When the January 21, 2010 blizzard caused a state of emergency for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the news and call for help did not reach mainstream media until 11 days later. This is a common occurrence when disaster strikes the reservations.

Immediate Relief

Emergency Services

Our Emergency Services provide disaster relief for tribes and seasonal weatherization assistance for Native American Elders. When disaster assistance is needed, Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) is quick to respond to the tribes in and beyond our normal service area. In addition, PWNA rotates winter readiness and seasonal services to different communities in the Plains and Southwest. Due to the expense and logistics, we are unable to offer these services to all reservations. We also assist homeless shelters and other residential facilities on the reservations we serve.

Learn more about PWNA's Disaster Relief and Emergency Preparedness

The physical environment on the reservations we support is often harsh, giving rise to a wide range of environmental disasters such as floods, forest fires, blizzards, ice storms, tornados and hurricanes. Some communities also experience acute or chronic contaminated-water emergencies. In addition, 90,000 Native Americans are homeless and 40% of Native Americans live in sub-standard, overcrowded housing. The typical wait time for tribal housing assistance is three years or more.

PWNA’s Emergency Services benefit thousands of tribal citizens a year.

PWNA’s variety of emergency services assist our reservations partners with:
  • disaster relief during environmental emergencies on the reservations
  • firewood and winter fuel vouchers for Native American Elders
  • winter and summer emergency kits containing blankets, batteries, candles, water, nonperishable food and other items
  • supplies for residential shelters housing the homeless, aged, disabled and domestic abuse victims

Related programs: Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA), Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA), Native American Aid (NAA), Navajo Relief Fund (NRF), Sioux Nation Relief Fund (SNRF) and Southwest Indian Relief Council (SWIRC)