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Finance

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Fresh off the heels of a “huge win” in the spending bill this month, the national trade group representing Native community development financial institutions aims to keep the momentum going with a focus on increasing the visibility of the industry.

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Ask Native business owners and their advisers about the largest challenges they face, and you’re bound to hear about the chronic lack of access to capital in Indian Country.

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Opinions on the value of philanthropy differed at a recent session on American Indian finance at a rural housing conference.

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Establishing highly effective and well-funded Native community financial development institutions forms one of the critical building blocks in creating healthy and sustainable tribal economies. 

That’s a message Patrice Kunesh has heard — and delivered — many times over her distinguished career in the public, private and philanthropic sectors. 

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As the pandemic continues to disproportionately affect Native American communities, Bank of America saw a need to step up and provide critical resources. 

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To help meet the need for long-term “patient” capital in Indian Country, Native CDFI Network is establishing its own national intermediary fund to bring additional resources to Indigenous communities. 

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The Native CDFI Network wants to engage with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to discuss how the agency plans to deploy a potentially “transformational” $1.75 billion fund targeted at minority lending institutions. 

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I can remember the exact instant I became aware that lenders did not make mortgages on American Indian reservations. 

It was at a 1994 community development meeting in Honolulu co-hosted by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. Deval Patrick, later governor of Massachusetts but then the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for civil rights, addressed the meeting and then opened the floor for questions. The first one came at him fast and hard.

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ATLANTA, Ga. — In launching the Peachtree Minority Venture Fund, students at Emory University want to address the wide disparity in the amount of venture capital invested in traditionally underrepresented minority groups. 

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When Cherilyn and Mike Yazzie started Dilkon, Ariz.-based Coffee Pot Farms in 2018, they used their own savings rather than rely on lenders for the upfront costs of starting the agricultural business.