What We're Reading: Empowering U.S. Finance Literacy for Indigenous Communities

"Indigenous communities face multi-level hurdles to thriving in U.S. financial systems. First, communities are governed by both the U.S. and their tribal affiliations, which creates unique structures for each group. But laws harken back to a toxic mixture of treaties and broken promises, leaving many without the foundation for financial stability," said author Hadassah Patterson for Next City. "Adding to this are a hodge-podge of modern-day legislative gaps, policy bias and lack of access to financial services."

"Financial education is an integral piece in the systemic oppression around access to capital for Native communities...Native individuals are also the least likely of any minority group to have emergency funds or a banking/checking account of any other minority population in the nation. So Native families wouldn’t have access to the emergency loans necessary to keep families housed, fed, and safe through the pandemic crisis and its recovery period."

"In the near future, we are broadening our range of financial education programming. We’re launching an advanced curriculum for Building Native Communities: Financial Coaching for Families to assist Native financial practitioners in further developing their coaching skills in 2023," said Patterson. "We’ll also roll out the full Native CDFI Practitioners Certification program. This program is designed to build the operational sustainability and organizational capacity of Native CDFIs across the country, through tailored instruction on financial management, lending, development services, impact tracking, marketing, capitalization and more."

Read the full article here.