Adding to the long and ever-growing list of harmful consequences stemming from President Donald Trump’s government shutdown—from hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers to gutted food stamps offices to trashed public parks—the New York Times published a report late Tuesday highlighting the damage Trump’s prolonged border wall temper tantrum has done to Native American communities.
“For one tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the government shutdown comes with a price tag: about $100,000, every day, of federal money that does not arrive to keep health clinics staffed, food pantry shelves full, and employees paid,” the Times noted. “The tribe is using its own funds to cover the shortfalls for now. But if the standoff in Washington continues much longer, that stopgap money will be depleted. Later this month, workers could be furloughed and health services could be pared back.”
Because the staff of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has been significantly diminished due to the shutdown—which entered its 12th day on Wednesday—basic services such as road maintenance, healthcare, and disaster relief have been cut or put at risk, the Times reported.
The shutdown has also “curtailed a Department of Agriculture food program that helped feed about 90,000 Native American people in fiscal year 2017,” the Times notes.
Joseph Rupnick, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas, said his tribe’s food distribution center “will be depleted” if the partial government shutdown continues for much longer.
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