Banking in the Ninth

Center for Indian Country Development

Published September 16, 2015  | September 2015 issue

On August 17, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis officially launched the Center for Indian Country Development (CICD), whose mission is to help self-governing communities of American Indians in the United States attain their economic development goals. The CICD will build on the Minneapolis Fed’s 25-year legacy of working in Indian Country to promote access to capital and financial services, tribal commercial laws, and Native American entrepreneurship.

What does this mean for banking organizations in the Ninth District? Three points are particularly important in this regard.


First, the areas of focus for the Center are often also of great interest to financial institutions. In particular, the Center will explore opportunities to help address challenges and barriers to the productive use of tribal lands and the effective use of government programs for Indian Country housing and infrastructure development. More specifically, and to highlight just one example, the Center will continue the Minneapolis Fed’s work on tribal commercial law initiatives, including support for the Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act and related lien filing systems that facilitate collateralized lending on reservations.

Second, the Center will do its work through collaboration with many organizations. The Center especially views financial institutions as very important partners in its work, including collaborations with Indian Business Alliances and Native Community Development Financial Institutions. Specifically, the Center plans to host problem-solving events related to commercial law issues, identification of lending and investment opportunities in Indian Country (including those that may be eligible for Community Reinvestment Act consideration), and other topics of interest to financial institutions serving Indian Country. The Center also expects to help create better data to support Indian Country decision makers, including both borrowers and lenders.

Finally, bankers’ suggestions are welcome regarding the topics and audiences the CICD should target with its events. Bankers’ insights into Indian Country economic development issues and opportunities that the Center should focus on are also welcome. Provide any suggestions or input to the CICD
by emailing

Learn more about the Center for Indian Country Development and its Leadership Council through the Center’s website at