Alva Review-Courier -

Pandemic leaves tribes without US recognition at higher risk


February 28, 2021

Rachel Lynne Cushman is used to getting calls from Chinook Nation members worried about losing housing or having their power shut off. Since COVID-19 hit, they come in daily.

Cushman is secretary-treasurer for the group of tribes whose rural, ancestral lands are based in one of Washington state's poorest counties. While they mostly have been spared from the health effects of the coronavirus, the pandemic has taken a significant economic toll.

"We're doing the best we can," Cushman said. "But the reality is we don't have the resources to help."

Unlike federally recognized tribes, the Chinook...

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