ONAC Newsletter, April 2016

11 Apr 2016 2:08 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

ONAC Newsletter, April 2016

ONAC is distributing this newsletter as part of our effort to promote what is working well with Native asset building in Oklahoma.  We are continuing to try to secure resources for Native asset building projects for our constituents.  We appreciate your support!

ONAC on Facebook

Find us on Facebook  at https://www.facebook.com/oknativeassets/.

ONAC Presented Information about Asset Development During a W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Family Economic Security Team Webinar

ONAC presented information about our W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF)-funded work, as it relates to asset development, during a March 23rd webinar for WKKF staff.   We shared information about the role that assets play in family economic security and strategies for addressing the racial wealth gap.  ONAC appreciates the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s support of our Children’s Savings Account and mini grant programs!

Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates 

The second of our confirmed CSA partners, the Mvskoke Loan Fund, held a Children’s Savings Account opening event that coincided with a Muscogee (Creek) Movie Night at the Dome (where the tribe shows a feature-length children’s movie).  

With their strong outreach efforts, the Mvskoke Loan Fund opened 115 Children’s Savings Accounts with Muscogee (Creek) parents/guardians.  ONAC provided children with $100 for their account, made payable to the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  Additionally, ONAC provided each child with a piggy bank, ONAC generated Native-specific financial education booklet, and a certificate celebrating their account.  Building from ONAC’s belief that assets are not only money, the Mvskoke Loan Fund invited a Muscogee (Creek) artist, Daniel Wind III, to display his work.  Muscogee college students volunteered to work with the youth attendees on artwork that the youth created to express their understandings of assets.  They drew pictures of their families, homes, flowers and trees, food, and a person graduating and getting a job.  With parental permissions, ONAC will use artwork from six of the youth, as well as artwork from youth served by two other partners on this project, to create a desk calendar to promote the idea of building assets throughout the year.  A big thank you to the Mvskoke Loan Fund staff, Lahoma Simmons (Director), Pamela Murphy (Program Specialist), and Emory Fox (Project Coordinator), and those who volunteered with them to make the Mvskoke Loan Fund ONAC CSA event a great success!  

ONAC to Speak at the Color of Wealth Summit

Ms. Finsel, of ONAC, was invited to speak as a panelist for a roundtable session at the upcoming Color of Wealth Summit, in Washington, D.C., April 20-22, 2016.  The summit is being hosted by the Center for Global Policy Solutions and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.  ONAC is honored to participate.  We thank them for the invitation to speak about ONAC’s work.  For more information, or to register, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-color-of-wealth-summit-tickets-21524902563.

ONAC Invited to Speak on a Panel at the Upcoming Native Youth Empowerment Symposium 

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, ONAC will participate in a panel at the Native Youth Empowerment Symposium, in Albuquerque, NM.  The Pueblo of Isletta, TIWA Lending, the Office of The Special Trustee for American Indians (OST), and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation are hosting the symposium.  This event is “inspired by Generation Indigenous (GEN-I).”  They welcome “tribal leaders and staff; Native youth; and advocates for education, financial literacy, economic development, entrepreneurship, and careers for Native youth.”   For more information, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/native-youth-empowerment-symposium-tickets-21433141102.  ONAC thanks the organizers for the opportunity to speak about what is working well with Native youth asset building in Oklahoma. 

ONAC to Speak at a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Consultation

ONAC was invited to speak during an Open Consultation session entitled, “Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families,” at an upcoming U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Consultation, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM.  This HHS Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico & USET Regional Tribal Consultation will focus on “Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth.”  ONAC is honored to participate in this consultation.  We have been asked to share about Native asset building resources and our projects geared towards Native youth. 

ONAC Awards Four New Grantees in March 2016

On March 24, 2016, ONAC announced four new ONAC mini grant awardees.   The four awardees are the Kaw Nation, Seminole Nation Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program, Ranch Good Days, Inc., and the Native Alliance Against Violence.  The grants were made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute.

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 is 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.  Congratulations to the grantees!

The new ONAC mini grant awardees are as follows:

  • The Kaw Nation will conduct a financial education workshop for at least twenty 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 with grant funding.  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.  

2016 ONAC Conference

The 2016 ONAC Conference will be held on July 12, 2016, at the Oklahoma History Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.   We invite you to attend!  Please see the conference information and registration link below. 

Conference Schedule: July 12, 2016

  • 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Conference
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception and Membership Drive 

Agenda: The agenda is forthcoming.

To Pay by Credit Card: Register using our online form and choose pay online to be directed to our secure Pay Pal site.

To Pay by Check: Register using our online form and print the registration invoice. Please mail a copy of the invoice with payment by July 6th. Attendees who are not able to mail their check by July 6th, should bring a check with them to the conference.

To Register Online: Click Here

ONAC Releases Request for Letters of Interest for ONAC Children’s Savings Account Partnerships

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is requesting letters of interest, from tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma, that wish to partner with ONAC to open Children’s Savings Accounts with Native youth in their community.   Currently, ONAC is working with eight partners to open 380 accounts with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute.  The partners include the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Anadarko), Osage Financial Resources, Inc. (Pawhuska), Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (Shawnee), Cherokee Nation Child Support Program (Tahlequah), Mvskoke Loan Fund (Okmulgee), Ponca Tribe Head Start (Ponca City), Kaw Nation (Kaw City, new mini grant awardee), and Ranch Good Days, Inc. (Altus, new mini grant awardee).  ONAC is grateful to our funders and partners for the opportunity to open accounts with Native youth. 

