RED LAKE -- In line with other area tribes, Red Lake Nation announced recently it will distribute economic impact payments of $1,000 to qualified band members.

In order to qualify for the one-time payment, enrolled members must be at least 18 years old as of July 31 and have suffered economic impacts due to COVID-19, according to a notification from the Red Lake Tribal Council. Economic impacts are either increased expenditures or a decrease in income, the announcement said.

In an Aug. 3 video update to members, Chairman Darrell Seki Sr. explained, “Applicants will need to certify that they are in need of financial assistance and that such assistance is needed because of COVID-19.”

Usage for the funds also comes with some restrictions -- applicants must certify that funds will be used for emergency needs.

Emergency needs as defined by the tribe include: rent or mortgage payments, utility payments, food and food delivery, employment or training, distance learning, teleworking, healthcare, personal protective equipment, costs associated with stress and mental health and other emergency costs stemming from the pandemic.

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The payments will be distributed through a new program called the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Relief Program, established by the Red Lake Tribal Council during a special meeting on July 31.

The council estimates it will be ready to accept payment applications as of Aug. 7. Applications will become available on the Red Lake Nation website and Facebook page by Aug. 5, and can also be requested via mail.

Payments will take approximately three weeks to process.

Red Lake Nation is not alone in distributing economic impact payment to its band members. Within the last month, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe announced it would also distribute $1,000 payments to qualifying band members and White Earth Band of Ojibwe will give members $500.