Native American Tribal Affairs

With 109 federally recognized tribes and 78 unrecognized tribes, California is proud to be the home of more Native American residents than any other state. Tribal Affairs at the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) seeks to meaningfully partner with California tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entitles (TDHEs) to remove historic, restrictive barriers to improve access to state housing and infrastructure funding programs. This is part of the State’s ongoing effort to rebuild its relationship with tribes, and to be considerate and inclusive of the needs and input of tribal communities throughout California.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1010

In October 2019, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1010 as part of the State’s commitment to acknowledge past wrongdoings, build trust, and facilitate positive relationships with California tribes. It also addresses housing equity by providing tribes and TDHEs (tribal entities) access to housing and infrastructure, state funding, planning resources, and technical assistance.

The law expands the definitions of “local public entities” and “nonprofits” within HCD funding programs to include tribal entities. It grants HCD’s Director the flexibility to waive or modify program requirements, including some deadlines, guidelines, and regulations, wherever necessary to increase participation among tribal entities in funding programs administered by HCD.

AB 1010 also creates the California Indian Assistance Program (CIAP) to provide comprehensive technical assistance to tribal entities throughout the process. HCD is prioritizing AB 1010 implementation in our state programs as we update current and future regulations, guidelines, and Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), and in federal programs where allowed.

History

For decades, tribal communities have been excluded from benefiting from state-administered housing programs. Over time, this led to disparities in access to safe, affordable housing among tribal communities in California.

To improve communication and consideration of the needs of tribes, Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown issued Executive Order (EO) B-10-11 in 2011, which established the Governor’s Office of the Tribal Advisor and requires all state agencies and departments to encourage early consideration, communication, and consultation with tribes when developing legislation, guidelines, regulations, rules, or policies on matters that affect tribes and their communities.

In 2019, Governor Gavin C. Newsom issued EO N-15-19 (PDF), which reaffirmed the previous executive order and added a formal apology to California Native Americans for atrocities committed by the state against Native Americans during early statehood. This marked a major step forward in California’s commitment to acknowledge past wrongdoings and build relationships with tribes.

California Indian Assistance Program (CIAP)

The historic passage of AB 1010 gives HCD the tools to remove barriers for tribes to participate in our funding programs through the California Indian Assistance Program (CIAP). This program will focus on providing comprehensive, individualized technical assistance to tribal entities, engaging with tribal partners through tribal consultations and listening sessions, and assisting tribes throughout each stage of the application process. All in all, HCD’s CIAP and program staff will help build and support tribes’ knowledge of programs and capacity building to successfully apply for its housing programs.

Resources

Tribal Affairs Team Contact Information:

Joshua Standing Horse, Tribal Liaison, Senior Tribal Affairs Policy Specialist
Joshua.StandingHorse@hcd.ca.gov

Spring Packard, Policy Specialist
Spring.Packard@hcd.ca.gov

Amy Lopez, Housing Policy Analyst
Amy.Lopez@hcd.ca.gov

Tawny Macedo, Tribal Liaison, Senior Policy Specialist
Tawny.Macedo@hcd.ca.gov