Starting August 1, 2012, Big Water Consulting served as General Coordinator for the Dakota Housing Needs Assessment Pilot Project, a joint venture of five tribes in North and South Dakota. The purpose of the project was to develop a digital map and list of housing units within each tribe’s housing formula area and use that list to conduct a household survey to collect housing needs data that would serve as the basis for independent tribal census challenges under the NAHASDA statute. The project also sought to promote extensive technical capacity building within each participating housing entity and tribe and to develop a housing needs assessment model to be authorized and funded by Congress and implemented by tribes nationwide. Additional components of the project included a count of homeless persons on four of the larger participating reservations and a high-quality video production capturing the participants, components and significance of the Pilot Project.


Oglala Sioux (Lakota) Housing, Sicangu Wicoti Awanyakapi (SWA) Corporation (Rosebud), Turtle Mountain Housing Authority, Cheyenne River Housing Authority, Lower Brule Housing Authority


4 Indian reservations in South Dakota and 1 Indian reservation in North Dakota

Innovations and Essential Components:

Partner Development and Outreach

home-1Preparation of tribal resource assessments. Promotion of inter-agency information sharing and expansion of long-term planning and management capacity.

Development of Model Process

home-3Implementation of state-of-the-art technology to save money and time, protect data confidentiality, limit the imposition on tribal members, remotely monitor fieldwork and ensure data quality and field staff safety.

Training and Data Collection

home-2Completed culturally sensitive training of local staff members and collection of population and housing needs data that are crucial to tribal programs.

Promotion of Available Tribal Talent, Capacity and Cultural Resources

pilot-project-logo_01        Recognition and incorporation of skilled artisans and community leaders to legitimize and engender tribal                           ownership of data collection.


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