WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that $1.49 million in funding is headed to the Coquille Indian Tribe in North Bend to purchase equipment and medical supplies needed to help the community meet the mounting challenges of the coronavirus crisis.
The funds—which are being allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March—are being directed to the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center, which is currently under construction on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation.
“Tribal communities have been among the hardest bit by the coronavirus crisis—so it’s especially important that medical facilities and workers serving these communities have the supplies and equipment they need to do their jobs,” said Merkley. “I’m pleased that this funding is headed to the Coquille’s Kilkich Reservation, and will continue to do all that I can to fight for the resources tribes need to stay healthy during, and long after, this pandemic.”
“The economic and public health devastation from COVID-19 makes these key medical resources for the Coquille Indian Tribe both timely and essential,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified the Coquille has secured these funds to help its wellness center, and I’ll continue battling for all Tribes in Oregon to receive the support they need now to face the pandemic and to prepare in the longer term for all their communities’ health care needs.”
“We are so happy to be the recipient of this EDA grant in support of the construction of our new Ko-Kwel Wellness Center. This funding will ultimately let us further expand our resources for better health-care services, and to prepare, prevent and respond to the coronavirus in our community,” said Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade.
The federal grant will be combined with a match of $75,000 in local funding, and is expected to create 18 new jobs and generate $11.8 million in private investment.