Osage Chief Standing Bear submitted a public comment to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking that spending restrictions be removed for the $108 million Osage Nation received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The public comment is in response to tight restrictions on spending within the ARPA Interim Final Rule.
“We are requesting that restrictions on our tribal sovereignty be removed so that we are allowed to responsibly implement this funding in a manner best fit for the Osage people,” said Chief Standing Bear. “Only Osages know how to address the problems experienced by the Osage.”
The public comment goes onto address the disproportionate impact on tribes and their members brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to Treasury Department questions, Chief Standing Bear addresses the cultural impacts tribes sustain; such as loss of language speakers, loss of cultural education access and disruption of infrastructure building initiatives. The public comment also invites discussion on individual cash assistance.
The public comment was submitted by the Chief Standing Bear to the U.S. Treasury for review on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.