About the Center for Indian Country Development

The Intrinsic Importance of Nurturing a Diverse and Inclusive Community

Patrice Kunesh, director of the Center for Indian Country Development, stepped up to the stage in the River Room and shared her thoughts on the intrinsic importance of nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. Ms. Kunesh’s impromptu presentation, which draws on her own cultural background, encourages a better understanding of how multiple voices and diverse sets of experiences and backgrounds drive innovation, foster creativity, and lead to better solutions.

The Minneapolis Fed’s New Center of Expertise


To help self-governing communities of American Indians attain their economic development goals.

“…this center provides energy and coordination to Indian Country development initiatives across the Federal Reserve System and takes a lead role in forging Federal Reserve partnerships with other national and regional organizations.”

- Narayana Kocherlakota, Former President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis


The Center for Indian Country Development is the Federal Reserve System’s:

  • Thought leader and principal point of contact for Indian Country matters
  • A nationally recognized clearinghouse for resources and initiatives concerning tribal economic development
  • A respected contributor to the research critical to emerging economic issues that are of vital interest to Indian Country constituents and the Bank’s mission.

Four Areas of Focus and Research


  • Support the best economic use and effective governance of land in Indian Country, balanced with cultural and traditional uses of the land.

Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Advocate and develop resources for tribal and private small business and entrepreneurship growth in Native communities to support diversification and strengthening of reservation economies.

Housing and Homeownership

  • Enhance a better understanding of homeownership impacts and opportunities for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian individuals and communities.
  • Explore synergies between federal agencies with responsibility for native housing and homeownership programs, tribal leaders, and mortgage finance institutions, including the native CDFIs, “shining a light” on successful projects and innovative tools, as well as funding gaps and bureaucratic barriers to homeownership.


  • Highlight effective educational and training programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children and adults.
  • Shine a light on educational achievement and funding gaps in Indian Country as well as potential solutions.
  • Explore synergies between high-quality early childhood development programs and Native language preservation initiatives.
  • Analyze data on Indian Country K-12 and higher educational systems.
  • Provide technical assistance to tribal colleges and tribal workforce development initiatives.