PRESIDENT CLINTON'S NEW MARKETS TRIP
Highlighting the Need for Investment in Native American Communities and
on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
July 7, 1999
TODAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL VISIT THE PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, HOME OF THE OGLALA SIOUX NATION. The first sitting President to visit a reservation since Franklin Roosevelt, President Clinton today will continue his New Markets trip by visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation and emphasizing investment in Native American communities. Despite our growing economy, many Native American communities have not shared in the national prosperity. The President remains committed to building on his strong record of supporting economic development by launching the New Markets initiative and mobilizing corporate America to recognize the untapped potential of Native American communities.
While he is at Pine Ridge today, the President will talk with residents, visit a housing construction site, participate in a Presidential proclamation signing ceremony in recognition of the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Empowerment Zone, and speak to the Oglala Sioux Nation, as well as to HUD's "Shared Visions" conference on Native American homeownership and economic development.
NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES HAVE NOT SHARED IN THE NATION'S ECONOMIC PROSPERITY.
THE PRESIDENT WILL BE JOINED TODAY BY CORPORATE EXECUTIVES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LEADERS TO HIGHLIGHT THE NEED AND POTENTIAL FOR NEW INVESTMENTS IN NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES. To focus attention on the infrastructure needs, such as housing and information technology, and investment potential of Native American communities, President Clinton will be joined by Franklin Raines, CEO, Fannie Mae; Bart Harvey, Enterprise Foundation; Roger Haughton, CEO, PMI Mortgage Insurance; Donald Lange, President, Mortgage Bankers Association; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Walter Young, CEO, Champion Enterprises; Mark Oman, CEO, Norwest Mortgage; Patrick Conway, Pres., Federal Home Loan of Des Moines; Bruce Morrison, Pres., Federal Housing Finance Board; Stan Kurland, Pres., Countrywide; Jeff Wick, CEO, Wick Building Systems; Curtis Steinbert, CEO, Manufactured Housing Institute; representatives from MetLife; among others.
CORPORATE LEADERS HAVE JOINED THE PRESIDENT IN THE NEW
MARKETS EFFORT BY MAKING REAL COMMITMENTS TO NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Norwest, in partnership with Fannie Mae, is providing $1.4 million in loans and providing mortgage counseling to families.
Citibank South Dakota announced a $150,000 Citigroup Foundation grant to fund installation of Classroom, Inc. -- career simulation software in public schools throughout the state. Under the program, Classroom, Inc. software will be installed in 125 schools over the next two years. More than 200 teachers will also receive related computer training.
The Enterprise Foundation
The Enterprise Foundation is working with HUD on the Pine Ridge effort with the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Enterprise has also been part of a team of consultants working with HUD and PriceWaterhouseCoopers to create the non-profit Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Homeownership, which will provide financial help, private-sector low cost financing, downpayment assistance, and homeownership counseling.
The Native American Homeownership Initiative
The Mortgage Bankers Association will team with Countrywide, Norwest, Bank One, FirstStar, M&T, National Bank of Alaska, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, and other private mortgage lenders to more than double the number of government insured or guaranteed home mortgages in Indian Country for each of the next three years. This Initiative will mean 1,000 additional Native American homeowners.
Bank One and George K. Baum & Company
Bank One Capital Markets and George K. Baum & Company have committed to underwrite $300 million in bonds per year for the next five years to raise funds to be lent to tribes, tribal housing authorities and individual Native American homebuyers. This new initiative will also result in lower interest rates on mortgages in Indian Country.
Mortgage Insurance Companies of America's Five Year Alliance with Tribes
Members of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MIC) will work to meet the homeownership needs of Native Americans. In all, commitments include insuring a total of $37 million of home mortgages. Commitments under this initiative include the following:
New $6 Million Manufacturing Facility
Champion Enterprises has partnered with the Gila River Indian Tribe to open a new $6 million manufactured housing facility on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona. When it begins operations in late July, the plant will employ approximately 300 new workers. Champion is actively recruiting members of the Gila River Tribe to fill those jobs.
State of the Art Construction Certification Program for Tribal Colleges
Job Training in Steel Framing
Cellular Telephone Industry Association's Wireless Foundation
The United States Telecommunications Training Institute
At the request of the FCC, the United States Telecommunications Training Institute, a non-profit venture between leading U.S. communications corporations and the federal government, will provide training and advice to Native Americans. The USTTI provides tuition-free training each year to communications officials throughout the developing world.
Gateway has agreed to work with the Oglala Lakota Community College to develop a curriculum and donate materials to teach Indian students data processing and computer programming. They have committed $50,000 to the program.
NEW PUBLIC SECTOR EFFORTS WILL FURTHER ADDRESS THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND INVESTMENT NEEDS OF NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Federal Communications Commission
United States Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce Report on Technology Infrastructure
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines will award $1.3 million in grants to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing, the Rosebud Housing Authority and the Native American Advocacy Project. The Oglala Sioux will use their grant of $499,000 to build 45 new single-family homes in Pine Ridge.
Construction of Lakota Sioux Heritage Culture Center and Related Infrastructure
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
AND THE PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION
July 7, 1999
ECONOMIC DISTRESS AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS
The Native American population is made up of more than 550 tribes. Of the 1.43 million Native Americans living on or near reservations, nearly 33 percent are under the age of 15 -- compared to 22 percent for the nation as whole.
Half of the total Native American workforce is unemployed. Some reservations have unemployment rates much higher, such as the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (80% unemployment) and the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge (73% unemployment). (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1997)
On Pine Ridge, 63% of the population lives below the poverty line. (USDA)
POVERTY AFFLICTS TOO MANY NATIVE AMERICANS - AND MANY LACK BASIC NEEDS
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON PINE RIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA
Roughly two million acres, Pine Ridge is the second largest reservation in the U.S. and has a population of 38,000.
Located in the southwestern region of South Dakota and established by an 1889 Act of Congress, the reservation lies on the well-known Badlands National Park and is inhabited by the Oglala Sioux of the Lakotas, the largest of the seven bands that make up the Teton Lakota Nation.
The Native Americans who reside on the reservation suffer from poor health as well as high drop-out rates and unemployment. In 1990, only one industry, a uniform factory in Pine Ridge Village, employed more than a few Oglala. Since then, the tribe has seen an increase in small Indian-owned businesses including cafes, video stores, gas stations and bookstores. The nearest rail shipping center is 45 miles south in Gordon, Nebraska and the nearest international airport in 130 miles north in Rapid City. There is no public transportation within the reservation.
Shannon County - One of the Nation's Poorest. Shannon County covers more than 2/3 of the reservation and is consistently ranked one of the poorest of the nation's 3,143 counties.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe Empowerment Zone
The Oglala Sioux Tribe Empowerment Zone - which was named in January 1999 -- represents the first time that Indian tribal land has been designated as an EZ. Indian tribes are participating in two of the five Round Two Empowerment Zones, including the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge and the Desert Communities EZ in California with three participating tribes. Of the 20 Enterprise Communities, eight are tribal entities.
Pine Ridge EZ benefits include $2 million annually for ten years, employer tax breaks, and technical assistance.