Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates
On September 26, 2016, BeLieving in Native Generations (BLING), a Native-led nonprofit, partnered with ONAC to begin to open their nineteen allotted Children’s Savings Accounts for 4th and 5th grade students attending Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma. During the account opening event, ONAC, BLING, and staff from the school, met with the parents of the students and assisted them as they opened 529 accounts for the benefit of their children. Each youth received the ONAC financial education booklet and a certificate celebrating their account. ONAC provided the $100 account opening deposit for each student. During the account opening event, the students drew assets of value to them. ONAC provided the art supplies for their art project. Additionally, ONAC provided the youth with organic gardening seeds for their families. ONAC thanks Deborah Scott, Director of BLING; Kristie Subieta, Counseling Psychologist at Riverside Indian School; Clay Vinyard, Superintendent; Patrick Moore, Principal of the High School; and Jeremy Lee, Dean of Students, for their support of this project.
One day later, on September 27, 2016, the American Indian Resource Center, Inc. (AIRC), also a Native-led nonprofit, partnered with ONAC to open thirty-five Children’s Savings Accounts for 5-8th grade students in the Cherokee Immersion after-school program, as well as accounts for their siblings. During this particular account opening event, the parents attended and opened the accounts with assistance from ONAC and AIRC staff. A Cherokee artist Matthew Anderson, Cultural Specialist at the Cherokee Arts Center & Spider Gallery, attended and shared information about Cherokee traditional arts. The students then completed the Native arts project. As a means of promoting that we are building multiple Native assets, ONAC provided each student with a bag of organic gardening seeds, as well as gardening instructions. A big thank you to Pamela Iron, Executive Director, Georgia Dick, project lead, and other AIRC, Inc. staff for all their organizing efforts.
With grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute, with support of the Ford Foundation, ONAC has secured funding for 635 Children’s Savings Accounts. As of October 2016, ONAC has opened and funded 220 accounts, plus funded mini grants for an initial 35 accounts that were opened by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, as well as funded two mini grants to the Kaw Nation and Ranch Good Days, Inc. for 40 more accounts, for a total of 295 accounts.