ONAC Newsletter, April 2017

27 Apr 2017 10:05 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

ONAC Newsletter, April 2017

ONAC Conference Scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Please save the date!  ONAC’s 2017 Conference will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

During the conference, we will examine the current state of Native asset building; have opportunities for peer learning; share information about Native asset building models, funding sources, partnership opportunities, research, training and technical assistance; and learn about ONAC next steps and ways to be involved in the Coalition.

At the end of the day, we will have a networking reception and provide ONAC membership information. We invite you to participate in this interactive conference.

This year, we are honored to hear from Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes President Terri Parton, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd, Miriam Jorgensen (Research Professor and Director Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and Research Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development), Gary Mottola (FINRA Investor Education Foundation), Mashell Sourjohn (AARP Oklahoma), Irving Faught (Oklahoma Securities Commission), Steven Shepelwich (Federal Reserve Bank), Nikki Pieratos (Center for Indian Country Development), Bobby Yandell (Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation), Thunder Whitecloud (Mvskoke Loan Fund), Rebecca Stone (Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation), Georgia Dick and Wyman Kirk (AIRC, Inc.), Debra Echo-Hawk and Danielle Wheatley (Pawnee Nation Title VI Elderly Meals Program), Tina Pollard (Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation), Michelle Tinnin (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), Pam Charles (Internal Revenue Service), and Cindy Carter Renfro (U.S. Small Business Administration).   We will also have a listening session on New Market Tax Credits with Dakota Cole and board members of the Chickasaw Nation Community Development Endeavor, LLC. 

Who should attend the conference?

Those interested and engaged in Native asset building are encouraged to attend.  We invite Tribal leaders, Tribal program directors, Native nonprofits, Native asset building practitioners and researchers, state representatives, students, cultural advisors, policy organizations, funders, financial institutions and financial institution regulatory bodies, national asset building organizations, inter-tribal organizations, representatives from the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, IRS, and Administration for Children and Families, and others interested in tribal asset building in Oklahoma to attend.

Conference Schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast (Doors will open at the Oklahoma History Center at 8:00 a.m.)
  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Conference (During lunch, we will have a silent auction)
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception and Membership Drive

Registration Fee: The 2017 ONAC Conference Fee is $25.00 per registrant.  You may register and pay for the registration fee online or by check.

To access the agenda and to register, please use this link: http://oknativeassets.org/2017-ONAC-Conference

Hotel Room Block: Embassy Suites Hotel (Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center) located at 741 North Phillips Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

To make a reservation under the ONAC room block, call: (405) 239-3900 and ask for the room block for the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition.

The room block is available for July 17th at a group rate of $129.00 a night, plus tax, for a standard 2 room suite.  The room block is available until June 17, 2017 only.  If you call and find that the room block is full, please call Christy Finsel at 405-401-7873 so that we may try to increase the number of rooms.  For those also needing a room on July 18th (after the conference has ended), please call to make your reservation early and ask if they will honor the $129.00 rate for you on July 18th.

There is a $10.00 a day parking charge at the hotel.   The hotel provides a made-to-order breakfast as part of the room change.  The hotel provides shuttle service to the Oklahoma History Center.

Thank you to the following conference sponsors and donors: The Chickasaw Nation Community Development Endeavor, L.L.C., Osage Casino, AARP Oklahoma, Publishing Concepts, L.L.C., and the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation.

ONAC Children’s Savings Account and Family Emergency Savings Account Program Updates 

To date, ONAC has funded 415 Children’s Savings Accounts.  The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, under the leadership of their Executive Director, Rebecca Stone, opened ONAC CSAs for youth living in their housing stock on March 31, 2017.  The account-opening event was held at the Enoch Kelly Haney Center on the campus of the Seminole State College.  At the event, Seminole artist, Enoch Kelly Haney, encouraged the Seminole youth to follow their dreams and presented slides of his artwork.  The youth drew pictures of assets that they value.  During the same event, bankers met with the families to discuss the next steps for them to open family emergency savings accounts.  ONAC awarded a mini grant to the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation to fund the emergency savings accounts.

