The heritage, culture and experience of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today will be observed during National Native American Heritage Month in November.
CUNA and Inclusiv will co-host a free webinar for CUNA members on November 16, showcasing the strategies of credit unions that successfully provide targeted financial services to Native Americans in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
Presenters of “How CUs Can Better Serve Indigenous Communities” will include:
Shayna Ferguson, Lakota FCU loan manager/loan officer
Helen Mickel, Chief Executive Officer of Tongass FCU
Ron Moorhead, President/CEO First Financial CU
Robyn Miller, Branch Manager, Black Hills FCU
About one million Native Americans live in the 567 federally recognized tribal reservations, according to Inclusiv. Today, there are 16 Native Credit Unions, 74 Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and 18 Native Banks serving largely unbanked and underbanked reservation communities.
The 16 Native Credit Unions stretch from Hawaii to the Seneca Nation in New York, hold collective assets of approximately $300 million and serve 57,000 members. Although few in number, their impact is substantial and highlights the transformational impact of Community Development Credit Cooperatives (CDCUs) and CDFIs on local communities.
UNA News covered Ferguson and Lakota FCU’s innovative idea to bring credit union services to its members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation — more than two million acres — by bus last year. Earlier this year, Mickel explained the unique ways Tongass FCU serves natives in rural areas near Ketchikan, Alaska.
Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to share, ask questions, and learn how to be better advocates for financial equity and inclusion.