Turtle Mountain C.A.R.E.S. Fund

5 Phase Approach to Prepare, Prevent, and Recover

The Tribal Council have developed 5 different phases to approach the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provided $44+ million to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. With a large tribal member population and unique land base that spreads across multiple land tracts, our needs are great and growing. The scope of the COVID-19 pandemic requires coordination across the whole Tribe, and it’s entities. All funding is focused on community driven projects / expenditures and the Tribe’s top priority is to make sure that each project adheres to the strict federal funding regulations set forth by the US Treasury. 

Phase 1

Tribal Council compiled all possible projects and expenditures for COVID-19 relief funding through stakeholder involvment by requesting information from departments, area entities, and the community. 

Phase 2

The Council first determined whether proposed spending complied with the TMBCI COVID-19 Funding Principles to ensure compliance with Tribal and Federal Funding regulations.

Then, the Council passed a resolution so that the proposed expenditures were included in the budget exercise and budget resolution.

Phase 3

The budget formulation was a seperate exercise from the Authorization that required a single, seperate resolution that adopted the budget. This steps single resolution was also required to make all the COVID-19 related expeditures lawful. The final budget was enacted into one budget resolution by the Council following normal Council voting procedures. 

Phase 4

In this Phase, the Council determined and prioritized the order of expenditures, which align with funding availability – keeping in mind that COVID-19 Funding has an expiry date of 12/31/2020.

Phase 5

Finally, the Chairman sees that the following laws are “carried into effect,” 

1) the authorization   |   2) the budget  |   3) the appropriation

In addition, the consitution and the TMBCI COVID-19 Funding Principles must be followed, including any rules imposed by the constitution upon the treasurer, procurment procedures, and human resource requirements.


$51 Million in Appropriations to Prepare, Prevent, and Recover


Public Health


Transportation Safety


Emergency Outbreak Fund


Food Security


Telework for Employees


COVID Testing & Tracing


Economic Support for Tribal Members


Distance Learning for Students


Small Business Assistance


Food Security


Personal Protective Equipment


Increased Staffing for COVID


Administrative & Other Expenses


44,600,000 Phase 1   |   7,708,035 Phase 2   |   2,434,116 Phase 3

The TM CARES plan describes in great deal the approved projects and expenditures which will be funded by the $54.7 million dollars received by TMBCI through the Coronavirus Relief Fund – CARES Acts.

The Principles of Planning

The scope of the COVID-19 pandemic requires coordination across the Tribe and the Tribe’s many entities.

RESILIENCE refers to a system’s ability to efficiently absorb shocks, and with this plan, our goal is to significantly increase our communities’ resilience to pandemics and the sudden economic, social and/or environmental risks that result from such a shock.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, first and foremost, are the health risks, so it is the health systems and processes that we must look to improve upon. We have to take into consideration the various problems caused by the pandemic, and develop proper interventions and recommendations for our communities to better prepare for, respond to, and then finally recover from any issues that arise.

This plans goal has four major Principles: that the Tribal Organization be Prepared and Responsive; that our Emergency Response Systems be Robust, Secure, Redundant and Flexible; to ensure our plan includes Diversity; and finally that our plan is Affordable and Resource-efficient

The future is unpredictable, so smart planning prepares for the unexpected changes, what are known as shocks, or as the old saying goes, we should “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” This would be easy if we faced just one possible shock, but there is a large range of possible threats that our members, and communities as a whole, face. 

These principles will increase our communities resilience to many risks, including pandemics and other disasters and help individual households’ resilience to shocks such as lost income and physical disabilities.

Message from Tribal Chairman, Jamie Azure

How We're Preparing to Keep Our Area Safe

We’re ensuring our community has access to testing supplies and proper personal protective equipment.

Providing deep cleaning and cleaning supplies to tribal entities and other public places on the reservation.

We’re implementing food security programs for the community by providing food assistance to tribal members that include soup kitchens, food banks and pantries, meal delivery and infrastructure support to existing food distribution programs.

Also, we’re supporting core public health operations and functions for tribal members to ensure they have access to doctor’s appointments, prevention care and medications.

We developed tribal member-owned business support programs that assist those that have been disrupted by the current COVID-19 pandemic and support each in re-opening responsibly.

Our Efforts of Prevention

We’re expanding broadband infrastructure to ensure those on the frontlines at our schools are able to continue to provide education to our next generation.

By addressing the direct needs of elders.

We’ve purchased rapid response vehicles and other medical equipment necessary to care for coronavirus patients.

We’ve started the much needed repairs to our area infrastructure to aid our emergency workers in accessing patients.

By addressing other obstacles that create a barrier from preventing a coronavirus outbreak.

Our Approach to Recovery

By constructing a stand-alone recovery center to house coronavirus patients.

By implementing tribe-wide policies to address any future health crisis.

TM-CARES Projects

Progress on the Horizon


Click on one of the “Featured Projects” below to jump to that section

City of Dunseith Partnership with the Turtle Mountain Tribe

This new venture driven by the Turtle Mountain Tribe and its Natural Resources Department will promote food sovereignty to the fullest

Click for more information

Projects & Programs

There are currently over 2 dozen approved projects, all geared toward the prevention of the spreading of COVID-19 throughout the community; aid in the recovery process for members, businesses, and programs already affected by this the pandemic; and also to help the Tribe to future-proof and prepare community in the event that something of this magnatude happens again. 

Some examples of the projects happening in the Turtle Mountains

  • Repair the most dangerous roads on the reservation that prevent public safety (EMTs, fire, police, and child welfare) from responding to tribal members timely and safely
  • Build an emergency response center in Dunseith
  • Provide over 1,300 Chromebooks to elementary and middle school students and 250 at home learning tools for Head Start students
  • Install camera systems in multiple schools on the reservation to allow “live” virtual teaching
  • Improvements to tribal court buildings that will allow jurors six feet apart and to catch up on cases that have built up during the stay-at-home orders
  • Funds appropriated to keep homeless youth safe
  • Three months of utility bills paid for all on-reservation tribal members
  • CARES Baskets for tribal members that have come in contact with COVID-19
  • COVID-19 homes where tribal members can quarantine safely
  • Fund to support tribal members for medical appointments – especially those in need of critical care.
  • Support for our relatives in Trenton to expand a COVID care clinic
  • COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and other support to be sure tribal members have access to testing when needed

Dunseith Emergency Response Center

Dream Come True

Tribe breaks ground on site of new Fire/EMS Station in Dunseith – story from the Turtle Mountain Times

DSGW Architects 

Turtle Mountain Butcher Shop

Butcher Shop Coming to Turtle Mountains

Turtle Mountain Tribal Council, Natural Resources team up to bring brand new butcher shop to the reservation – story from the Turtle Mountain Times

DSGW Architects 

Turtle Mountain Food Distribution Center

Turtle Mountain Food Distribution Center

A new building for the UDSA Food Distribution Program is currently in development. More information will be posted here as it becomes available. 

Jiran Architects

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