ONAC Seeks Proposals for Native Asset Building Projects in Oklahoma

Grant Overview

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is pleased to announce this April 2017 Request For Proposals (RFP) to help fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma. ONAC, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will award a total of $7,000 in mini grants to Oklahoma grantees for emergency savings projects.  The mini grants will average $3,500 each. Some awards may be slightly higher or lower than this average. The grant period is for 9.5 months beginning June 1, 2017, and ending March 14, 2018.

The emergency savings account program funds may be utilized for the initial account deposit money for your participants and other related program costs. While this is not a grant requirement, the family emergency savings accounts may be linked to other asset building programs you already administer such as financial education, entrepreneurship development, elder meal, seed saving, foreclosure prevention and homeownership preparation, matched savings account, credit builder/credit repair, Children’s Savings Account, and free tax preparation assistance.

The funding for family emergency savings account programs will help Native families, with lower incomes, to open flexible savings accounts, at a bank or credit union, to buffer them in times of emergency, income fluctuation, or irregular expenses. Such accounts will promote financial inclusion by providing a mechanism for Native families to connect to mainstream financial services that are safe and affordable. With this funding, you may provide the initial opening account deposit and then the families can grow the accounts over time with their own deposits. Emergency savings accounts, for any family, can be a step along the way towards family financial stability and economic mobility. 

Depending upon the numbers of participants you wish to serve with a family emergency savings account program, you could, for example, provide the initial opening deposit of $50.00 each for 70 accounts or you could fund fewer accounts with more money (as an example of the latter, with a $3,500 project budget, you could fund six family emergency savings accounts at $500.00 each and then use the remaining $500.00 for other program expenses). Depending upon the participants you serve, you can design your family emergency savings account program to meet local community needs. For this program, ONAC does not require that you make the bank accounts custodial with the name of your tribe or Native nonprofit on the account.

If you would like to talk through any of your asset building program ideas, please contact Christy Finsel, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, at (405) 401-7873, or email her at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.


The grant applications are due by May 15, 2017. ONAC will review the grant applications and make the award determinations, awarding up to $7,000 total, for this round of grant recipients. ONAC will send the award notifications by May 31, 2017. A list of awardees will be posted on the ONAC website. ONAC will send the grant payments to the grant recipients.


Eligible applicants include:

  • Tribal governments based in Oklahoma;
  • Tribal programs based in Oklahoma; or
  • Native-led organizations based in Oklahoma (over 50% of the board members must be Native).

If applicants are not a tribal government, 501(c)(3), a 7871, or Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), they must have a fiscal sponsor. We do not require federal recognition for tribal governments, however, you must have, at a minimum, proof of state recognition.


All applicants must fully complete the ONLINE grant application. To access the application, please go to http://www.oknativeassets-apply.org. You will be asked to establish a username and password for the application.


If you need technical assistance with the online grant application, please contact Christy Finsel, Executive Director, Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or (405) 401-7873.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

Please Note: The online system automatically closes at 5:00 p.m. CST and applications not completely submitted by that time will be rejected by the system. Please allow plenty of time for submitting online. Proposals that are incomplete or are received after the deadline will not be considered. No exceptions will be permitted.

Save the Date: Asset Building Summit May 10-17, 2017, Albuquerque, NM

HUD’s Office of Native American Programs is pleased to announce, “Asset Building: A Pathway to Economic Self-Determination III” May 10-11, 2017 at the Isleta Resort, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference will focus on asset building innovations in Indian Country and strategies for advancing economic opportunity around people and place. There is no charge to attend.   During the summit, Christy Finsel, of ONAC, will present a workshop on creating youth savings programs and also speak about lessons learned on an asset building keynote panel.  Here is a link to the registration information: http://www.cvent.com/events/asset-building-a-pathway-to-economic-self-determination-iii/event-summary-76da63ff40a342d08ce271b1e2bfee07.aspx

AARP Oklahoma Accepting AARP OK Indian Elder Honors Nominations

The deadline for AARP OK Indian Elder Honors Nominations is May 1st.   Nominations may be made online at  www.aarp.org/NDNElders.  The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors will be held October 3, 2017.

