Koniag is pleased there will be an influx of CARES Act funds to assist our people and communities.

 

Koniag recently received our allocation of $6.78 million from the Department of Treasury. We want to move as efficiently as possible to distribute the funds to our Shareholders and registered Descendants impacted by the pandemic.

The Department of Treasury has strict spending requirements for CARES Act funding. The guidelines restrict Koniag from simply paying a special distribution with the funds.

In late August, the Koniag Board approved our CARES Act spending plan, which includes three parts: a $1 million donation to KANA to help cover costs associated with in-region vaccinations and COVID-19 testing; mental health support; and direct relief to individuals.

Please find frequently asked questions about the CARES Act funding below.

On June 25, 2021, the United States Supreme Court acknowledged ANCs are Indian tribes as described under the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 by ruling ANCSA corporations are eligible for CARES Act funding.

Koniag is eligible to receive assistance from the CARES Act, which allocates $450 million in funding to be divided among Alaska’s 12 regional corporations and nearly 200 village corporations to help our Alaska Native Shareholders, Descendants, and communities recover from the pandemic.

Koniag cannot thank Alaska’s congressional delegation, the State of Alaska, and the Alaska Federation of Natives enough for their unwavering support of Alaska Native people throughout the Supreme Court litigation.

Everything we do at Koniag is with our Shareholders and Descendants at top of mind. Koniag’s Board and staff recognize that the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted us all.

The Department of Treasury has strict spending requirements for CARES Act funding. The guidelines restrict Koniag from simply paying a special distribution with the funds.

In late August, the Koniag Board approved our CARES Act spending plan, which includes three parts: a $1 million donation to KANA to help cover costs associated with in-region vaccinations and COVID-19 testing; mental health support; and direct relief to individuals.

Voting Shareholders and registered Descendants are eligible to apply. Applications will become available in late September.

Descendant applications are available in the MyKoniag Shareholder portal, at com/our-shareholders/records-forms/, or by contacting Shareholder Services.

Koniag wants to help as many Shareholders and Registered Descendants who have been impacted by the pandemic as possible. For this reason, we won’t know the individual relief amount until we start accepting applications and understand the scope of the need.

Koniag CARES Act funding for Shareholders and registered Descendants will be distributed for mental health support and direct relief to individuals.

Direct relief to individuals will be issued for the following qualified expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021:

  • Unreimbursed medical expenses related to COVID-19
  • Personal care items (masks, sanitizer, hygiene products, etc.)
  • Payment of rent or mortgage (to avoid eviction or foreclosure)
  • Utility costs such as electricity, gas, etc.
  • Expenses for telework or distance-learning, including internet and related equipment (computers, monitors, etc.)
  • Other necessary expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

In our Shareholder COVID survey distributed last fall, Shareholders overwhelmingly said that the effect of isolation on their mental health was the most significant impact they experienced from the pandemic. In response to this, applicants who mark “mental health support” on their applications will be sent a voucher to a tele-counselor for free, confidential counseling. We consider this an urgent need, and vouchers will be sent to the applicant as soon as the application is approved.

The federal guidelines on how the funds may be used can be found by clicking here.

No. Federal guidelines (available here) restrict Koniag from paying a special distribution broadly to all Shareholders with CARES Act funding.

The application period will open near the end of September, with applications due by mid-November. Direct individual relief will be paid to eligible applicants in late November. Mental health support vouchers will be issued immediately after approval, given the urgency of the need.

Current CARES Act legislation requires that funds be used by December 31, 2021. Congress is considering whether to extend this deadline. If the deadline changes, Koniag will notify Shareholders and registered Descendants.

Online and paper applications will be available in late September and will be due in mid-November.

In the meantime, you can help by logging into the MyKoniag Shareholder portal and ensuring your contact information is current.

Koniag must distribute all of its CARES Act funding by December 31, 2021. Once the application forms are available, Shareholders and registered Descendants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Koniag will absorb any administrative costs associated with CARES Act funding to ensure 100% of the funds received are used to benefit our Shareholders and communities.

According to the federal government, these funds are NOT TAXABLE; recipients will not receive a 1099.

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