The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) of 1996 is a unique piece of legislation that significantly impacts the state-recognized tribes of North Carolina. For the first time, these tribes are able to participate in programs that promote tribal self-governance-programs usually designated only for federally recognized tribes.
The first part of this paper addresses NAHASDA's uniqueness. This attribute is assessed by looking at how the categories of federal and state recognition are distinguished in current federal Indian policy. NAHASDA also changes how HUD Indian housing programs are administered in North Carolina.
Several reasons as to why these tribes were included in NAHASDA are identified in this paper. These reasons include: the existence of an Indian Housing Authority, the policies of executive departments administering Indian programs, and the lack of distinction made between the statuses of Indian tribes as political and racial entities. In addition, a major contention of this paper is that these state- recognized tribes were included due to their historical and on-going political savviness.