ONAC Newsletter, September 2015
ONAC Constituent Mini Grant Projects Completed
ONAC is pleased to note that the four 2014-2015 ONAC mini grantees have completed their projects. Each grantee implemented innovative asset building projects. To read the final report about the mini grant outcomes, click here. ONAC thanks the project administrators for all their work!
ONAC to Release Request for Proposals for Second Round of Mini Grants
Later this year, ONAC will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a second round of ONAC mini grants. Two of the grants that will be awarded will be for family emergency savings accounts. The remaining mini grants will be available to support other asset building programs such as credit builder/credit repair, financial education, matched savings accounts, foreclosure prevention, homebuyer education, Children’s Savings Accounts, etc.
ONAC Board Member, Mary Elizabeth Ricketts, Selected as an Honoree for the 2015 AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors
ONAC nominated Mary Elizabeth Ricketts, ONAC Board Member and retired Executive Director of Osage Financial Resources, Inc., for the AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors. Ms. Ricketts was selected as an honoree. According to AARP Oklahoma, “this is one of AARP Oklahoma’s most prestigious and visible awards, given to recognize outstanding Native American Elders who are making a powerful difference in their communities, and Indian Country, in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission and vision, and who inspire others to service.” Ms. Ricketts will be recognized, along with other Native American elders, on October 6th, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. ONAC thanks Ms. Ricketts for her service on the ONAC board.
2015 ONAC Conference
The 2015 ONAC Conference was held on July 14th, at the Oklahoma History Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The conference sessions included an opening welcome by Osage elder, Mr. Eddy Red Eagle, and information about the work of the coalition over the past year, presented by Christy Finsel; acknowledgement of the ONAC leadership committee and board members as well as First Nations Development Institute colleagues; state legislative updates in relation to tribes, as offered by Representatives Dan Kirby and Seneca Scott; an update about the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color Project; financial education resources/information from First Nations Development Institute and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; an update about the Chickasaw Nation’s use of a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant to expand their VITA program; information about four Native Community Development Financial Institutions in the state; project reports from ONAC mini grantees; a session on asset building and elders; information about asset building and food sovereignty/food systems; and a round-robin sharing with information from the Oklahoma Arts Council, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Invest Ed STARS Project.
ONAC wishes to thank those who had attended earlier ONAC conferences including representatives from the Oklahoma State Service Learning program, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Small Business Administration, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, First Nations Development Institute, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Chickasaw Nation: Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, HUD, The New School, Arvest Bank, Oklahoma Native Caucus, Cherokee Nation Commerce Group, Absentee Shawnee Development Corporation, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, FDIC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, OK Farm and Food Alliance, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Oklahoma City Branch), AARP Oklahoma, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University in Saint Louis. ONAC also wishes to thank those who attended our annual conference for the first time. Those participants included those from the American Indian Institute at The University of Oklahoma, Mvskoke Creek Loan Fund, Oklahoma Policy Institute, the Osage Nation, Oklahoma City YWCA, Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at The University of Oklahoma, OKDHS Office of Planning, Research, and Statistics, Oklahoma Department of Securities, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Apache Tribe, The MICAH Foundation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, TBI Raiders, Oklahoma Arts Council, and the Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Following the conference, constituents have told us about the connections they made with other conference attendees. ONAC holds our conferences in an effort to foster such relationships.
ONAC wishes to thank First Nations Development Institute and AARP Oklahoma for their financial support of the conference.
Next summer, we will hold our 2016 ONAC Conference. More information to follow.
ONAC to Share Information at Upcoming First Nations Development Institute LEAD Conference
This week, ONAC Executive Director, Christy Finsel, will present information about ONAC’s work at the First Nations Development Institute LEAD Conference. She will speak about ONAC’s Children’s Savings Account efforts, as well as, ONAC’s community engagement work. For more information about this conference, click here. In the future, this conference may be of interest to you in your asset building efforts.
Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates
ONAC has been preparing materials for our Children’s Savings Account pilot. With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute, our coalition will provide the $100.00 initial deposit, as well as a piggy bank, Native-specific financial education activity booklet, and certificate of participation for the child. We anticipate that the first of our six confirmed partners on the project will start opening accounts with their clients in October. The other five partners will launch their Children’s Savings Accounts pilots throughout the next year. We are excited to get the 270 plus savings accounts opened! More information to follow.
ONAC Partner Wins a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Gold Star Award
The University of Oklahoma Enrollment and Student Financial Services Office was awarded a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Gold Star Award for their work on “The Nine Things Every College Student Should Know About Money” course. According to the award notice, the course provides “students with an understanding of personal finance and how financial decisions will impact their lives going forward.” To read more, click on this news release.
Judi Voeller, Associate Director, Grants and Special Projects, OU Financial Aid Services, has attended several ONAC conferences and is a cheerleader for the coalition’s work. Occasionally, she sends us journal articles about Children’s Savings Account research. ONAC knows that for tribes and Native nonprofits to successfully implement asset building programs in the state, we need reciprocal partnerships with a variety of partners, including tribal colleges and universities. ONAC congratulates the University of Oklahoma on their financial education efforts with their students.
ONAC Welcomes Donations and Memberships
As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations and memberships. For more information about donations, please click here. For information about ONAC memberships, click here. ONAC appreciates your support!
ONAC Chosen as One of Seven Native Nonprofits to Participate in NativeGiving.org
ONAC announced on September 16th that it is one of seven Native American organizations invited to participate in the NativeGiving.org initiative. This initiative is a project that aims to attract donors to smaller Native nonprofits to help them expand their services in their local communities. Sponsored by First Nations Development Institute, this project offers fundraising assistance, and an online giving portal, at www.NativeGiving.org.
ONAC was selected by First Nations Development Institute to participate in the project to assist the organization with its fundraising efforts. Besides ONAC, the other participants in the project are College of Menominee Nation in Wisconsin, Oyate Teca Project in South Dakota, S.T.A.R. School in Arizona, Sust'ainable Molokai in Hawaii, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project in New Mexico, and the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute.
The NativeGiving.org website is now up and running. On the site, people can research the organizational profiles and financially support one or more of the nonprofits. First Nations will incur all processing, administrative and handling costs. Thus, 100% of the gifts made to the participants will go to furthering that organization’s mission. ONAC is thankful to be included in this initiative.
Thank you for your support of ONAC!