Our Physical Issues Committee develops and implements strategies to explain and streamline the land lease process, strengthen infrastructure development efforts, and increase housing stock on Native land.


leasehold flowcharts


internships completed


hours of work experience


full-time job placements


contractors increased capacity


contractor trainings



> Pilot Homeownership/Home Builders Fair in one tribal community
> Hold annual contractor workshop
> Follow-up with appraiser training participants to identify appraisers willing to work on trust land and potentially take on an apprentice
> Hold brainstorming session with ICC instructors to develop innovative inspector training model
> Develop information sheet on the benefits of building codes to share with tribal leaders
> Continue to offer Construction Internship Program



> Continue to focus on inspector certification: explore college course development
> Hold contractor workshop
> Focus on appraiser apprenticeship process
> Continue/expand construction internship program (2 new sites)
> Start conducting outreach to youth on construction trades
> Train practitioners on leasehold process
> Focus on utilities (water/sewer); engage IHS/BIA
> Explore design of handicapped-accessible homes

"This work is focused on the place where homeownership intersects land, infrastructure, and housing stock issues."

Documenting Processes Documenting Processes One of the Physical Issues Committee’s first undertakings was the development of leasehold process flowcharts for each reservation. Obtaining a leasehold is a critical, and often times burdensome, task that an aspiring homeowner must complete in order to build a home on tribal lands. The process varies from reservation to reservation and historically has been ambiguous and challenging for many tribal members. To date, seven of the eight reservations’ leasehold processes have been documented through these visual diagrams. Workforce Development Workforce Development Through our summer construction internship program, which we launched in the summer of 2017, building trades students and recent graduates have the opportunity to work with experienced construction contractors. This program provides hands-on work experience for interns, prepares interns for future employment, and lets reservation-based contractors “test” students in a risk-free arrangement. Through this program, 37 interns have completed 14,800 hours of work and increased their financial capability, and 14 contractors have built their capacity.
Increase in Inspectors Increase in Inspectors
In response to the shortage of construction inspectors working in tribal communities which hampers residential construction, we have hosted three trainings to prepare participants for the residential construction inspector certification exam. To date, five Coalition members have passed the exam with our support.
Key Accomplishments How we are creating a clear path
to homeownership.



2020 Construction Internship Program Report

This unique report shares how the Construction Internship Program looked at each partner site during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the impacts that were achieved, and lessons learned.

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Appraisal Market Study

This report describes the market for home appraisals on the nine Indian reservations in South Dakota and evaluates potential business opportunities for appraisers on reservation lands.

Download Journal

2017-2019 Construction Internship Program Report

This report shares details about our Construction Internship Program over its three-year history, including an explanation of how the program works and how it has evolved, program impact and outcomes, success stories, key partnerships, lessons learned, and plans for the future.

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2018 Construction Internship Program Report

After piloting our Construction Internship Program in summer 2017 on the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge Reservations, the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition worked with partner organizations in these tribal communities to solidify and strengthen the program in summer 2018.

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2017 Construction Internship Program Report

In 2017, the Coalition designed and implemented a new construction internship pilot program as a strategy to address a primary obstacle to Native homeownership – lack of housing stock.

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Leasehold Process Flowcharts

We have developed a series of flowcharts to help homebuyers navigate the process to obtain a lease on trust land on each of South Dakota’s nine reservations.

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Barriers to Residential Construction

This paper examines the challenges to residential construction in Native communities, describes efforts to date to address these challenges, and proposes future strategies to tackle these barriers.

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Classification of Housing Types

There are many different types of housing. This informational sheet describes the types of housing that are commonly used and classifies them by construction methods.

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Homeownership Process Flowchart

We developed a flow chart that provides a general outline of the homeownership process that Native Americans would typically encounter on tribal lands.

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Homebuilding Process

Although every homebuilding experience is unique, this chart outlines four main phases leading up to home construction on tribal lands.

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Get Involved!

To get involved with the Physical Issues Committee,please contact one of the committee chairs. 

Tawney Brunsch
Lakota Funds

Dustin Baird
Independent Contractor

Eric Shepherd
Sisseton Wahpeton

Get Involved!

To get involved with the Physical Issues Committee, please contact one of the committee chairs. 

Tawney Brunsch
Lakota Funds

Dustin Baird
Independent Contractor

Eric Shepherd
Sisseton Wahpeton