OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced that $20 million in emergency Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding is now available to the 29 federally recognized tribes in the state to bolster their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  These tribes include the Lummi and Nooksack in Whatcom County.

  “Tribes in Washington state are an important part of our communities, both culturally and economically,” said Commerce director Lisa Brown. “It is critical we get this money out as quickly as possible to help support families, businesses and organizations that need the resources and support the state’s recovery.

  Each tribe will receive $380,000. The remaining $7.98 million will be allocated according to an agreed formula based on tribal employees and enrolled member data.

  The funds may be used for expenses and activities to support tribal emergency response to the COVID19 pandemic. This includes public health response, tribal emergency response staff, medical facilities and telehealth capabilities, business and job support programs, and social supports such as food and housing.

  The funding is in addition to $10 million in state emergency funds released to support the tribes in March and April.