Skip to main content

About Us

Center for Indian Country Development

Our mission, vision and role

Our mission is to support the prosperity of Native Nations through actionable research and community collaboration.

The CICD’s vision and role were explained by former Minneapolis Fed Assistant Vice President and CICD Director Patrice Kunesh at this conversation in February 2019. She detailed the Center’s focus on Native communities, the role of the Federal Reserve in Indian Country, and the CICD’s research-based strategies to support the prosperity of Native Nations.

Our focus


  • 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.
  • As CICD did at a U.S. Senate hearing in October 2019, explore synergies around Native housing and homeownership programs with federal agencies, tribal leaders, and mortgage finance institutions, including the Native CDFIs, to address funding gaps and bureaucratic barriers to homeownership.


  • Highlight effective educational and training programs for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children and adults, as well as educational funding gaps in Indian Country and potential solutions.
  • Analyze data on Indian Country K-12 and higher educational systems, and explore synergies between early childhood development and Native language.

Our Leadership Council

Composed of national experts who offer diverse perspectives on the economic and financial circumstances in American Indian communities, our Leadership Council advises and assists with the CICD’s strategy and priorities.

Leadership Council Members

Appleby Law PLLC
Tribal Strategies Consulting
Bay Bank
Executive Director
Native American Agricultural Fund

Chris James

President and CEO, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
President and CEO
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
First Nations Oweesta Corporation
Director of Education
Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho
Economic Development Director
United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. (USET)
General Counsel
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe