By Joe Morey
On Monday, June 8, The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) unanimously approved extending the CARES Act payment of $1,000 per adult and $500 per child to every Tribal Member nationwide. The motion was made by Sec.-Treasurer Michelle Beaudin and seconded by Glenda Hall.
Last week, on June 1, the TGB approved the payments to tribal members and their children who live on the reservation or within Sawyer County, the service area for the Tribe. This new motion extends the payment to the whole membership.
The total bill for all members including on and off reservation will be $7.4 million and will come from the CARES Act money of $10 million. The Tribe is expecting additional CARES Act funds that will help cover the construction project costs that were listed in a separate story, except for the new fire hall, which the TGB unanimously voted to fund from Enbridge funds at an estimated $1.2 million in costs.
In order for members to receive the payment, they will have to fill out a verification form checking off a box or boxes on how they were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The verification form will either be mailed out to members or they can download a printable copy from the tribal website (to be posted soon) or pick up in person at the Tribal Office.
The verification form will be used as documentation that the CARES Act money was distributed to the membership as Covid-19 relief.
Many details still need to be worked out on the process of distributing the payment, for example, the TGB wants to insure that payments for children are distributed to the family member or foster parent who is actually taking care of that child. In order to do this, the TGB is hiring on a temporary basis, an administrator to oversee the distribution of the payment.
The original proposer of a payment, Gary “Little Guy” Clause, said he wants to make sure that the payment to adult tribal members is distributed within the next two weeks, while recognizing it may take a little longer for the child payments.
Tribal members who live outside Sawyer County will have to show verification that each tribal member child is living in their home and the Administrator will be tasked with making sure the payments go to the proper household.
Little Guy said they may have to check off how they were affected, but no tribal member will be denied a payment.