With a grant from First Nations Development Institute, ONAC has funding for an additional 190 Children’s Savings Accounts for Native youth in Oklahoma.   We will be opening 40 of these accounts by October 31, 2016, and the remaining 150 accounts by June 30, 2017.  

At this time, we are requesting letters of interest to learn if there are tribes and Native nonprofits in the state that would like to partner with ONAC to open the remaining 190 accounts.   

With each account, ONAC will provide a $100.00 opening deposit.  The accounts may be opened at a financial institution of your choice (bank or credit union) or through the Oklahoma 529 college savings plan.  The accounts do not have to be custodial though you may choose to add your tribe or Native nonprofit’s name to the accounts as custodian.  ONAC is happy to speak with you about these various options prior to your submission of a letter of interest.  With the accounts, ONAC will also provide each child with a piggy bank, certificate celebrating their participation in the program, and a Native-specific financial education activity booklet. 

Why is ONAC interested in funding Children’s Savings Accounts for youth? We hope that this project will help youth to have their own savings account that can grow over time with potential deposits from their family, the child, and/or the tribe or Native nonprofit (it is not a requirement that the tribal or Native nonprofit partners deposit funds into the account though you are welcome to do so).  ONAC would like for these accounts to be a nest egg of savings for Native children to help them save for college or trade school costs, or other purchases, as approved by the tribes and Native nonprofits ONAC will partner with on this initiative.   In terms of how these accounts may promote college attendance and graduation, if the accounts are used for postsecondary education, there is recent research from the University of Kansas and Washington University in St. Louis that suggests that “youth who expect to graduate from a four-year college and have designated a portion of their savings for college are approximately four times more likely to attend college than youth who have no account.”[1]  Also, “youth who expect to graduate from a four-year college and have an account are approximately seven times more likely to attend college than youth who have no account.”[2] With such research in hand, ONAC believes that Children’s Savings Accounts can make a difference in the lives of children.  With this program, we wish to help support Native youth’s future plans. 

What are the criteria for partnership?

  • Eligible partners include Tribes or Native nonprofits located in Oklahoma.
  • Partners should choose a specific group of youth for which you wish to open the accounts (the youth may be ages birth to 18). When drafting your letter of interest to ONAC, please determine a target population for which you wish to open the accounts.  For example, you may wish to propose that you would open accounts for all youth in your tribal after-school program, Head Start class, Native language immersion school, or for a certain number of youth being served by your tribally-administered child support program.   If you are administering a Voluntary Income Tax Assistance site, you may wish to propose that you would open accounts for the youth of the parents you serve.  For those administering a tribal food program, you may wish to work with a certain number of grandparents raising grandchildren to open Children’s Savings Accounts for their grandchildren.  If you manage a Summer Youth Employment program, you may wish to open accounts for all the youth in the program.   For those of you managing a housing program, you could open accounts with the families of those you serve.  If you offer an Individual Development Account (matched savings account) program, financial education, family emergency savings account, or credit builder/credit repair program for adults, you could offer Children’s Savings Accounts for the children of the parents in the program.
  • Please specify if you would like to open either savings accounts at a bank or credit union of your choice or if you would like to open the accounts through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.
  • Include the numbers of accounts you would like to work with ONAC to open by June 30, 2017. 

What does ONAC provide with this partnership? 

ONAC will provide $100.00 per account as an opening deposit, as well as, a piggy bank, Native-specific ONAC financial education booklet, and certificate of participation.  ONAC will directly send the $100.00, for the opening deposit, either to the bank or credit union, of your choice, or to the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  ONAC will provide the forms for the program.  Our coalition will pay for necessary printing and shipping costs. 

As a checklist, please include the following in your letter of interest: 

1.    Name of tribe or Native nonprofit in Oklahoma interested in partnering with ONAC on this Children’s Savings Account (CSA) pilot project.

2.    Contact information for contact at tribe or Native nonprofit (name, title, mailing address, phone number, and email address).

3.    Short description of the target population of youth for which you propose to work with ONAC to open Children’s Savings Accounts.   Please provide brief general information about the ages of the children, the program or department they are served by, if they live in a certain geographic area, general social/economic information, etc.

4.    How many accounts would you like to open with the target population?

5.    From now through June 30, 2017, when would you be available to work with ONAC to help the families open the accounts? 

6.    Anything else you wish to tell ONAC about your interest in such a partnership?  Any questions or concerns you have for ONAC? 

To whom do we submit our letter of interest, by midnight, April 22, 2016?  

You may email your letter to Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org

When will we be notified about the status of our letter of interest? 

Based on the responses we receive, ONAC respond to all interested parties by May 6, 2016.   

Who do I contact if I have questions about this opportunity?  

Please contact Christy Finsel (Osage), ONAC Executive Director, at either cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or (405) 401-7873.

ONAC appreciates your consideration of this partnership!

ONAC Welcomes Donations and Memberships

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.  ONAC appreciates your support!

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

Christy and the ONAC Board and Advisory Committee Members

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 720-0770

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