U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Representative Rob Wittman announced today that the Pamunkey Indian Nation will receive $50,282 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the development and management of affordable housing. Earlier this month, the Pamunkey’s federal recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs became effective, which gives the tribe eligibility and access to federal benefits such as housing, education and health care.
“We’re very pleased that the Pamunkey tribe, whose federal recognition was long overdue, will receive grants to help expand affordable housing and create a safer community through crime prevention and safety programs,” said Warner, Kaine and Wittman. “This progress is encouraging, and we will continue to work together in Congress to get federal recognition of six other Virginia tribes so that the Commonwealth’s Native American communities receive the resources and support they are entitled to.”
Today’s funding was made available by the Office of Native American Programs’ (ONAP) Indian Housing Grant Block Program, which provides grants, loan guarantees and technical assistance to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for the development and operation of affordable housing.
Warner, Kaine and Wittman have introduced the bipartisan Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, legislation that would grant federal recognition of six Virginia tribes: the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond. While these tribes have received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia, they have yet to receive federal recognition. The bill cleared its first procedural hurdle in March 2015 with passage out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.