September:  The latest upcoming events, webinars, and much more!
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September 2016 Newsletter

Upcoming Events


CFED presents:
Taking It to the Next Level: Exploring Financial Coaching Platforms & Putting It All Together
September 14 at 1:00 p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

USDA Rural Development presents:
USDA Rural Development Programs for Native American Entrepreneurs
September 16 at 12:00 p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Oweesta & First Nations present:
BNC 5th Edition Certification Webinar
September 20 at 1:00 p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Oweesta, Taxpayer Opportunity NetworkInternal Revenue Service, & TaxSlayer present:
TaxSlayer Training for Native American Serving Partners
October 11 at 1:00 p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN


University of New Hampshire presents:
Certificate in Community Development Finance
September 12-14, 2016
Seattle, Washington
Registration is now OPEN
Apply for a scholarship

ONABEN presents:
September 26-28, 2016
Orono, Maine
Registration is now OPEN

First Nations presents:
L.E.A.D. Institute Conference
September 27-29, 2016
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Registration is now OPEN

Oweesta and Opportunity Finance Network presents:
Native Convening
October 23-27, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
Registration is now OPEN


13th Annual Native Convening
Atlanta, Georgia
October 24-27, 2016

Oweesta is proud to host our 13th Annual Native Convening this year in Atlanta, Georgia.  In conjunction with Opportunity Finance Network, we begin the Native Convening with the Pre- Conference Native Gathering Day on Monday, October 24th, 2016. This full-day Gathering is designed for all professionals interested in learning more about Native CDFIs and their innovative work in transforming Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities across the nation. The Native CDFI Network will also host and conduct their Annual Native CDFI Network Membership Meeting following the conclusion of Gathering day events. The Native Gathering kicks off a week of learning and networking among Native CDFI practitioners and supporters of Native asset building efforts. This is sure to be a week filled with information, interaction, and inspiration.

In partnering with Opportunity Finance Network, First Nations Oweesta Corporation also holds a Native CDFI specific track of sessions each year at the Annual Opportunity Finance Network Conference. Follow the link below for details on the Native Track Sessions offered this year!

2016 Opportunity Finance Network Conference
Atlanta, Georgia
October 24-27, 2016

Keynotes: Confirmed speakers include Annie Donovan, Director, CDFI Fund; Lael Brainard, Member, Federal Reserve Board of Governors; and Dennis Lockhart, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Breakout Sessions: More than 60 breakout sessions across 14 tracks, including Measuring Impact, CDFI Futures, Financial Resources, and more!

Networking Opportunities: From facilitated networking sessions to designated networking locations to informal networking at the Trade Show and in the halls, you'll love all the chances you will have to interact with your colleagues from across the country.

Native Awards Nomination Deadline Extended


First Nations Oweesta Corporation and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) are proud to announce the Eleventh Annual Native CDFI Awards, which recognize excellence in the Native CDFI industry. Two awards will be given away in 2016, 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 has extended the nomination deadline to Wednesday, September 14, 2016. You may nominate any Native CDFI or individual that meets the eligibility criteria. For more information, please follow the link below!


Oweesta in the Field

Shoshone Bannock CDFI 101 Session
Fort Hall, Idaho
August 16-17, 2016

First Nations Oweesta, Program Manager, Lanalle Smith in partnership with Seven Sisters Consultant group, Managing Partner, Vickie Oldman-John and funded through Native Learning Center, provided a 2 day session to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes planning team with 20 in attendance; 1.5 day CDFI 101 planning in which the objective of the day and a half work planning session was to enable the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes planning team to deepen their understanding of the CDFI certification process and best practices for a successful Native CDFI. At the end of the day and a half session, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes developed a 1 year next steps work plan to continue the implementation of a Native CDFI.
Lanalle and Vickie provided a 2 hour Tribal Council Presentation with Q & A to deepen their understanding of the CDFI certification process and next steps developed from the work-planning session for Shoshone – Bannock Tribes to continue implementation of a Native CDFI.  


Fort Belknap, Montana
August 24-25, 2016

Last month, First Nations Oweesta Corporation hosted an Indianpreneurship training, in partnership with ONABEN, with Native American Community Development Corporation (NACDC). Facilitated by ONABEN's Veronica Hix. Congratulations to the NACDC staff certified in the Indianpreneurship curriculum!

