with the new dates of the summit (March 27 postponement letter).
- Invitation Letter
For discussion purposes.
Resolution for Authorization
Authorizing tribal delegate to attend constitutional convention.
- Resolution template (Word version to edit as needed)
Deadline Today 4/17: Calista Offers Assistance to Tribes to Request CARES Act Tribal Relief Funding
April 13, 2020
Deadline, Friday 4/17 at 7:59pm Alaska time. We anticipate heavy online use as the deadline nears. You may experience connection issues. Currently, there are no extensions even for technical issues.
This federal program is for Tribes and ANCSA Corporations only. This is not applicable to individuals.
On April 13, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a request for information from every qualifying “Indian Tribe”, which includes both Federally-recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, to assist in developing the formula. Details in the Calista Letter Offering Assistance to Y-K Delta Tribes.
Deadline to submit information: Friday, April 17
Tribes that do not submit information by this deadline may not receive any payment from the Tribal Relief Fund.
If you would like Calista to assist your Tribe in this process, please sign and execute the letter below. Please designate the appropriate contact person who will be certifying your application, as well as the person that handles your Tribe’s finances.
- Calista Letter Offering Assistance to Y-K Delta Tribes (pdf)
- You many also contact the Calista Lands Department by email for assistance in determining the land base (number of acres) that must be submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department in your application.
Or to complete the process without Calista’s assistance:
- Contact the BIA Alaska Regional Office (Anchorage) for assistance completing the forms
- 907-271-4085 phone or fax 907-271-1349
- U.S. Treasury Department online submission form
COVID-19 Related Tribal Grant Opportunities
Tribal organizations serving the YK Region are encouraged to review a tracking sheet available from the law firm Holland & Knight that lists current COVID 19-related grant opportunities. This list will be updated as new updates are provided by Holland & Knight.