$45 billion: “Historic” amount of money Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said during this year’s White House Tribal Nations Summit that the 574 federally-recognized sovereign tribes received under the Biden administration in pandemic-related aid.
$205 billion: Amount of money W. Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and longtime leader with the National Congress of American Indians, told top federal officials at the same summit that the 574 tribes need each year to sustain themselves and recover from historical inequities.
$0 (approximate): Amount of funding foreign nations have sent to 574 tribes to rebuild tribal nations during the Biden administration.
$68 billion: U.S. aid sent to Ukraine as of November, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
$37.7 billion: The amount the White House requested for Ukraine in its latest budget request according to CSIS.
$45 billion: The amount the U.S. Congress appropriated for Ukraine and NATO allies in the federal omnibus spending budget passed just before Christmas.
$45 billion: Amount the European Union and the United Kingdom had sent to Ukraine as of October, according to the European Commission.
$158 billion: Total funding to Ukraine from U.S., Europe and UK since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24, 2022. This does not include private aid.
A comment: When the U.S. and allies want to find nearly $200 billion to hopefully fix a big problem, they can do so in a matter of months. Tribes are told meanwhile to appreciate “historic” funding brought on by a pandemic that killed too many of our people (some of this due to a poor federal tribal-focused response), but tribes are being asked to realize and accept that yearly federal budgets will be smaller in the future. Allen, we can confirm, has been laughed at in some federal circles for bringing up the $205 billion number in need for 574 tribes. Some of those same people likely did not laugh at President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when he was recently invited to meet with President Joe Biden and to speak before a joint session of U.S. Congress as he asked for more American aid. There’s a disconnect happening, and Ukraine puts the situation in focus. Tribal leaders and citizens should use it to their advantage, if they can.
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