September: CDFI Awards, September Webinar, and Much More!
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September 2015 Newsletter

Training from Oweesta

Upcoming Trainings

Upcoming Webinars

Opportunity Finance Network presents:
Building a Small Dollar Loan Product
September 15 at 11a.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Assets for Independence presents:
Developing Resources and Partners
September 23 at 12p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Strategic Planning 101
September 30 at 1p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Regional Trainings

Oweesta presents:
Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Train-the-Trainer
in Lewiston, Idaho
September 15-17
Registration is now OPEN


Oweesta's Upcoming
Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Train-the-Trainer Training


Lewiston, Idaho

Join us, September 15-17 at the Clearwater River Resort and Casino in Lewiston, Idaho, for a Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Train-the-Trainer Certified Training.  Space is limited, so act fast!

For more information and registration, please follow the link below:


Oweesta's September Webinar

Oweesta is hosting Strategic Planning 101 webinar on September 30th at 1pm MT. Learn the basics of strategic planning before you dive into a full session with your board! We will discuss the key components such as organizational history, present and future goal setting, and vision and mission drafting. Register TODAY!

If you are unable to make our webinars, you can find all past recorded webinars organized by topic in the Online Help Desk section of our website.

Stay tuned for updates on our latest trainings and see how Oweesta can assist you!

CDFI Awards

FY 2015 CDFI Fund Awards Announcement

First Nations Oweesta Corporation would like to extend a congratulations to all of the recipients of the FY 2015 CDFI Fund NACA and HIFFI Awards. Please follow the link below for more information on the NACA award recipients.


News from the Oweesta Office

Join Team Oweesta as Chief Financial Officer!

Oweesta is hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO is responsible for all financial matters of Oweesta. The CFO will report to and work closely with the executive director. In addition, s/he will partner with the senior leadership and the board of directors to develop and implement strategies across the organization. The CFO will oversee all compliance and recognition for government (federal and state) contracts and private grants. S/he must be able to adapt to the continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and deadline-oriented workplace while managing finance staff. For more information, please follow the link below.

Christopher Cote, Office & Administrative Manager

Oweesta's Office & Administrative Manager

Christopher Cote joins Team Oweesta as Office & Administrative Manager. He comes to us with years of managerial experience ranging from L'Chaim Delicatessen to Gust Family Enterprises Ace Hardware, as well as Sales Analyst at FlexFab Horizons International. He has a background in Computer Science and Engineering, studying at Michigan Technological University. Christopher is of Ottawa and Potawatomie descent from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan. In his spare time, he actively pursues music performing and writing.

Sponsorship Opportunity


Native Convening Sponsorship Opportunity

Oweesta invites you to become a sponsor for our annual Native CDFI Convening, a three and a half day event in conjunction with the Annual Opportunity Finance Network Conference that includes a one-day pre-conference Native Gathering, an array of Native-specific breakout sessions at the conference, a Native Funder's Reception, and the Annual Native CDFI Awards Ceremony. This year's Native CDFI Convening will be held November 9-12, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.

Follow the link below for details on our sponsorship opportunities.


Call for Nominations

First Nations Oweesta Corporation and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) are proud to announce the Tenth Annual Native CDFI Awards, which recognize excellence in the Native CDFI industry.  Two awards will be given away in 2015, including the Circle of Honor for Outstanding Leadership, which recognizes a Native CDFI that is successfully increasing access to capital and financial resources in Native communities.  The second award will recognize a Visionary Leader for Outstanding Achievement, which recognizes a person who has made a long-term contribution to the Native CDFI industry and whose efforts make them an inspiration for others.
Oweesta is accepting nominations for the two award categories, and the application deadline is Friday, October 2, 2015.  You may nominate any Native CDFI or individual that meets the eligibility criteria.

One Native CDFI and one leader in the Native CDFI industry will be selected to win a $10,000 cash award each to help strengthen and advance the important work they do.  The two award winners will be announced at the Native CDFI Awards Ceremony hosted by Oweesta and Opportunity Finance Network on the evening of Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at the 2015 OFN Conference in Detroit, Michigan. The winners will be invited to speak and highlight their achievements at this ceremony.

