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Tribes sue over distribution of coronavirus relief funding

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Apr 17, 2020

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Several Native American tribes sued the federal government Friday, seeking to keep federal coronavirus relief for tribes out of the hands of for-profit Alaska Native corporations.

The tribes in Washington state, Maine and Alaska filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Already, tribes had raised questions about how the $8 billion would be distributed.

Some say the corporations shouldn't receive a share because the they are not tribal governments. Tribes are relying on the cash after having to shut down casinos, tourism operations and other businesses that serve as their main moneymakers.

The Interior Department says Alaska Native corporations are eligible for the funding.