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Noem wants federal rental assistance funds to go to tribes

March 31, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Thursday that her administration is returning $81.5 million in emergency rental assistance funds to the federal government and is asking that a portion of the money be redirected to three tribal nations.

Noem sent a letter to the Department of Treasury on Thursday, saying she is returning the federal funds that were originally sent to the state to help people pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is asking that $17.9 million of that money be redirected to the Oglala Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux and Crow Creek Sioux, the Argus Leader reported.

“Throughout this pandemic, my administration worked closely with South Dakota’s nine tribal sovereign nations,” she wrote. “Our office looked for ways to partner with them over the last two years and provided any additional help that we could. They identified this as one area where we can work together.”

Noem requested that more than $14.5 million be distributed to the Oglala Sioux, with the other two tribes receiving more than $1.6 million each.