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About Us

As a research and policy institute headquartered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Center for Indian Country Development supports the Minneapolis Fed’s mission to serve the public by pursuing a growing economy and stable financial system that work for all of us.

Our mission

Our mission is to advance the economic self-determination and prosperity of Native nations and Indigenous communities through actionable data and research that make substantial contributions to public policy.

Our vision

We envision a future in which resilient and robust Indian Country economies enhance the economic, community, and cultural well-being of Native nations, Indigenous communities, and the United States.

History

In the mid-1990s, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis began reaching out to tribal communities in the Ninth District to develop relationships and gain an understanding of the District-wide financial barriers these tribal nations and members faced.

Early Minneapolis Fed efforts in Indian Country focused on legal infrastructure, such as the development of the Model Secured Transaction Act and tribal adoption of Uniform Commercial Codes, and the establishment of Indian Business Alliances in each of the states within the District. In 2015, the Minneapolis Fed established the Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) in a shift to a nationwide focus on addressing the financial needs and barriers in Indian Country. Early efforts of the newly formed CICD were on early childhood development, housing and homeownership, and education.

Starting in late 2020, the goals and direction of CICD shifted to a focus on strengthening tribal prosperity by bolstering tribal governments’ capacity to provide the public goods necessary for economic growth. By mitigating the structural barriers that limit tribal government revenues and constrain private sector development in Indian Country, CICD’s engagement and research address persistent and emerging tribal economic prosperity issues.

As a center of excellence within the Federal Reserve System, CICD serves as a System connector and catalyst to Indian Country leaders and to policymakers at the federal, state, and tribal levels.

Our tactics

We engage with Native nations and Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations to understand their economic conditions and opportunities.

We analyze Indian Country economic data and research to support evidence-based policy solutions for practitioners and decision makers.

We inform economic policy decisions to promote long-term prosperity for Indian Country.

Strategic focus areas

Our community collaboration, research, and policy activities focus on supporting the capacity of tribal governments to accelerate economic prosperity and private sector growth. Strategic focus areas include:

  • Optimizing tribal tax authority
  • Growing the efficacy of Indian Country financing and tax credit policies
  • Maximizing the contribution of tribal enterprises to tribal revenues
  • Expanding access to financing and capital for tribal businesses
  • Expanding economic infrastructure in Indian Country that enables economies to thrive

Measuring success

We measure our success by answering the following questions:

  • Have we advanced the depth and breadth of available tribal economic research to inform policy conversations?
  • Have we gained new or deeper connections, conversations, relationships, or understanding of our stakeholders that advance meaningful policy dialogue?
  • Have we helped improve policy decisions so they benefit Indian Country?