National Mortgage News has won a Native American Journalists Association award for the editorial “Up and Down” in the Feb. 28, 2011 edition (http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/nmn_features/up-and-down-1023596-1.html).
The editorial took the administration and Congress to task for seesawing widely on the amount of money granted to tribes to support housing.
National Mortgage News has covered and editorialized about Native American mortgages since the mid-1990s, when a GAO report found only 91 private mortgages had been issued on all the Indian reservations in the country during a five-year period (1992 through 1996). (Indian Country in aggregate is the size of Utah).
This pervasive redlining has been eased somewhat in recent years by the HUD 184 guaranteed Indian mortgage, which has generated 2,000 mortgages on reservations and a total of 17,000 mortgages to American Indians nationwide, many of them in areas just adjacent to reservation boundaries.
NAJA was established in 1984 and succeeded two earlier groups of Native journalists who banded together for the purpose of advocacy against the federal government’s policy of “terminating” tribes’ legal status during the mid-1900s. It had 663 members as of 2008.
NAJA will give out its journalism awards at this year’s UNITY 12 conference in Las Vegas in August. UNITY is an every-four-year joint meeting of Asian American, Hispanic, Native American, and gay and lesbian journalists.