ONAC Announces ONAC Mini Grant Awardees, March 2016

24 Mar 2016 1:45 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC) 

Announces ONAC Mini Grant Awardees

March 24, 2016.  With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, and the Ford Foundation, we, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), announce that we have awarded four ONAC mini grants.

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is a nonprofit Native asset building coalition that works with Oklahoma tribes and partners interested in establishing asset-building initiatives and programs in Native communities, for the purpose of creating greater opportunities for economic self-sufficiency of tribal citizens.

In January 2016, ONAC released our second request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  We received excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  ONAC has awarded a total of $14,500 in mini grants to four ONAC constituents.  We are excited to work with the awardees as they continue to offer Native asset building projects to their tribal members.  If needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to the grantees as they implement their asset building programs. 

The new ONAC mini grant awardees are as follows:

  • The Kaw Nation will conduct a financial education workshop for Kaw Nation students, between the ages of 13-17.  As part of the workshop, the tribe will work with the youth and their parents to either open a savings account at Eastman National Bank or an account through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  With the mini grant funding, the Kaw Nation will provide the opening deposit for the accounts.  The youth will have an opportunity to earn more money for their accounts by participating in an essay contest.  A panel, comprised of representatives from the Kaw Nation Tribal Youth Program, the Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program, and the Kaw Nation Education Department, will choose the essay topics. The students will be asked to share what they learned from the financial workshop and how they will use this financial knowledge toward their future goals.  Essay rules and applications will be made available to all students at the conclusion of the workshop.  A committee comprised of representatives from various Kaw Nation departments as well as a representative from Eastman National Bank will read and select the winning essays.  Winners of the contest will be announced on the Kaw Nation’s website (awarded $3,500).
  • Seminole Nation Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program will develop customized curriculum and administer a six-hour “Managing Your Family Finances” workshop, held on two days during summer 2016, for fourteen participants.  Those eligible for the workshops include Native American families residing in the Seminole Nation jurisdiction, which comprises 97% of Seminole County.  During the workshop, participants will gain knowledge related to budgeting, building credit, and saving towards a goal.  Each family will establish a savings plan.  The Program will work with the families to open a family emergency savings account, at BancFirst, and they will provide the opening deposit.  The participants will be encouraged to add their own deposits to the account by following their individual savings plans.  The Program will contact the participants at 30-and 60-day intervals to assess the effectiveness of the savings plan.  The Program staff will conduct a pre-and post-workshop assessment. Childcare and meals will be provided during the workshop (awarded $3,500).
  • Ranch Good Days, Inc. will work with the Na Tsista Girls Basketball Team (from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes), their coach, and the girl’s families, to open twenty Children’s Savings Accounts.  The accounts will either be opened at a local bank or through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan. After the girls have saved funds in their account for six months, they will receive a $50.00 savings incentive, to be added to their accounts. The families will be asked to complete a program survey (awarded $3,500).
  • The Native Alliance Against Violence will develop a Financial Empowerment Training for survivors of domestic violence.  The training will be made available to survivors, via the internet, and to the twenty-two tribal domestic violence programs operating in the state of Oklahoma to offer to the domestic violence survivors they serve.  A minimum of twenty survivors who view the web-based training, and successfully complete a proficiency quiz, will be offered funds to open either a family emergency savings account or a 529 Oklahoma College Savings Plan account.  The Alliance will work with the tribal domestic violence programs to open the accounts (awarded $4,000).

Award Total: $14,500

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. thanks those who applied for these grant funds.   After June 1, 2016, once additional confirmed grant installments arrive, ONAC will formally announce two additional ONAC mini grant awardees. 

For more information about the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., please go to http://www.oknativeassets.org/.    If you have any questions about ONAC and the mini grants, contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 720-0770

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