Native CDFI Success Story

First American Capital Corporation

"Native Transit Company Rolling Strong with FACC"

After considering a reentry into the construction industry, Menominee Nation tribal member and entrepreneur, Richard Warrington, researched several options and saw growing opportunities in long-distance freight, which interested him greatly. That said, Mr. Warrington also understood the challenges he would face, both as a new business start-up and as a sole proprietor / Native entrepreneur. Fortunately, he contacted First American Capital Corp (FACC) because he knew that FACC has the expertise and tools to get his new business up and rolling.  As a Native CDFI and SBA Micro-lender, FACC provides access to capital, technical assistance and business counseling to Native-owned businesses — from start-ups, to expansions and throughout the business life cycle. 
Mr. Warrington’s savvy paid off because almost one year into his new venture, he confidently states, “FACC helped me quickly obtain the business resources and financing I needed to start, grow and succeed in my new trucking business.”  And the proof is in the pudding… Wolf River Transit, LLC is a new company, rolling successfully and profitably along.
With 11 Federally recognized tribes in the state of Wisconsin and 45% of tribal members living in metropolitan areas, location is an important factor. FACC offices are positioned in Milwaukee and focus on Native businesses that locate inside and outside of reservation boundaries throughout their statewide service area. As a Native business development resource, FACC works with “under-banked” borrowers such as Mr. Warrington. With about $3 million in assets, some 40% of FACC financial assistance (FA) funds are presently deployed to reservation-based business owners and 60% of the portfolio is comprised of Native business owners with off reservation locations. Currently, FACC borrowers span 30 out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
Access to capital in the form of business loans, however important, is not the only product that FACC provides to its loan clients.  To help Native businesses build capacity and achieve the greatest chance of success, FACC partners with legal professionals who donate legal counseling to assist loan clients such as Mr. Warrington in formulating an LLC, and explaining tax implicates of on- and off-reservation-based businesses. From there, some loan clients are referred to the Wisconsin Procurement Institute and Native Diversification Network for training, certification and readiness for government contracting work, “Over the years, I’ve looked to FACC for business advice, services, and referrals to their extensive networks,” says Mr. Warrington.
Why is this process important?  In recent years, FACC has seen an increase in loan inquiries from Native entrepreneurs who are competing for, winning and performing various local/state/tribal/federal contract work. In response, FACC has developed targeted development services and strategic partnerships. Targeted training and technical assistance programs include contract/construction accounting, customized bidding/estimating software and contract management workbooks.
In addition, FACC works to provide access to support Native business owners working to grow through various government disadvantaged business certification programs such as the City of Milwaukee Small Business Enterprise (SBE), State Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) as well as SBA HUBZone and 8(a) certifications and tribal preference/TERO processes.
The combination of access to business loans and relevant business development services are working to advance more underbanked Native American business owners to graduating from FACC as Native CDFI lender of last resort -- to growing, qualifying for, and thriving through new banking relationships throughout Wisconsin.
For more information on FACC, please contact Craig Anderson AICCW President/FACC Executive Director – / 414.604.2044 /

Upcoming Events

First Nations Development Institute's 21st Annual L.E.A.D. Conference

The 21st Annual First Nations L.E.A.D. Institute Conference will be September 27-29, 2016, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma. This is THE conference for Native American nonprofit professionals, tribal leaders and those who work in tribal organizations, tribal economic development pros, and anyone interested in Native American philanthropy or food sovereignty.

For 36 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has worked with Native nations and organizations to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. As an extension of this mission, the L.E.A.D. conference is designed to help emerging and existing leaders in Indian Country network, grow professionally, share ideas and learn new skills related to asset-building.

To learn more, please follow the link below.

Center for Enterprise Development's
2016 Asset Learning Conference (ALC)

Every year, the ALC brings together 1,300+ professionals dedicated to creating an opportunity economy in the United States. With financial insecurity and inequality at all-time highs, now is the time for these service providers, advocates, researchers, philanthropists and others to come learn from each other about the products, policies and partnerships needed to ensure all families can achieve their dreams. As the only event of its kind to address the entire range of moments that affect an individual’s or family’s financial well-being, the ALC offers sessions about savings for adults and children, entrepreneurship and self-employment, homeownership, strategies to close the racial wealth divide, the integration of financial capability services and more. With all the ALC has to offer, there’s something for everyone.

To learn more, please follow the link below.

Center for Enterprise Development's
Assets & Opportunity Network and Center for Financial Security Listening & Learning Series on
Financial Coaching & Counseling

You’re invited to join the CFED Assets & Opportunity Network and Center for Financial Security for a new four-part virtual Listening & Learning Series on Financial Coaching & Counseling. 

