The total active cases for the Tribe have gone down to zero. On Monday March 15, 2021, at its special Council meeting, the Council approved TERC’s request to discontinue using the Apache Gold Casino Hotel as an alternate care site due to the stabilization of new infections and the spread of the virus. This will be effective March 31, 2021. The Healthcare Corporation advises that everyone needs to continue wearing their masks and practicing cleanliness. The Tribe hopes to reach herd immunity by April of next month.
At the same meeting, the San Carlos Council earmarked and obligated $24,070,000 from the Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Act Funds to allocate $2,000 emergency economic assistance payments to each tribal member 18 years and older as of March 15, 2021 and to be allocated as follows: $500 the week of April 5, 2021 or when funds are made available, $500 the week of July 12, 2021, $500 the week of December 13, 2021, and $500 the week of March 14, 2022 to help address the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds were made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan approved by the US Congress and signed into law by President Biden.
Chairman Rambler stated, “All of you have sacrificed so much with your health and finances during this pandemic. Last year, our tribal government received about $60 million from the federal government due to the pandemic. From this amount, the Council gave our people 18 years and older $1,500 in two payments. This year, we anticipate to receive about $120 million. The Council will be distributing $2,000 from this amount to all tribal members 18 years and older in four distributions.”
The Council earmarked and obligated $36,000,000 from the American Rescue Plan for the Healthcare Corporation to build and operate a long-term care center to help address the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is time to bring our Elders home. During my mom’s last days, I spent about three hours with her one evening at our Hospital. We talked but I mainly listened as she told me to listen. One of the things she said was to not forget our Elders. She told me to never lose respect for our Elders. She told me our Elders want to come home from the Nursing Homes off Reservation. She told me to talk to my Council and encourage them to work together to build a new Nursing Home on our Reservation. And this is exactly what the Council decided at our meeting”, stated Chairman Rambler. The Council will be providing the money to its Healthcare Corporation to build a new Nursing Home and operate the Nursing Home. The Healthcare Corporation had completed a feasibility study several years ago but the project was not feasible at the time. “It is now feasible and we will be building a new Nursing Home for our Elders and bring our Elders home”, continued Chairman Rambler.
The Council earmarked and obligated $6,562,411 from the American Rescue Plan to allocate to its Gaming Enterprise to renovate the Casino Hotel to help address the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We used the hotel for an alternate care site housing our people during the pandemic. Our people had a place to recover during the pandemic. Our Hotel employees and our Healthcare employees took care of our people that were isolated and quarantined at the Hotel during the pandemic. It was one of the best decisions we made during the pandemic. It is now time to renovate the Hotel to make it new again and to change the perception of the Hotel”, stated Chairman Rambler.
The Council thanks President Biden and Democratic members of Congress for making these critical funds available. Not a single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan, from which these funds were made available. “This is one of the reasons I voted for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Mark Kelly, and Representative Tom O’Halleran”, stated Chairman Rambler.
Chairman Rambler stated, “In closing, I want to congratulate our Fort Thomas Lady Apaches as they beat Mogollon to win the 2021 AIA Girls Basketball 1A State Championship. The Lady Apaches beat Mogollon 56 – 29 for the championship. The Lady Apaches controlled the game from start to finish.”
In the first round of the tournament, the Lady Apaches beat Salome 54-21. In the second round, they beat St. David in a close tough physical game. In the semifinals, they beat St. Michael 51-36 in a team effort.
The Council invites everyone to a Victory Parade for the Lady Apaches on Saturday March 27, 2021 in downtown Bylas starting at 4:00 pm. Dinner and live music will follow the parade at the Albert Goseyun Exhibit Hall in Bylas. The parade is free with open entry and will follow CDC guidelines. Everyone is welcome.
God bless all of you.