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Our History

A tradition of promoting economic development in Indian Country

Since 1993, the Minneapolis Fed has worked to promote economic development in Native communities. It’s done so using a framework for sustainable development that addresses:

  • Resources: With the awareness and effective use of information and programs that deepen the understanding of the barriers to and opportunities for economic development in Indian Country
  • Finance: The attainment of national parity with respect to access to commercial and consumer capital and financial services
  • Infrastructure: The promotion of sound economic infrastructure, including land use and property rights policies and legal systems, and human capital development initiatives that are culturally appropriate and supportive of local goals
  • Governance: The design and implementation of governance structures (including tribal constitutions, courts, and ethics systems as well as cross-jurisdictional arrangements) that promote attainment of local goals for investment, employment, and entrepreneurship

Building Networks and Knowledge

In the early 1990s, the Minneapolis Fed began reaching out to Native communities in the Ninth District in order to improve our understanding of the financial needs and barriers in Indian Country.

Promoting Access to Credit

Since 2002, the Minneapolis Fed has served as a key adviser and drafting committee member to the Uniform Law Commission’s Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act (MTSTA) initiative. The Uniform Law Commission developed a comprehensive, culturally appropriate model law that supports secured lending for tribes, tribal consumers, and private sector Native-owned businesses in tribal jurisdictions.

Conferences

Since 2006, the Minneapolis Fed has co-sponsored numerous Indian Business Conferences. These gatherings have brought together tribal representatives, law and policymakers, community development corporations, foundations, academics, elected officials, bankers, and entrepreneurs for discussions that emphasize a focused, “building-block” approach to economic development in Indian Country.

Expansion

As direct outcomes of the Indian Business Conferences, Indian Business Alliances have been formed in Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin to promote private Indian business development.

Crow Nation and State of Montana Sign Agreement to Facilitate Lending in Indian Country

On February 6, 2008, the Crow Nation and the State of Montana signed a historic Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) lien-filing compact to facilitate lending and economic development on the Crow Reservation. The occasion was the final step in the Crow Nation’s enactment of the MTSTA and paved the way, with the Minneapolis Fed as a facilitator, for other tribes to enter into similar agreements.

Center for Indian Country Established

In August 2015, with the mission to help self-governing communities of American Indians in the United States attain their economic development goals across the entire Federal Reserve System, the Center for Indian Country Development was established, with headquarters at the Minneapolis Fed.