ONAC Newsletter, July 2017

05 Jul 2017 11:03 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

ONAC Newsletter, July 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), Elijah McIntosh (Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary of the Nation and Commerce), 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., Tovar & Wheeler, LLC, and the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation.

ONAC Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Program Updates 

On June 15, 2017, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma held a second College Savings Plan Night.  ONAC and staff from the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma worked with parents to open additional accounts.  A big thank you to Chief Glenna J. Wallace; the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s Grants Department (Tami Lowery and Michael Lowery); the Early Childhood Learning Center Director (Stacie Frieze) and staff; and Wellness Center Director (Ron Wallace) and staff.  They all made this event a success!  

The Osage Nation Foundation generously awarded ONAC a grant of $2,500 to fund 25 CSAs for Osage youth served by the Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department.  ONAC is grateful to the Foundation for this funding.   In July 2017, the Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department will hold an account opening event for youth in their Summer Youth Employment Program.  

ONAC Attends Meetings in June

ONAC attended a day of the Oklahoma Securities Commissions’ STARS Teacher Institute in Hulbert, Oklahoma, to learn more about their program.  ONAC also attended the Sovereignty Symposium in Oklahoma City and a Children’s Development Account Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, at Washington University in St. Louis.  We appreciated the opportunity to participate in these events, share information about ONAC, and to continue to meet others interested in Native assets building efforts.

ONAC to Present About Children’s Savings Account Program at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education 2017 in Toronto, Ontario

Christy Finsel (Osage), ONAC’s Executive Director, is honored to have been selected to present a session at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) 2017.  The session, “Children’s Savings Accounts: An Asset Building Tool to Promote Reconciliation and Level the Asset Building Playing Field,” will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.  The session will focus on ONAC’s Children’s Savings Account program, which is being implemented by ONAC and the coalition’s sixteen tribal and Native nonprofit partners.  ONAC will share the state of the field of Native CSAs, offer compelling research for CSAs in any community, facilitate conversation about similar savings programs, and explore ways in which attendees could offer children’s savings programs at home.  The theme of WIPCE 2017 is “A Celebration of Resilience.”  According to WIPCE coordinators, “the role and impacts of Indigenous Education in truth and reconciliation around the world will be a key focus of the conference theme.  In 2015, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its final report including 94 Calls to Action.  The Truth and Reconciliation movement is international.  The 2017 WIPCE conference will explore the ways in which Indigenous people around the world are interacting with similar movements and how resiliency is playing a major role in the revitalization of our diverse cultures.”  For more information about WIPCE 2017, go to http://www.wipce2017.com/about2.html.

Kaw Nation Completed their ONAC-Funded Mini-Grant Project

In 2016, the Kaw Nation conducted a financial education workshop for twenty Kaw Nation students between the ages of 12-17.  During the workshop, staff from Eastman National Bank and City National Bank, as well as Stephen Coit, a Fiduciary Trust Officer with the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians, presented financial education content to the Native youth participants.  Kaw students traveled from Tahlequah, Newkirk, and Ponca City, Oklahoma, as well as Augusta, Kansas, to attend the classes.  Upon completion of the classes, with ONAC mini grant funding for CSAs, the Kaw Nation provided each youth with $135 to be used to open or fund a savings account at a bank or credit union or an account held through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  The youth had an opportunity to earn more money for their savings accounts by participating in an essay contest (the essay contest was funded by ONAC mini grant funding).   The Kaw Nation Tribal Youth Program chose the essay topic. The students were asked: How can you use the information you have obtained from the Kaw Nation ONAC Financial Workshop to reach your future financial goals?  Essay rules and applications were made available to all students at the conclusion of the workshop.  Three City National Bank employees read and selected the three winning essays.   The essay winners were awarded a total of $500 in prize money, with a $300 1st place prize, $150 2nd place prize, and a $50 3rd place prize (awarded $3,500).

ONAC Announces Three New ONAC Mini-Grant Awardees

In April 2017, ONAC released our third request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  This grant was made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  We received eight excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  ONAC awarded a total of $7,000 in new mini-grant funds to three ONAC constituents, with support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  An additional $500 was reallocated from a current grantee, the Native Alliance Against Violence (NAAV), to one of the new grantees, the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma.  NAAV had a change to their project plan and was in a position to generously fund five family emergency savings accounts for the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma from their ONAC grant funds.

ONAC is excited to work with the three new awardees as they continue to offer Native asset building projects to those they serve.  As needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to the grantees as they implement their asset building programs.

Since 2014, ONAC has funded sixteen mini-grant projects with a total of $53,000 in grant funding. 

Below is information about the three new ONAC mini-grant awardees and their projects:

The Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma

The purpose of the Modoc Financial Services Savings Program is to encourage twenty tribal families to save money for emergency and long-term goals.  The program wishes to introduce these twenty families to the banking industry and help the tribal members learn how to manage             their money.  Each family will be provided with $100 for a savings account opening deposit (awarded a total of $2,000, with $1,500 from ONAC and $500 from current ONAC-funded mini-grant awardee Native Alliance Against Violence). 

The Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma

The purpose of their six-week Educational Financial Course, taught by an instructor from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Financial Coaching Program, is to educate their tenants about building financial security.  Their classes will focus on educating tenants on how to budget their monthly finances in order to live below their means so that they can save for a rainy day.  Although this may be challenging, it will empower their families to maintain independence and self-sufficiency, even in a financial emergency.  The point of this fund is to prevent their tenants from having to add to their debt in times of need.  The twenty-five families that complete at least five of the six weeks of the budgeting class will receive $100, per family, for an opening account deposit at Tulsa Teachers Credit Union.  As a follow-up, the financial coach will remain in contact with the families (every 30 to 60 days) to assist with any budgeting issues (awarded $3,500). 

Absentee Shawnee Housing Authority

The purpose of the Match Savings Account program will be to provide current and/or future participants in their Home Ownership/Lease to Own programs with an opportunity to open a savings account to help offset the costs of a housing emergency or emergencies that may affect their housing needs.  At least eight families will receive up to $250 in match funds, for their savings deposits, to help them grow the funds in their emergency savings account (awarded $2,000).

Congratulations to these grantees!

To help ONAC fund the additional applicants, and provide technical assistance to them for their projects, as well as to administer Children’s Savings Accounts for those applicants that proposed to work with youth, please consider making a donation to ONAC.  To make a donation, go to http://oknativeassets.org/donate.   Thank you for considering this request.

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.

            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.

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

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 720-0770

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