OKMLUGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee Nation is currently figuring out how to distribute funds to citizens received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council recognized the need of direct assistance for citizens and families in a section of NCA 21-077, which authorized the expenditure of ARPA funds to establish the COVID-19 Impact Relief Individual Assistance Program.
The legislation states that the approval of $2,000 direct assistance will be provided to all citizens regardless of age, income or residency.
In a July 1 press release, MCN NC stated the legislation had been approved by full council and sent to Principal Chief David Hill for approval, which has since been signed into law.
The executive branch has 120 days to implement the Act’s provisions.
According to MN Press Secretary Jason Salsman, the executive branch is working tirelessly to have a system prepared before the 120-day timeline.
“That was just a deadline put on it, we want to do this as fast as possible and I think we are a lot closer to announcing a process than we are at the end of that 120-days,” Salsman said.
He said there are two things the executive branch must follow: final guidance from the Department of Treasury and the legislation the National Council has passed.
“Right now they are formulating a plan that’s looking to satisfy both of those things,” Salsman said. “The Principal Chief and the National Council had expressed a desire to catch as many citizens as we can.”
Salsman said when he heard from citizens regarding the last distribution of funds (CARES Act), there were concerns from those who were not eligible to receive it due to exceeding the income qualifications.
He stated there were many things learned from the application process from the last distribution and both governmental branches are trying to create a process that makes it easier for citizens to receive that funding.
“We understand that those are sentiments that citizens have,” Salsman said. “We just have to make sure that we do what is allowable by Treasury guidelines because again it is federal funding.”
Salsman claimed a final guidance should come from the Department of Treasury by the end of July.
According to a July 14 press release from NC, implementation of the CIRIA program will entail the need to get documentation from tribal citizens, along with a determination of the most effective way to deliver assistance to recipients.
“The Muscogee (Creek) National Council Representatives ask Muscogee (Creek) citizens to be patient, as the Executive branch implements an assistance effort that is unprecedented in our tribe’s history,” the release stated. “As in previous, challenging times and conditions that confronted our people, our elected leadership is answering current needs with a unified, broad response.”
The MCN National Council hired Lacey Horn with Native Advisory LLC on their behalf to work directly with the executive branch and Secretary of Commerce Terra Branson-Thomas to help streamline this process for citizens.
Legislation and reference materials which includes guidelines, frequently asked questions, and further information regarding the funds received can be found on the National Council’s website: www.mcnnc.com.
Mvskoke Media will continue to follow this story and report any information about the CIRIA program as it develops.
Can we consider building apts for elderly disabled citizens in wetumka.im paying 350 a month on disabilty.
My name is Ella Harjo and I’m suggesting we should be able to just pick up a check show our citizenship cards, other tribes I heard are doing this I don’t see why it would be so difficult and right now I could use the money its hard to make rent and pay other debt especially hardly having any food it sure would help if we could get it ASAP mvto
I was one who did not receive the full amount of funds because I made too much money but looking at guideline I did not. Do we have to reapply for this round.
Hello my name is courtney garner/horn and i was trying to Figure out about the stimulus through y’all oh my family got it the first time around they didn’t tell me till the last minute and I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to get on there with y’all
Could use the help, to pay bills.
Mvto. I feel this is what the citizens need to hear. The citizens also should understand that this has to be handled in a certain way and not get discouraged and start degrading the Chief and National Council. We all need to work together and have unity among each other.
Maggie i agree. People tend to degrade those who are handling the situation instead of understanding this is a process. They also need to realize it’s something that’s unexpected and it has to be spent correctly. It’s disgusting to see those who reply negative yet they have nothing to say all year about other issues or try to get involved in issues. Thank you for speaking up
Thank you for the update. Direct deposit will be nice
Cherokee had you sign up through their Gadugi portal…their one stop shop portal for changing your personal info across all departments. The process was 2k per member and it was set up electronically through JPMorgan Chase by the tribal member. No income restrictions…all members were eligible. Members received an email on the progress of the the rebate and it was a direct deposit. Quick and easy. They did issue checks in certain instances but JPMorgan issued pay cards to people who did not have an account for direct deposit. Maybe the tribe could do the same? Direct Deposit thru a trusted 3rd party would be nice.
Thanks for this wonderful news. So many of us can use this windfall and we are now looking forward to receiving it.