Number 257 | February 26, 2014
On February 26, TCA co-sponsored a special reception and film screening to call attention to the dire need for increased housing on Native lands. Organized by the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) and the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC), the event featured remarks by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Namik Tan, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, Navajo Housing Authority Chairman Edward T. Begaye, National American Indian Housing Council Chairwoman Cheryl Causley, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy, and others.
Many of the Native American leaders present praised Ambassador Tan and TCA for their efforts in building bridges between Turkey and Indian Country. During his tenure, Ambassador Tan hosted three consecutive Native American Heritage Month receptions at his residence and became the first foreign ambassador to attend the nation's leading Reservation Economic Conference (REZ).
Likewise, TCA has worked tirelessly to deepen ties between Turkey and Indian Country. Since 2009, TCA has organized and sponsored Native American delegations to Turkey, facilitated a $200,000 grant from Turkey's development agency to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, facilitated a TABA grant for NAIHC's leadership seminar program, and supported legislation that would have facilitated increased economic trade between Turkey and Indian Country. TCA has also awarded 14 scholarships to Native American students who wished to study abroad in Turkey and worked with Turkish universities Istanbul Technical, Bahcesehir and Hacettepe in developing Native American programs in Turkey
During the program, Ambassador Tan presented to the National American Indian Housing Council photos of American Indian tribal chiefs that the Smithsonian Institution once gifted to the Ottoman Empire. In return, Native American leaders presented Ambassador Tan with a gift of two Native American blankets.
The event also featured a screening of "Home," a documentary that chronicles the housing crisis in the Navajo Nation and the incredible obstacles faced by the Navajo Housing Authority.