Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

February 27, 2014

Cherokee Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians sign pact for HUD funds

TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation and the Delaware Tribe of Indians have signed an pact that will allow the Delaware to secure federal housing funds directly from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

“The Delaware Tribe is pleased to accomplish another step toward self-determination as a federally recognized tribe. We are grateful our negotiations with Chief [Bill John] Baker’s administration have resulted in this implementation agreement,” said Delaware Chief Paula Pechonick. “We are moving forward with our restored status as a HUD grantee to provide clean, safe and affordable housing for our tribal members. We also recognize our continuing relationship with Cherokee Nation to address the many unmet housing needs not provided by this agreement.”

The Delaware, based in Bartlesville, were placed under Cherokee Nation jurisdiction in 1867 by treaty.

The two tribes signed a memorandum of agreement in 2008, allowing the Delaware to regain their federal recognition.

“It is a good day for both the Cherokee Nation and the Delaware Tribe because this new agreement allows our Delaware brothers and sisters to return to the table and negotiate and deal with the federal government directly,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We are pleased to have played a necessary role as the intermediary, but even more pleased the Delaware will be able to pursue its own self-determination and governance by securing funding directly from the federal government.”

Ron Qualls, Cherokee Nation community services director, said when the Delaware lost federal recognition, HUD looked for a governmental entity to maintain and transfer the monies.

“It was important for HUD and for the Cherokee Nation to ensure those critical housing dollars still reached the people who needed it most,” Qualls said. “Moving forward, HUD will work with the Delaware Tribe to fund a housing program that will benefit Delaware citizens.”

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