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NCDF selected as part of cohort of "Native Financial Learning Network" group.

May 25, 2017

First Nations & Oweesta Launch New “Native Financial Learning Network” Under a Generous Grant Provided by Northwest Area Foundation

LONGMONT, Colorado (May 23, 2017) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced the launch of the “Native Financial Learning Network.” Managed in partnership with First Nations’ wholly-owned subsidiary, First Nations Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta), the Native Financial Learning Network (NFLN) will promote peer learning for six partner organizations as they build and grow their financial education programs. Members of NFLN will work to improve or scale up a financial education program that is designed to build skills and knowledge within the Native American communities they serve. The groups will also receive financial support and technical assistance.
The NFLN is funded through a generous grant from the Northwest Area Foundation through its Pathways to Financial Inclusion initiative. 

First Nations and Oweesta will be partnering with the organizations and providing technical assistance to them over a two-year period. The partners are Pinnacle Bank, a program of Meskwaki Nation; Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union/Bois Forte Housing Department; People’s Partner for Community Development, serving the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and working in partnership with Chief Dull Knife College’s Cooperative Extension program; Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Fund, based in Minneapolis; Leech Lake Financial Services, serving the Leech Lake Indian Reservation; and several groups serving the Nez Perce Tribe, including NiMiiPuu Community Development Fund, I-Vision (Nez Perce Youth Project), and Nez Perce Tribal Enterprises.
“We are delighted to be kicking off the project with a meeting at the end of May,” said Sarah Dewees, Senior Director of Research, Policy and Asset-Building Programs at First Nations. “These face-to-face meetings are an important part of supporting peer learning and sharing best practices.”

“We look forward to working with our partners to help them build and grow their financial education programs using culturally-tailored approaches,” said Krystal Langholz, Oweesta Chief Operating Officer. “The need for effective financial education programs is strong in Indian Country, and we are honored to have the chance to work with several dynamic organizations as they find new and innovative ways to serve their communities.” 

“We appreciate the support of Northwest Area Foundation in promoting financial empowerment and financial education in its region,” shared Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director of Oweesta.
About First Nations Development Institute

For 36 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.  First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit 

About First Nations Oweesta Corporation 

First Nations Oweesta Corporation is dedicated to growing the Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry, and it has directly contributed to the availability of needed debt capital in tribal communities. Oweesta is a CDFI intermediary that helps build strong Native American institutions and programs through professional services designed to enhance local capacity and provide tools for Native community development.  Oweesta’s primary programs include capitalization of Native CDFIs plus training, technical assistance and consulting. For more information, visit  

Program Contacts:
Sarah Dewees, First Nations Senior Director of Research, Policy & Asset-Building Programs
(540) 371-5615 or

Krystal Langholz, Oweesta Chief Operating Officer 
(303) 774-8838 or

Media Contact:
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
(303) 774-7836 x213 or

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