Community Dividend

Native CDFI News

Published January 1, 2012  | January 2012 issue

U.S. Treasury awards $11.85 million to Native CDFIs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has awarded a total of $11.85 million to 35 certified or prospective Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other organizations in 17 states. The awards were made through the 2011 round of the Treasury's Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, which encourages the creation and strengthening of CDFIs that primarily serve Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. A CDFI is a specialized entity that provides loans, investments, training, or other services in underserved or economically distressed areas. The Treasury's CDFI Fund, which certifies and provides support for CDFIs, allocates its awards through a competitive review process.

Ten of the NACA awards, totaling nearly $3.2 million, went to organizations headquartered in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Ninth District recipients and award amounts are:

  • Minnesota: Dakota Ventures, Inc., Morton, $149,850; Indian Land Capital Company, Little Canada, $725,000; Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cass Lake, $133,080; White Earth Investment Initiative, Ogema, $725,000.
  • South Dakota: Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc., Rapid City, $149,976; Four Bands Community Fund, Inc., Eagle Butte, $725,000; Lakota Federal Credit Union Steering Committee, Kyle, $149,560; Lakota Funds, Kyle, $146,485.
  • Wisconsin: LaPointe Financial, Inc., Odanah, $144,250; Wigamig Owners Loan Fund, Lac du Flambeau, $141,350.

Ninth District Native CDFIs receive Northwest Area Foundation Grants

The Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) has awarded a total of $1.59 million in grants to six organizations that support business development and job creation on American Indian reservations. The grants marked the launch of NWAF's Native American Social Enterprise Initiative (NASEI), a two-year effort to increase the number and strength of reservation-based, Native-owned businesses. Three of the six grants went to Native CDFIs located in the Ninth Federal Reserve District.

Ninth District NASEI grant recipients are:

  • Four Bands Community Fund, Inc., Eagle Butte, S.D.; awarded up to $100,000 to create a green business development curriculum.
  • Hunkpati Investments Inc., Fort Thompson, S.D.; will receive up to $200,000 for organizational capacity building.
  • Lakota Funds, Kyle, S.D.; awarded up to $200,000 to support a pilot matched-savings program for children.

Additional grant recipients are Northwest Native Development Fund, Nespelan, Wash.; Taala Fund, Taholah, Wash.; and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Pendleton, Ore. The Oregon Native American Business and Entrepreneurial Network in Tigard, Ore., received a separate grant to provide training and assistance to the six NASEI awardees.

NWAF, headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., is dedicated to reducing poverty and achieving sustainable prosperity in an eight-state region in the northern and western U.S. (Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington). The foundation was established in 1934 by the family of railroad baron James J. Hill, whose Great Northern Railway once served the region.