SCHHA In D.C. to attend NAIHC Legislative Conference

Good morning homestead leaders and families!

I am in DC this week to attend the legislative conference of the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC), which is the coalition of tribal and native housing authorities and recipients of NAHASDA funds. Over 200 native orgs receive NAHASDA funds nationally, and indeed, it was NAIHC back in 1995 that drafted NAHASDA, and supported our request in 2002 to amend it to include native Hawaiians!

As a former tribal housing authority executive in Indian Country, it’s great to be engaged with NAIHC again – our SCHHA Homestead Housing Authority became a member of NAIHC last year. I expect to see DHHL here this week, as they are the recipient of our NAHASDA funds, which is now only backlog funds and no new allocations. No where else in the country, do NAHASDA funds go to a state govt, in all other cases for American Indians and Alaska Natives, the funds go to a Native controlled nonprofit housing authority.

It’s super chilly here in DC – will keep you posted on the happenings of the next 3 days!

Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA Chairman

Senate Confirms Ryan Zinke to Secretary of Department of the Interior

Aloha SCHHA Members, friends and families:

Today, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination by President Trump of Ryan Zinke to the Secretary of the Department of Interior. For a bit of background, Zinke is a Congressman from the state of Montana, a former commander of the Navy and the first Navy Seal to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Interior has jurisdiction over Insular, Native Hawaiian and Indian affairs, as well as federal lands and resources among other areas, specifically for us, oversight of the state of Hawaii in administering the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

From the hearing today, one of the statements made by Zinke was his view that as Secretary, “he is to be a champion of the great Indian Nations”.

While in congress, he helped author and enact the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement, and worked on federal recognition of the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Cree. One of the statements of many letters of support came from the Fort Belknap Indian Community, saying that Congressman Zinke “understands and respects sovereignty, and deeply cares about Native Americans”.

Congratulations to Secretary Zinke, and we mahalo him for his service in the Navy and in the Congress. We look forward to working with Secretary Zinke and his team to ensure that our families see the fulfillment of the HHCA!

Has been very warm here in DC, but has now turned stormy!

Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA Chairman