The Cedar Band of Paiutes applauds Senator Tom Udall’s (D-N.M.) recent remarks reprimanding a federal agency for its failure to conduct tribal consultations with regard to programs impacting Indian tribes.
In response to the agency representative’s assertion that it did not engage in consultation with tribes because it was not statutorily required to do so, Senator Udall stated, “I would really take issue with your statement. Consultation is the bedrock of a strong government-to-government relationship with Tribes . . . [the agency] knows very well that any direction it’s given to act is to be done with consultation. To say that the statute does not direct it runs counter to all Indian law principles, existing executive orders, and the spirit and the language of the law that’s before us.”
“On behalf of the Cedar Band of Paiutes, I thank Senator Udall for his thoughtful insights and supportive stance on the importance of tribal consultations involving federal agency actions,” said Delice Tom, Chairwoman of the Cedar Band of Paiutes. “Engaging in meaningful consultation with tribal nations before commencing rulemaking is paramount to respecting the sovereignty of tribal nations.”
The Cedar Band of Paiutes wholly owns and operates Cedar Band Corporation, which wholly owns CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), which provides secondary financing to homebuyers receiving loans from the Federal Housing Authority. The Band relies on the revenues derived from CBCMA and other Band enterprises to sustain essential Tribal governmental programs.
“This isn’t the only instance where a federal agency has disregarded consultation with tribal governments on decisions which significantly impact them,” continued Chairwoman Tom. “Our Band experienced this very overreach when the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued Mortgagee Letter 19-06 earlier this year. In issuing the mortgagee letter, which significantly impacted our Band, HUD violated its own tribal consultation policies as well as long established federal policy.”
While HUD’s Mortgagee Letter 19-06 was eventually withdrawn in response to successful litigation brought by CBCMA, Cedar Band Corporation, and the Cedar Band of Paiutes, the Band maintains that the letter was issued without the required consultation with affected American Indian tribes and bands.
“We applaud Senator Udall for his unwavering support and commitment to holding federal agencies accountable for their failure to consult with tribes and upholding longstanding policies that protect, preserve, and promote the sovereignty of tribal nations,” Chairwoman Tom concluded.
About CBC Mortgage Agency
CBCMA provides secondary financing to borrowers, who are receiving loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). CBCMA takes great care to ensure that the FHA loans perform well, including providing education as well as 12 months of counseling to borrowers after the purchase of their home. In addition, CBCMA regularly reviews its credit standards to ensure that the borrowers it assists are credit worthy.
CBCMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Band Corporation, a federally chartered tribal corporation wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, a federally recognized American Indian band. For more information about CBCMA and its programs, visit chenoafund.org.