CLICK HERE for more information on the awards and eligibility criteria in the nomination form. To submit your nomination form, email the form to Stephanie Cote at

Conference Travel Stipend


Native Convening Travel Stipend Opportunity

Northwest Area Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, has awarded First Nations Oweesta Corporation of Longmont, Colorado, a grant of $16,000 to provide travel scholarships for Native Community Financial Institutions within Northwest Area Foundation's eight state region of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon attending the 2015 Opportunity Finance Network Conference in Detroit, Michigan November 9-12that the Marriott Renaissance Center of Detroit.

With the grant, Oweesta will provide partial travel stipends of $500 to organizations, within the specified region above, to attend this year;s conference. Each organization may apply for up to two scholarships of $500 each to accommodate hotel and flight.

Follow the link below to apply today!


Investment Impact

Indigenous Peoples and Impact Investing
By Jan Bryant
Many of us believe the topic of Indigenous Peoples is at the core of sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI). In this August edition of GreenMoney you will hear from four respected Indigenous individuals about the importance of SRI to Indigenous Peoples both within the United States and globally. You can also find additional articles and resources here on Research tells us that 70% of the world’s natural resources are located either on or near Indigenous territories. Awareness about how to manage these resources in a manner that does not negatively impact Indigenous People is building and aided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.



Oweesta is pleased to spread the word for our partners at CFED on their latest campaign "#WhatHomeLooksLike" for the 2015 I'M HOME Conference, October 26th-28th in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For millions of low-income Americans, including many of the clients you serve and families you represent, manufactured housing (MH) presents the opportunity for affordable homeownership. However, because of outdated titling laws, manufactured homes aren’t eligible for mortgage loans. That means that buyers don’t build equity in their homes and are often forced to use expensive chattel financing options. States have resisted titling reform that would make manufactured homeownership more affordable, though, in part because many people still think of manufactured homes as the decrepit trailers of the 1950s, 60 and 70s.

But manufactured homes have come a long way since then, with newer models featuring quality construction and high-end amenities. That’s why I’M HOME is announcing a photo campaign to highlight today’s high-quality homes and show lawmakers why manufactured housing deserves the same treatment as site-built homes. We are asking owners of manufactured homes to take photos of the modern amenities and special features of their houses and share them on Facebook, tagging CFED and using the hashtag #WhatHomeLooksLike.

For more information, please follow the link below.


Funding Opportunities

First Peoples Fund's Artist in Business Leadership application deadline is September 15, 2015. First Peoples Fund strives to provide support and voice to creative Indigenous artists who share their inspriation, wisdon, knowledge and gifts with their communities. Please follow the link below for more information and application details.


Policy Advocacy

Host a site visit with a Member of Congress! Native CDFI Network provides several tools for interacting with your representatives on the hill. Check out the link below to start your conversation today!

Upcoming Events

Opportunity Finance Network is hosting their 2015 Annual Conference Opportunity. Made in America November 9-12th in Detroit, Michigan.

Registration is open now!


Registration is open now!


Registration is open now!


Spending Frenzy: NOW AVAILABLE!

First Nations Development Institute's "Spending Frenzy" kits are now available for purchase. Spending Frenzy kits were developed to offer youth with large impending minor's trust payments an opportunity to practice handling a substantial lump sum of money and spending it wisely. In the simulation, high school students are given $40,000 in fake money and are asked to make spending decisions to purchase a car, a house, groceries, and other items. For more information, please contact Chris Hansen at


Feeding Ourselves: Food Access, Health Disparities, and Pathways to Healthy Native American Communities

By: Crystal Echo Hawk

This report encourages its readers to take the first step toward a solution – becoming aware of the extent of the problem of Native health disparities and its deep interconnections to U.S. Indian policy, poverty, historical trauma and food systems. This includes building awareness of the complex historic and present-day situations of Native peoples, innovative models, and how systemic and long-term changes may be supported by policy changes at the tribal, federal, and philanthropic levels.


Products & Services Guide

Oweesta offers state-of-the-art financial institution capacity building and training programs, meeting all of your CDFI needs. Check out our Products & Services Guide and see how Oweesta can be of service to you!