This is a very active time for financial coaching and counseling! In 2015, the Center for Financial Security and Asset Funders Network launched the first-ever Financial Coaching Census. The results from this census will be released on May 18, 2016 and will provide insights into financial coaching programs across the country from the perspective of coaches, managers, and funders. Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) just released “The Professionalizing Field of Financial Counseling and Coaching Journal,” a collection of essays on financial coaching and counseling across four professional pillars: quality, consistency, accountability and community. CFED knows that a large number of Assets & Opportunity Network members are deeply involved in this work and are looking for opportunities to engage with peers to learn more. And so it is excited to partner with the Center for Financial Security to dive deeper into topics from the Census and the issues that matter most to you! 

Join CFED! Here are the topics will be explored throughout the series: 

• September 14 | Taking It to the Next Level: Exploring Financial Coaching Platforms & Putting It All Together 

Hold a watch party! CFED encourages you and your entire team to watch the series together to expand the conversation and generate new ideas for your program. Each team member can register separately to receive emails and updates about the series - but watch together to deepen the experience.

To register, please follow the link below.

Upcoming Webinars


5th Edition BNC Certification Webinar

Tuesday, September 20, 1:00 p.m. MT

Are you certified in the 4th Edition Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum? Would you like to be certified in the latest curriculum in the comfort of your office? First Nations Oweesta Corporation is hosting live webinar trainings this fall to certify 4th edition trainers in the latest 5th edition curriculum. The first training will be held Tuesday, September 20 at 1p.m. MT. Registration is now open.

Partner Message


Northwest Area Foundation Survey


Take Northwest Area Foundation's 15-minute Engagement & Messaging survey and give feedback on how to meet your needs.

Your responses help improve outreach, which can range from spreading information and best practices to offering networking opportunities to making the case for community work. And, it only takes 15 minutes!

Here’s the link:


Native CDFI Survey: Meeting the Financing Needs of the Native Food System


The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) is conducting this survey to explore the financing and technical assistance needs of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) supporting Native farmers, ranchers, food producers, and other agribusinesses.  Your responses will inform the development of a new national Native CDF being created by IAC to serve Native agriculture and food systems.  While IAC anticipates developing loan products for individuals and tribes/tribal corporations, this survey is focused on helping develop an intermediary loan product for Native CDFIs, who are engaged in this kind of lending locally. The IAC sees the growing number of local Native CDFIs as key allies and partners in this movement and want to provide the best possible loan products and other services to support the Native food system movement broadly. Your feedback is important to the IAC and will help them determine the most useful products and services to support your work in Native communities.

Here’s the link:

Request for Comments


CFPB Request for Comments


Weigh In on Proposed Regulations for Payday Lending!

The payday and auto-title lending industry has long plagued Indian Country by charging high interest and fees on loans when there are limited alternatives in and around Native communities. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency created to protect consumers from unfair practices by financial institutions, has listened to the concerns of Americans across the nation, including Indian Country, and is planning to impose rules on payday, auto-title and high-cost installment lending. The agency will be accepting feedback on the proposed rules until October 7, 2016.
Let’s make sure the voice of Indian Country is heard prior to the deadline!

Here’s the link:

Grant Opportunities


USDA Seeks Applications for
Community Facilities Relending Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development is making funds available to community development organizations (CDOs) that qualify as eligible lending institutions through a new program called the Community Facilities Relending Program. This program allows USDA Rural Development to make direct loans to CDOs, (referred to as “re-lenders”), who then re-loan the funds to eligible applicants to acquire, maintain, build, or renovate essential community facilities. The Community Facilities Relending Program targets CDOs working in high-poverty and persistent poverty areas.

Please follow the link below for more information:


Assets for Independence Program Funding Opportunity

 The next application deadline in the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been updated to October 31, 2016.

To learn more about the FOA, view the Introduction to the 2015 AFI FOA webinar. Click here to view a summary of prior modifications to the FOA.

Technical assistance opportunity: Intensive Coaching Cohort

There is still time to register for the October Intensive Coaching Cohort! Participants in this cohort will have an opportunity to plan their AFI projects and develop their applications with the support of the AFI Resource Center and other cohort participants.  Participants will learn from each others' questions and ideas while staying on track to submit their applications by October 31.

The cohort will meet for three virtual coaching sessions, on August 25, September 8, and September 22. These sessions will be interactive discussions guided by participants’ questions, not presentations. Transcripts from prior cohorts are available on the AFI Resource Center website.

The cohort is a good fit if your organization is serious about applying for AFI funding in October 2016 and you are looking for support and guidance as you put together the application. Cohort participants are expected to have a broad grasp of the AFI program requirements in order to explore nuances of program design. Register here.


The Future Cities Accelerator Program

The Future Cities Accelerator exists for one reason: to solve the challenges faced by poor or vulnerable populations living in U.S. cities. And to do that, we want to find the people most capable of solving these challenges and give them what they need to get the job done at scale.

