Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities
In American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities),1 the lack of capital has been a significant constraint on economic development. The 2001 Report of the Native American Lending Study (NALS), issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), was the first national report to document Native Communities’ extremely limited access to capital and credit. The NALS also identified numerous barriers to improved capital access. This report emerges from the CDFI Fund’s commitment to helping Native Communities develop through increased access to capital. The ideas presented are grounded in an understanding of current economic conditions in Native Communities and in established research concerning the drivers of economic change in Native nations. They also reflect voices from the field, a key aspect of the research methodology.