Skip to comments.Stimulus Money Helping Richer Tribes(Nationwide, $3 billion in Federal Grants)
Posted on 01/09/2010 7:42:21 AM PST by Son House
TACOMA Nationwide, $3 billion in federal grants, contracts and loans has been set aside for 564 federally recognized tribes in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As a whole, Northwest tribes are faring better than most as the money filters down from federal agencies.
However, a News Tribune analysis of the money allocated so far shows that the stimulus funds are not helping all tribes in the state equally. On the contrary, the stimulus is widening the gap between rich and poor tribes created by the relative success of their casinos.
Of the $94 million awarded to Washingtons 29 Indian tribes so far, $51 million has gone to five tribes, all among the states wealthiest.
Two South Sound tribes, the Nisqually and the Puyallup, are among the big winners.
As of Sept. 30, the most recent date for which totals are available, the Puyallup tribe had received $13.1 million and the Nisqually tribe $12.3 million, money earmarked for dozens of projects ranging from housing and energy conservation to education, roads and law enforcement.
The Yakama Nation, the Tulalip tribes and Lummi Nation, all of which have large, profitable casinos and diversified economies, also are winners.
Meanwhile, the states less fortunate tribes so far have received comparatively little.
The Hoh tribe on the Olympic Peninsula, where unemployment exceeds 50 percent and which is struggling to relocate itself out of a flood plain, has received about $300,000 for a contract with the federal Department of Energy to install solar panels on its tribal administration building, preparatory work for a housing project and roadwork through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The chronically poor Shoalwater Bay tribe in Tokeland, about 80 miles west of Olympia, has received less than $150,000: $50,000 to disseminate an endangered beach plant called pink sand-verbena, and a $96,253 grant to connect sewer and water lines to a tribal housing project.
What happens with smaller tribes is we just dont have the infrastructure to respond to grants, said Alexis Barry, executive director of the Hoh tribe. The big tribes have grant writers, and they can jump on that stuff, Barry said. Its very difficult for us not that we dont wish them well.
And a tribes political connections have little or nothing to do with its success in getting stimulus funds, said Emmett OConnell, with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
It may look like that, he said, but what youll find is that the money is going to the tribes with capacity. A lot of the stimulus money, at least in the beginning, needed to go to shovel-ready projects. Tribes either had a project or they didnt.
Dec 28, 2009
A Stimulating Year
The bill also wiped out most of the current IRS restrictions on the ability of tribes to issue tax-exempt bonds.
They probably got rich off of government grants. They got the grants by contributing money to the politicians that authorized the grants. At what point does it become evident that it’s an exercise in money laundering?
Jobs creation: An inexact science
STIMULUS: Statistics reported differently from tribe to tribe
In it, Washington tribes reported that 358.68 jobs had been created by the distribution of about $94 million in stimulus funds as of Sept. 30.
$94,000,000/358.68 jobs = $262,072.04 per Job
...or just buying extra votes. It’s easier to have 150% voting and to find “extra” boxes of ballots on Indian Reservations.
Isn’t that what happened in NM?