Board increases funeral funds for CTUIR members

MISSION – The Board of Trustees (Board) for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) passed a resolution to amend the Funeral Assistance Code 7-0-0 during their June 27 meeting. Enrollment Department Director Toni Minthorn met with the Board in a work session June 22. The Funeral Assistance Code lays out how Tribal Member funeral services funding is to be used by families of the deceased. Some of the items eligible for use of funeral funds includes purchase of one Pendleton blanket, travel assistance for family of the deceased, caskets, money to purchase food for the service, money to pay cooks for the service and funds to pay for mortuary services. In September of 2021 the Board passed resolution 21-084 which raised the maximum direct funeral allowance to $5,000. According to the resolution for the second Funeral Assistance Code amendment in under a year, the allowance is being raised again in response to rising costs. “Due to the recent increases in the cost of supplies available through the Confederated Tribes, primarily the casket and Pendleton Blanket costs, the $5,000 limit is no longer sufficient to cover the costs of a basic funeral,” the resolution says. Increases in fuel pricing is cited as one of the reasons for additional funding needs. The total allowance was increased to $6,000. The resolution outlines the increased funding allowances for specific funeral expenses. “The Board of Trustees hereby adopts amended Funeral Assistance Code, attached hereto as Exhibit 1, which increases the maximum direct funeral allowance from $5000 to $6,000 for basic funeral costs, increases the Pendleton Blanket allowance from $275 to $325, increases the travel assistance amount from $100 to $150, extends the period in which headstones may be purchased to three years from the death of a Tribal Member, allows for the dinner assistance benefit to be used for memorial services if unused at the time of the funeral, and allows for a transportation allowance, which provides funding for transporting deceased Tribal members from the place of death to the place of burial with no reduction to the basic funeral allowance,” the resolution says.