USDA Announces Pilot Program to Increase Homeownership Opportunities on Native Lands Department is Partnering with Native Community Development Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is launching a pilot program to increase homeownership opportunities on Tribal lands.

“To thrive, rural America needs a creative and forward-thinking partner in USDA,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is harnessing innovation so we can be a better, more effective partner to Tribal communities in building their futures.”

USDA is partnering with two Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFIs) that have extensive experience working in Native American communities. The Department will loan $800,000 each to Mazaska Owecaso Otipit Financial and to Four Bands Community Fund. The organizations will relend the money to eligible homebuyers for mortgages on South Dakota and some North Dakota Tribal trust lands. Mazaska Owecaso Otipit Financial and Four Bands Community Fund also will service the mortgage loans after they are made. USDA is providing the funding through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program.

Each NCDFI will contribute $200,000 for mortgages in the pilot program.

USDA has helped nearly 4 million rural residents purchase homes since passage of the Housing Act of 1949. However, homeownership rates on Tribal lands historically have been significantly lower than those for other communities.

Both NCDFIs have deep ties to the local communities and will be able to reach potential homebuyers more effectively than USDA and other lenders. Mazaska Owecaso Otipit Financial is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and creates homeownership opportunities for the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Four Bands Community Fund, headquartered in Eagle Butte, S.D., provides financial products to businesses as well as home mortgages in South Dakota and North Dakota. Part of its service area includes the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

The pilot program will begin this summer. USDA Rural Development’s state office in Huron, S.D., will oversee the initiative.

In April 2017, The President established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

The Sioux Indian Museum To Feature Tammy Eagle Hunter in a Special Exhibition

 

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RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: The Sioux Indian Museum, administered by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior, will feature an exhibit of artwork by Tammy Eagle Hunter. The exhibition will run from January 20 to March 24, 2017. On January 20, an opening reception will be held for the exhibit from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The artist will be available to discuss her work during the reception. The reception and exhibition are both free and open to the public.
Tammy Eagle Hunter is a Lakota artist who uses bold colors and imagery to convey a message of cultural strength and resilience. Born and raised on the Cheyenne River Reservation, Ms. Eagle Hunter currently resides in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. As the Youth Programs Director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, she works with children to bring art into their daily lives.
A self-taught artist, Tammy developed her artistic techniques through trial and error. She sees her artistic development as a lifelong journey in which she is constantly fine-tuning her artistic vision and developing new skills and techniques. Working primarily in acrylic paint on canvas she often incorporates spray paint and graffiti into her artwork. Some of these graffiti techniques were borrowed from the young people that she works with at the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Spontaneity is a key element of Eagle Hunter’s work. She often begins a painting with no preconceived notions about the subject matter, preferring instead to allow ideas to flow naturally onto the canvas. Through her artwork, she hopes to remind the children in her community of the strength, resilience, and honor found in Lakota culture
Tammy’s artwork has been featured at the 2016 Native POP: People of the Plains – A Gathering of Arts and Culture Market and she was awarded first place at the 2015 Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Labor Day Artist Market and Exhibit. This exhibition marks the first time her works have been shown in a museum setting.
Prices for the artwork can be obtained by contacting The Journey Museum Store at (605) 394-2201. To purchase artwork after the exhibit closes, please contact Tammy Eagle Hunter at tammy.cryp@gmail.com
The Sioux Indian Museum, managed by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of the Interior, is located in The Journey Museum, 222 New York Street, Rapid City, SD 57701. For admission fees and hours of operation please call (605) 394-6923.