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Emergency aid is available to those struggling because of COVID-19.

In a unanimous decision, the Yurok Tribal Council voted to send $1,250 to tribal citizens who are struggling as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 Assistance Program funds are available to all tribal citizens 18-years-old or older, as well as individuals who turn 18 before Dec. 30.

“This was an easy decision to make because so many of our citizens are going through a difficult time right now,” said Joseph L. James, Yurok Tribe Chairman. “The Tribal Council hopes these relief funds will reduce the strain this emergency is putting on all of our citizens. We have established a team to distribute the funds as quickly as possible.”

Those eligible to receive relief monies must fill out and submit a one-page form in order to be sent a check. The form can be found online at https://bit.ly/3cvqbrw. Please email the application to Krystel@yuroktribe.nsn.us. The Yurok Tribe’s COVID-19 Assistance Program was developed with funds from the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).

Due to the closure of businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, numerous Yurok citizens have been laid off or have had work hours reduced during the last three months. Also, many individuals with preexisting medical conditions cannot go to work by virtue of the serious health risks associated with this illness.

In addition to distributing direct aid, the Tribe is assisting tribal citizens in other ways too. For example, on a weekly basis, the Tribe is delivering food and supply boxes to approximately 500 vulnerable citizens in Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity Counties. Tribal staff are performing regular check-ins with Tribal elders. The tribe waived all internet fees for April and May to reduce the economic burden many are facing. Yurok Health and Human Services continues to operate a diversity of social programs. The Education Department is planning a virtual graduation for Yurok students.

The Yurok Tribal Council issued a state-of-emergency declaration on March 13 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Yurok Tribe’s Incident Command Team has been working every day of the week to protect Tribal citizens during this unprecedented crisis.

The Tribe’s businesses, including the Redwood Hotel Casino, Yurok Country Visitor Center and the Klamath Jet Boat Tours, are closed at this time. The Pem-mey and Pek-Tah Fuel Marts are open because both are essential businesses, but operations have been modified to safeguard patrons and staff. The Abalone Bar and Grill was closed for more than two months, but recently reopened its takeout service. The Yurok Reservation is currently closed to visitors and will remain so until at least July 1.

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