Merkley, Wyden Announce $225,000 for Tribal Economic Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) will be receiving $225,000 in federal funding to assist with job creation and capital investment strategy.

“While we are still trying to build our economy back from a global pandemic, we can’t forget or leave behind those who have been hit hardest—including Indigenous Americans and tribal communities,” Merkley said. “I am pleased that this funding will help tribes here in the Northwest exercise their self-determination and sovereignty to create jobs and tackle the critical economic issues that affect their communities. I will continue to show up for tribal communities and fight for the resources they need to thrive.”

“These federal investments in tribal communities are especially timely given how hard they’ve been slammed in Oregon and nationwide by the economic and health impacts of COVID-19,” Wyden said. “I’m glad these resources are headed to the Northwest to support the tribes’ work to generate jobs and attract investment that can help their economies during this pandemic and beyond. And I’ll keep fighting to secure similar federal investments for tribes throughout our state.”

“Indian Country was hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and ATNI Economic Development Corporation has worked to ensure ATNI Member Tribal Governments, citizens, Native-owned businesses and their employees in the Pacific Northwest have the resources they need to recover and thrive,” said Amber Schulz-Oliver, Executive Director of ATNI-EDC. “This funding will support the ATNI-EDC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, and support ATNI Member Tribes meet their economic development goals, facilitate Inter-Tribal economy building, support for Tribal entrepreneurs, and build an ecosystem of Tribal economic development professionals. We heartily appreciate Senators Merkley and Wyden pushing to secure this funding.”

The Economic Development Administration will distribute the funds directly to the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation, in an effort to bring more capital investment to the region and create a framework to address employment issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.