The Future Cities Accelerator is a new initiative in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, aimed at solving the challenges of poor or vulnerable populations in U.S. cities. Early-stage organizations can apply to receive $100,000 in grant funding and support to scale their impact — now through September 25, 2016. In addition to the $100k in funding, the 10 organizations we select (whether for-profit or non-profit) will each receive nine months of support, including rapid prototyping training from the co-creator of Google Glass, Tom Chi; a five-day in person-bootcamp; a fundraising coach; a leadership coach; financial modeling services; public exposure; and the chance to work with at least thirty world-class mentors.

Please follow the link below for more information:



Does Your Organization Need Loan Capital?

Are you a Native CDFI, Native Nonprofit, or tribe that needs extra capital for lending to Native farmers, ranchers, or fishers? Check out our new Native Fresh Foods Fund loan product. Oweesta considers loan applications on a rolling basis. Application requirements include current and historical financial statements, portfolio reports, loan policies, current and historical financial statements, and a comprehensive business plan or comparable information. If you are interested in finding out more about our loan program, please visit or contact Emily Trump, Lending and Compliance Manager, at


Get a Jump-Start on Your VITA Program! Learn to Prepare Taxes by Becoming a Tax Volunteer!

The IRS is looking for people to provide free tax help in 2017. Become a tax volunteer and make a difference in your community.
The IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These two programs offer free tax help across the country for people with low-to-moderate incomes. This year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.7 million federal tax returns at no cost to families across the country.
Here are five good reasons why you should consider becoming a VITA or TCE volunteer.

  1. Flexible hours. Volunteers generally serve an average of three to five hours per week. The programs are usually open from mid-January through the tax filing deadline in April. A few sites are open all year.
  2. VITA and TCE sites are often nearby and need your help. Nearly 12,000 sites were set up in neighborhoods all over the country for this past filing season. They are often set up in community centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and similar places. Chances are good that you can volunteer at a site near you.
  3. No prior experience needed. You’ll receive specialized training and can serve in a variety of roles. If you are fluent in another language, you may be able to help those who speak that language.
  4. Free tax law training and materials. Learn how to prepare basic tax returns and learn about all the tax deductions and credits that benefit eligible taxpayers.
  5. Continuing education credits for tax pros. Enrolled Agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn credits when volunteering as a VITA/TCE instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer. See the IRS fact sheet for more information on Continuing Education Credits. 
As a volunteer, you’ll join a program that’s helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years. Your help will make a difference. It’s people helping people. It's that simple.
To find out more, visit and type "tax volunteer" in the search box. If you’d like to become a volunteer, you will need to submit your volunteer interest information on at IRS Tax Volunteers.
IRS Tax Tips provide valuable information throughout the year. offers tax help and info on various topics including common tax scams, taxpayer rights and more.
Additional IRS Resources: 

Share this tip on social media -- #IRStaxtip: Learn to Prepare #Taxes by Becoming a Volunteer. #IRS


CFED's "Strengthening VITA to Boost Financial Security at Tax Time & Beyond"

This federal policy brief explores the importance of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to low- and moderate-income communities and offers recommendations for reforms to ensure the sustainability of the program in the future.

To read the full brief, please follow the link below.

The CDFI Fund's "Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities" Study Released!

A new independent report on access to capital and credit in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities) was released May 2016 by the Native Nations Institute. The "Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities" Report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), examines recent successes in the effort to improve access to capital and credit in Native Communities as well as what can be done to build on that success. The CDFI Fund commissioned the report as a follow-up to its 2001 Native American Lending Study, which analyzed access to capital and financial services in Native Communities, identified barriers to access, and provided options to address the barriers.

To read the full press release, please follow the link below.


2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Check out the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, the leading source for data on household financial security and policy solutions. Released annually, this year's Scorecard examines 130 policy and outcome measures to develop an understanding of how residents are doing in their quest to seize economic opportunity and what states are doing to help get them get ahead. Follow the link below for more information!

Oweesta Products & Services

Did you know that Oweesta offers technical assistance for Native CDFIs and Native organizations? In addition to having an array of products to offer, we can also customize a service to meet your needs. Follow the link below to see how we can help your organization today!

Job Opportunities

Check out our website for the latest job opportunities in the Native CDFI and nonprofit sector. There are available positions from First Nations Oweesta Corporation, First Nations Development Institute, Native American Bank, Bank 2, Seven Sisters Development Group LLC, and First People's Fund.

If you have a job opportunity available at your organization, share it with the industry by emailing our Communications Manager,

Hope you're having a wonderful summer!

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First Nations Oweesta Corporation · 2432 Main Street, 1st Floor · Longmont, CO 80501 · USA