American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples have long faced barriers to asset building. More than half of AI/AN populations are un- or underbanked, financial services often don’t operate on reservations, and access to capital is difficult. Native peoples have been excluded from financial wealth accumulation through government asset stripping, industry redlining, and simple neglect, thanks to historic (and ongoing) discrimination, exclusion, and racism baked into government and private-sector policies. Solutions are within reach.
Recently, the Financial Security Program, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc (ONAC), and the Center for Native American Youth hosted an event featuring Native leaders representing various geographies, experiences, and tribal affiliations. The group discussed experiences in building assets and Indigenous perspectives on generational financial wealth. Finally, the speakers gave recommendations on how foundations, corporations, non-profits, and others can partner with tribal governments and Native-led nonprofits to build financial wealth in Native communities.
ONAC has produced a “List of Eighteen Suggestions to Better Support Native Practitioners Administering Asset Building Programs in their Communities”.