Budget & Tax

Oklahoma tribes made bank during COVID

Curtis Shelton | June 14, 2023

The State of Oklahoma received a total of $3.4 billion—or $846 per capita—in federal relief from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and ARPA (the American Rescue Plan Act).

By contrast, Oklahoma tribes received roughly $15,000 per capita.

The Cherokee Nation received $2 billion in ARPA funds, the Choctaw Nation received $1.1 billion, the Chickasaw Nation received $552 million, and the Creek Nation received $493 million. That’s a total of $4.1 billion in ARPA funds for those four tribes alone, and it doesn’t include money given to the other 34 tribes in Oklahoma. When adding the $1.9 billion Oklahoma tribes got from the CARES Act, that brings the total federal relief to at least $6 billion for Oklahoma’s 38 tribes.

Curtis Shelton Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton

Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.

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