December 2013

Community Development in Native Communities - Volume 25, Issue 2

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

In this issue of Community Investments, we look at a selection of Native initiatives across the country. We learn how Native communities are partnering with federal agencies to build and support sustainable housing in Indian Country, and establish modern water and sewer systems for remote Native communities in Alaska. The articles also examine a community-based health worker initiative that extends culturally-sensitive health care to the farthest reaches of Navajo Nation, and a Native Hawaiian financial education program and community-based lending institution. In addition, we discover how a community center in Portland, Oregon is bringing urban Native Americans together and preserving community ties in a city environment.

Read the full issue (pdf, 1.45 mb)

Table of Contents

CI Notebook

Even through decades of hardship, however, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have continuously drawn on the enduring strength of their peoples’ traditional values and practices to rally their communities and work toward solutions.

Current Challenges and New Pathways for Community Development in Indian Country

Among other challenges, Native communities have experienced a long history of coerced geographic displacement and reassignment of land; variable and ephemeral agreements between the U.S. government and tribal government; and an absence of current, accurate data on their own population, which hinders effective policy and program targeting. This article discusses these three key issues as context for the articles that follow in this issue of Community Investments.

Investing in Community Driven Native American Social and Economic Development Initiatives

The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) offers three discretionary grant programs to support Native community initiatives rooted in a foundation of self-governance, and emphasizing community involvement in the project. This article describes ANA’s approach to project selection and assistance.

Building Green and Respecting Native American Identity: Housing, Culture, and Sustainability in Native American Communities

This article details the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Construction in Indian Country (SCinIC) program, which seeks to promote and support sustainable construction in Native communities through demonstration, training, and dissemination of best practices and program results.

Making the Invisible Visible: Urban Indian Community Development

Fully 78 percent of all American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) live off-reservation, and the majority of these AIANs live in cities. This article provides background and context on the challenges these urban Indian communities face, and presents a best-practices example of an urban Indian community center in Portland, Oregon.

Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment: A Collaborative Initiative for Chronic Disease Management in Navajo Nation

This article discusses the Navajo Nation Community Health Representative (CHR) Outreach Program, which aims to help individuals overcome structural barriers to health specific to Native communities. The program employs tribal outreach workers to provide home-based support to high-risk clients.

Investing in Our Next Generation: A Native Hawaiian Model for Economic Self-Sufficiency

This article presents Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), an organization that serves as a housing counselor and lending institution and provides youth financial education for Native Hawaiians.

You Have to Scale Down Before You Can Scale Up: A Micro-Enterprise Story

This article discusses the design and operation of the neighborhood-based organization Oak View Renewal Partnership’s Micro-Enterprise Development Program model, and presents best practices learned in the incubation and launch of the first small business developed through this program and launched in the neighborhood.

Planning for Driving Retirement: Context and Considerations

As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more Americans will face “driving retirement,” when they can no longer affordably or safely drive automobiles. This article considers the alternative types of transportation needed to accommodate these older Americans, and the planning both in the community and with seniors themselves needed to launch and maintain these alternative transportation options.

Research Briefs

Research briefs on the continuation of tight mortgage credit conditions and racial integration in exurban Los Angeles area neighborhoods.

Data Snapshot: Native Americans in the 12th District and across the United States

Distribution and composition of Native American communities in the 12th District and across the United States.