From the Blog
February 20, 2018 | Native CDFIs’ Beauty and Promise: Krystal Langholz of Oweesta Uncovers What Makes Native CDFIs a Winning Investment in Indian Country
First Nations Oweesta Corporation supports Native CDFIs’ growth and innovation. Few...
February 2, 2018 | Native CDFIs’ Beauty and Promise: Angie Main of NACDC Financial Services Shows Us how Native CDFIs Are Growing and Innovating
This is the first in a series highlighting Native CDFI leaders and funders. On Nov. 10,...
January 10, 2018 | Native CDFI Survey: What You Said, What We Learned
Last fall, we surveyed people to improve our partnership and collaboration with Native...
December 20, 2017 | See How Four Bands Community Fund Advances Community-Driven Work that Leads to Thriving Local Economies
Icahya Woecun means The Place to Grow in Lakota. This phrase is central to the work of...
December 14, 2017 | Financial Institutions, Funders, Native CDFIs: A $5M Collaboration that Unlocks the Potential of Indian Country
On Nov. 10, we launched a $5 million funding collaboration with the Federal Home Loan...
November 30, 2017 | Oweesta’s Krystal Langholz Speaks Up on Native Gathering Day and Shares Four Major Insights About Investing in Native Communities
Rooted in the cultural and historical context of Native communities, Native community...
November 20, 2017 | Native American Development Corporation: Finding opportunities to link tribes with funding that puts them on the map
The Native American Development Corporation (NADC) has a long, successful history of...
November 10, 2017 | Announcing a $5M Collaboration to Bridge Investors and Native Communities Through Native CDFIs!
Today, we’re thrilled to announce a $5 million funding collaboration between the...
October 27, 2017 | Northwest Native Development Fund: A Winning Partnership with a National Bank Helps Grow Prosperity in Indian Country
The Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) supports small, Native-owned businesses on...
September 26, 2017 | Oweesta Executive Director Chrystel Cornelius on Why We’ve Teamed Up to Fund Scholarships for Native CDFIs This Week
We support Native CDFIs because they’re dynamic, trusted partners for opportunity. We’ve...
September 21, 2017 | Standing with Native CDFIs to Advance Economic and Cultural Prosperity at the OFN Conference Sept. 26–28!
We’re also partnering with First Nations Oweesta Corporation at the pre-conference...
August 16, 2017 | Looking for Engines of Opportunity in Indian Country? See Our Just-Released 2017 Annual Report.
Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are dynamic and trusted...
June 30, 2017 | How Do You Expand Opportunity in Indian Country? Partner with a Native CDFI.
Native CDFIs are dynamic and trusted financial partners, opening doors to loans, credit,...
January 14, 2016 | How Safe Loans from Taala Fund Lead to Thriving Children
A couple of years ago, Ruby Pope couldn’t keep track of her savings, money she earned...
Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs) are dynamic and trusted financial partners, expanding economic opportunity and opening doors to loans, credit, jobs, and much more.
Rooted in the cultural and historical context of Native communities, Native CDFIs are weavers, connecting the elements necessary to build thriving local economies anchored in culture.
We are committed to Native CDFIs, which cultivate the partners, funding, and networks necessary for Native communities to prosper—growing jobs, supporting small businesses, and bringing dreams to life for multiple generations.
Native CDFIs Build Relationships and Opportunities for a Variety of Stakeholders
Native CDFIs help tribal governments achieve their goals by offering expertise that advances economic development and concrete results within their communities. They connect families and communities with the financial resources necessary to bring dreams to life for multiple generations.
Native CDFIs can help banks be responsive to Native communities while meeting CRA requirements. Native CDFIs have a long history of producing strong returns and building assets in Native communities.
Native CDFIs build a powerful multiplier effect in tribal communities, creating jobs and self-sufficiency that expand tax bases and lead to more stable and prosperous communities.
Tribal communities know what is best for their futures. Native CDFIs are led by people with deep knowledge of their own communities; most Native CDFIs operate on tribal lands, and many are managed and staffed by tribal citizens. Native CDFIs support ideas generated by the community; they follow the community’s lead.
Native CDFIs are Engines of Change Within Our Access to Capital Funding Portfolio, Driving Investment and Prosperity in Tribal Communities
Native CDFIs weave culturally informed relationships that bridge traditional cash economies and the financial mainstream, making financial education and services available to tribal members. They help tribal members open bank accounts, access credit, and make savings plans. Families can purchase their homes, Native-led businesses can secure loans, and communities can build long-term wealth.
Native CDFIs are led by people with deep knowledge of their communities. Most Native CDFIs operate on tribal lands, and many are managed and staffed by tribal citizens. They’re anchored in local culture and passionate about creating opportunities for investment and prosperity.
Helping Communities Build Assets, Strengthen Financial Know-how, and Overcome Barriers to Credit
Communities have often established their own lending and credit systems, especially when traditional banks haven’t met their needs. Although the term “CDFI” is relatively new, the concept is grounded in a rich history of strong, self-determined community leadership.
It’s not uncommon for people living in Native communities to drive for hours to reach the nearest bank or even an ATM. Many Native entrepreneurs and Native-led businesses can’t gain the capital and services necessary for their businesses to succeed. Native CDFIs connect tribal governments to new investment opportunities. They build stronger ties between local enterprise and funding from banks, investors, and government agencies that haven’t always been available in sovereign tribal nations.
Meeting the Opportunity for Economic Growth
Native CDFIs build a powerful multiplier effect in tribal communities, creating jobs and self-sufficiency, which in turn leads to more stable and prosperous communities. Most Native CDFIs function as independent nonprofits—separate from tribal governments—opening the door to new market tax credits and incentives to support Native-owned businesses.
In many areas, Native CDFIs provide the only affordable alternative to predatory financial service providers. They’re straining to keep pace with the growing need for their services. Native communities are among the fastest growing segments of the US economy, and the need for a loan to start up or expand a business or to buy a home is outstripping the financing available in the markets served by Native CDFIs. Nationwide, financing demands are projected to double over the next five to seven years in Native communities.*
To meet community needs, Native CDFIs will require stronger organizational structures, more advanced skills, and greater availability of technical assistance for entrepreneurs. We’ve made deep investments in Native CDFIs for five years, evolving from our commitment to invest 40 percent of our Foundation’s grantmaking in Native-led organizations. In total, we’ve made $33.4 million in grants to Native-led organizations between 2012 and 2016.
* Native Nations Institute. 2016. Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities, digital version. Tucson, AZ: Native Nations Institute.
Successful Native Financial Investments Rooted in the Cultural and Historical Strength of Native Communities
Native CDFIs connect families and communities with the resources necessary to bring dreams to life for multiple generations. They’re committed to self-determination and helping Native communities overcome challenges of accessing credit and building assets. Rooted in the cultural and historical context of Native communities, Native CDFIs are strong investments, offering expertise that advances economic development and impact.
We support Native CDFIs because they channel the power of local, community-based economic development that grows jobs, strengthens Native communities, and advances small business and entrepreneurs, whether they exist on reservations or elsewhere.
NATIVE CDFIs WE’RE FUNDING
We strongly support the incredible work of these Native CDFIs and encourage you to visit their websites to get to know more about them.
First Ponca Financial
Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial
White Earth Investment Initiative
Photography: Steve Wewerka