Catching the Dream

Photo: Native American
HUD's Southern Plains Office of Native American Programs (SPONAP) and the Southern Plains Indian Housing Association (SPIHA) held a Regional Summit in Tulsa recently. Twenty-five Tribes were represented as well as private industry, and many other housing representatives and HUD staff.

Assistant Secretary Michael Liu spoke with participants emphasizing local problems and local solutions. He also stressed the need to utilize the appropriations for Section 184 and Title VI programs to demonstrate the continuing need to fund these programs. Mr. Liu also commented about the large increase in costs of the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Opening remarks were made by Chief John Froman of the Peoria Tribe, Chief Gregory Pyle of the Choctaw Nation and Governor Kenneth Blanchard of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe.

"Times are changing for tribal governments," said Chief John Froman of the Peoria Tribe. "It is our time to fight for our fair share of federal dollars."

Chief Gregory Pyle of the Choctaw Nation explained that the Tribe is buying land and building housing for the future by leveraging money from their other tribal enterprises. "It is important for Tribes to steal the best ideas from each other," he said. "This is an ideal mixing pot to learn from each other about how to build the best future for our Tribes."

Participants produced an assessment, a five-year vision and an action plan for each of the following topics:

  • Improving Systems for Planning and Accountability
  • From Application to Completion of Services
  • Institutional Issues
  • Leveraging and Investments
  • Dealing with Families

Content Archived: July 20, 2011