ONAC Welcomes General and Endowment Donations, Sponsorships, and Memberships

In September 2016, ONAC launched an endowment campaign.  To advance ONAC’s mission, ONAC is seeking to raise $5 million to fund an endowment for general operating expenses and program support.  A strong endowment would make ONAC sustainable and viable well into the future. ONAC thanks the Chickasaw Nation for their generous lead gift of $250,000 towards our endowment fund.  We are grateful to Governor Bill Anoatubby, of the Chickasaw Nation, for meeting with us to talk about opportunities for collaboration and for supporting this campaign.   We are excited to grow this endowment fund and we respectfully ask for your support so that we may increase Native asset building opportunities for Native families.

What are ONAC’s hopes for the future of Native asset building?

ONAC’s vision is that Native families will have multiple opportunities to grow their assets through participation in integrated and culturally-relevant Native asset building programs.  Our dream is that all Native youth will have Children’s Savings Accounts to help them save for their future and let them know that college is a real option for them. The coalition also would like to be able to provide more funding for asset building initiatives in the state, to tribes and Native nonprofits, to increase the numbers of

sustainable asset building programs (such as financial education, matched savings accounts, credit repair/credit builder, and family emergency savings account programs).

There is great potential for ONAC to work with constituents to help numerous Native families build their assets.  The second-largest Native population, per capita in the United States, resides in Oklahoma and is increasing (2010 Census).  Support of Native asset building programs will help Native families to concretely build assets that will lead to family financial security.

Why is ONAC raising an endowment?

In ONAC’s strategic plan, the coalition notes that we need funding to support and grow the nonprofit. ONAC’s leadership has worked to put in place a multi-pronged fundraising plan (individual donors, foundations, members, federal grants, corporate funds, sponsorships, etc.). The next step of that plan is to raise funds for an endowment.

To advance ONAC’s mission, ONAC is seeking to raise $5 million to fund an endowment for general operating expenses and program support. A strong endowment would make ONAC sustainable and viable well into the future.

As of 2016, ONAC’s annual operating budget is $251,522. Endowment funding of $5 million would allow ONAC to draw 5% a year ($250,000). With the sustainability that an endowment provides, ONAC would then continue to seek foundation and individual donor support, as well as memberships, sponsorships, and other donations to offer more Children’s Savings Accounts and asset building grants in the state, in order to better meet the demand for our coalition services.

Endowment prospectus

For more information about ONAC's endowment fund, please visit our website at http://oknativeassets.org and click “donate” at the top right of the page.  On that page is a link to our endowment prospectus. All endowment fund donations are fully tax deductible, as no goods or services are provided in exchange.

  • Please consider making a donation to our endowment fund
  • If you would like to support ONAC’s work, we ask you to please consider making a donation to ONAC’s endowment campaign.  To donate to ONAC’s endowment fund, either visit our website at http://oknativeassets.org and click “donate” at the top right of the page, or please send a check, made out to the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., with “endowment fund” written on the memo line.  You can mail the check to the following address:

            Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.

            Attn: Christy Finsel, Executive Director

            9511 Horseshoe Road

            Oklahoma City, OK 73162

If your organization is unable to donate to an endowment fund, please consider supporting ONAC through membership, sponsorship, or general donations.

The challenge ONAC faces is to build a robust endowment while meeting the need for services today. While donations towards an endowment will help our coalition to be sustainable into the future, if you wish to underwrite ONAC’s programs today, we also welcome such support.  As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations, sponsorships, and memberships.  For more information, please go to the donate page at www.oknativeassets.org or call Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at 405-401-7873.

ONAC leadership thanks you for considering financial support of our statewide Native asset building coalition.

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Thank you for your asset building efforts and support of ONAC!

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 401-7873

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