18-3 “Building Prosperity” Resource Guide

Feb 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 18-3: Building Prosperity, Resource Guides
By Trond E. Jacobsen

Accessing Capital, Building Prosperity


PAY TO THE ORDER OF GRAPHICWithin the last several decades Native peoples have enjoyed increasing success in building and managing wealth and creating economic opportunities as the foundation of their independence and self-determination. Despite their successes, too many tribes and Native entrepreneurs struggle to access capital, develop effective financial management plans, and design and implement successful business plans. Managing wealth also remains a challenge for many enterprises and families.

Described here are resources for accessing capital and building the entrepreneurial skills required to exploit opportunities and build family and community wealth. Included are website and contact information for the leading educational, professional, and advocacy organizations focused on tribal economic development and access to capital. Their collective mission is to assist tribal members in building wealth.

Described next are specific organizations helping Native people access capital or receive financial literacy education. Finally, a number of recently published reports, books, and articles about building tribal prosperity are described.

This resource guide complements another published in 1997 by the Tribal College Journal but includes only more recent resources. (See www.tribalcollegejournal.org/themag/backissues/winter97/winter97resource.html.)

These resources were collected from a number of academic databases, including ProQuest, ISI Web of Knowledge, ABI/Inform Business, Ethnic NewsWatch, Education Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts. These searches were augmented with searches of the World Wide Web. Additional resources and organizational information were obtained at two recent national tribal finance conferences.

Three factors — a proliferation of advocacy and assistance organizations, the increase in sources of available capital, and more financial training — all point toward an economic renaissance. Wise economic planning and sound planning are essential to the future prosperity of American Indian families, businesses, governments, and nations.


American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL)

AIBL is a membership organization with chapters across the western United States, including chapters at tribal colleges. AIBL sponsors the Native American Student Investor Program, and website visitors can take online financial literacy quizzes. Call toll free (877) 245-AIBL (2425).

American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)

AIHEC has published a number of studies since 2000 demonstrating that tribal colleges stimulate local economic development, extend access to information technologies, and nurture new leaders for their communities. Call (703) 838-0400.

First Nations Development Institute

The institute combines education, advocacy, and capitalization to help restore Native control and management of assets and to build new assets for long-term community vitality. First Nations provides a large number of free, online publications in such areas as agriculture, banking and financial services, product development, taxes, financial education, nonprofit capacity building, predatory lending, and natural resource development. The institute also provides financial and technical resources for implementing culturally appropriate and sustainable asset development strategies. Call (303) 774-7836, or email info@firstnations.org.

First Nations Oweesta Corporation

Oweesta is chartered to help tribes and their members acquire, control, manage, and use their financial assets. Oweesta provides training and technical assistance in the development and growth of Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The website describes the services and offers a large collection of free, online documents designed to help tribes and their members build prosperity. Call (605) 342-3770, or email info@oweesta.org.

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