News Release

United States Commission on Civil Rights 


On Friday July 17, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a virtual briefing to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on Native Americans. In 2018, the Commission issued Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans, which addressed the inadequacy of federal funding for Native American programs despite the United States' trust responsibility to promote tribal self-government, support the general well-being of Native American people, tribes and villages, and to protect their land and resources. The Commission will hear testimony from experts on how the pandemic has impacted Native American communities with respect to healthcare, housing, and infrastructure components such as access to water and broadband, and whether the federal government is meeting its obligations to Native American people in this current crisis.


  • Introductory Remarks: 10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. EDT
  • Panel: 10:10 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. EDT
    • Geoffrey Blackwell, Chief Strategy Officer, AMERIND Risk Management Corporation
    • Chief William Smith, Chairman, National Indian Health Board
    • Chief Lynn Malerba, Secretary, USET Sovereignty Protection Fund
    • Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation
    • Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians
    • Francys Crevier, Executive Director, National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • Closing Remarks: 11:40 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. EDT
    • Catherine E. Lhamon, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights


Friday, July 17, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. EDT


Hearing will be livestreamed on the USCCR YouTube Channel here.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights is the only independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights and reporting annually on federal civil rights enforcement. Our 51 state Advisory Committees offer a broad perspective on civil rights concerns at state and local levels. For information about the Commission, please visit and follow us on and .

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