August: Nominate your favorite Natice CDFI or Native CDFI Leader for the 2015 Native CDFI Awards!
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August 2015 Newsletter

Training from Oweesta

Upcoming Trainings

Upcoming Webinars

Opportunity Finance Network presents:
Strengthening CDFI Borrowers Through Credit Reporting
August 11 at 11a.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

NeighborWorks presents:
Capitalization Planning for Native CDFIs
August 13 at 2p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Native CDFI Network presents:
Breaking into New Markets
August 20 at 2p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

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

Regional Trainings

Oweesta presents in partnership with Native Learning Center:
Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Train-the-Trainer
in Flagstaff, Arizona
September 9-11
Registration is now OPEN

Community Trainings

August 19-20
Expansion by Existing CDFIs
in Kansas City, Missouri
Registration is now OPEN

September 9-10
Training for Tribal Asset-Building: Leveraging Resources
in Flagstaff, Arizona
Registration is now OPEN

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


Flagstaff, Arizona

Join us, with our partner Native Learning Center, September 9-11 at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Flagstaff, Arizona, for a Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Train-the-Trainer Certified Training. Registration is now open until August 21. Space is limited, so act fast!

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


Oweesta's July Trainings

In July, Oweesta spent time working with communities directly on requested services.

Oweesta worked with ten Native CDFIs, conducting strategic planning sessions in Hawaii and Montana, and board trainings in Wisconsin and Nebraska. We also held webinars on credit coaching and starting a VITA site.

Check out our Products and Services Guide to see how Oweesta can assist your organization!


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

Community Success Story


Chi Ishobak (pronounced Chee-ish-oh-bock) means “Big Cabbage” and is the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) located in Dowagiac, Michgian.

Chi Ishobak’s mission is to provide Pokagon citizens with access to affordable capital for business loans and individual financial development through collaborative and education-based lending services. Chi Ishobak practices responsible lending to protect our loan capital for future generations of Pokagons.

Follow the link below to read more about the successes of Chi Ishobak.

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.

Caleb Selby, Programs Coordinator

Oweesta Hires New VISTA Member

Caleb Selby joins Team Oweesta as Programs Coordinator for the next year during his service as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member. Caleb graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in Foreign Languages, Literature, and Cultures with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in Mathematics. We are happy to have such a committed individual on our team that wishes to use his talents for the benefit of Native communities.

Back Row: Emily Trump, Caleb Selby, Chris Hansen, Evette Aragon, Stephanie Cote
Center: Heather Taylor, Debbie Powers, Lanalle Smith, Chrystel Cornelius (with Baby Jesse), Krystal Langholz


Krystal's Baby Shower

Last week, we were all very excited to surprise Krystal with an office baby shower! The whole staff gathered to welcome Baby Jesse to Team Oweesta. At four weeks old, he is a strong, healthy baby boy. Congratulations to the Langholz Family on their new blessings.

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 Thursday, November 12, 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

Investment Impact

Why Are Foundations Putting Small Dollars Towards Impact Investing?
By Phil Buchanan
Impact investing at independent foundations is a mile wide and an inch deep. I think that's a fair summary of CEP's latest research report released in May, Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations, based on a benchmarking survey of private foundations is making at least $10 million in grants annually.


Impact Investing Needs a Better Way to Measure Impact
By William Burckart
In places where electricity is scarce or unreliable, kerosene lamps are a standard lighting source- but the fumes from burning kerosene pollute the air and kill 1.6 million people each year. D. Light Design, a private company in San Francisco, manufactures inexpensive solar-powered lamps and sells them cheaply around the world. It is sage, reliable, and renewable energy available for about the same cost as a few candles. D. Light believes that it's not only reducing pollution, but also improving health, safety, and performance- in school, productivity, and income.


Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) to Acquire Leading Institutional Impact Investing Firm Imprint
By David Wells
New York- (BUSINESS WIRE)- Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Imprint Capital (Imprint), a leading institutional impact investing firm and innovator in developing investment solutions that generate measurable environmental, social, and effective governance (ESG) impact investing experience across public and private markets on a global basis.



Oweesta is pleased to announce that we are among the grantees of Northwest Area Foundation's 2015 second quarter funding cycle. Congratulations to the fellow grantees. Thank you, Northwest Area Foundation, for the continuous support of these amazing Native initiatives. Through collaboration with foundations, we are able to accomplish shared goals within our communities.


Funding Opportunities

Rural Business Development Grant is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

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

First Nations Development Institute will hold its 20th Annual First Nations L.E.A.D. Institute Conference at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 22-24, 2015.

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 monkey 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

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!