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  • 26 Nov 2019 3:17 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Newsletter, November 2019

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is a nonprofit Native asset building coalition that works with 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 2018, the ONAC Board of Directors decided that ONAC would serve at a national level.  

    ONAC Hosted Annual Conference on July 9, 2019

    ONAC hosted its annual conference on July 9, 2019.  One hundred and two individuals registered to attend.  Speakers and participants joined from across the United States (Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, DC, Alaska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Montana, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Arizona, and Colorado).  Six conference sessions were held during the conference day.  

    ONAC Fundraising Campaign for Children’s Savings Accounts on December 3, 2019

    The next 1:1 Fund campaign to support ONAC’s Children's Savings Account (CSA) program is scheduled for GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019.

    ONAC is celebrating the accomplishments of our children.  On December 3rd, the 1:1 Fund will match your ONAC CSA donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500! The 1:1 Fund will have a match cap of $15,000 per partner for this final campaign of the year (ONAC is a 1:1 Fund partner).  To donate, please go to:  https://give.classy.org/ONAC.  Thank you for your support! 

    In the fall of 2017, ONAC was accepted as a partner by the 1:1 Fund.  They offer us two fundraising campaigns a year, during which time they match each individual donation, dollar for dollar.  ONAC uses these donations to fund the $100 minimum opening account deposit required for each 529 account.  These funds allow ONAC to serve Native youth ages birth to 22.  

    Please help ONAC serve more Native youth!  Given the demand for accounts, our goal is to raise $5,000 more to fund 50 CSAs for Native youth.  To donate on December 3rd, please go to: https://give.classy.org/ONAC.

    ONAC and Our Children’s Savings Account Partners Busy Opening Accounts

    Since January of this year, ONAC has directly opened and funded 257 Children’s Savings Accounts for Native youth.  In total, since ONAC began funding such accounts in 2014, our coalition has funded a total of 918 Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) (871 opened and funded by ONAC and 47 more CSAs funded through awards to three Native grantees in 2019).  Special thanks to our tribal and Native nonprofit partners who have provided outreach for account opening events and helped to open accounts this year.   This year, these partners include: Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Osage Financial Resources, Inc., Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma, Absentee Shawnee Housing Authority, Cherokee Nation Child Support Program, the Kiowa Tribe, and the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation.  Also, as of this year, with support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC is also currently supporting Native child savings initiatives in North Carolina (Sequoyah Fund), Montana (People’s Partner for Community Development and the Chief Dull Knife Tribal College Cooperative Extension Service), and Oklahoma (Kiowa Tribe). 

    ONAC and Partners Opening Family Emergency Savings Accounts

    With support from the Administration for Native Americans, ONAC is now directly opening and funding emergency savings accounts for Native families.  From January through September 2019, ONAC worked with the Kiowa Tribe, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Osage Financial Resources, Inc., and the Choctaw Nation to fund 100 accounts.  These tribal and Native nonprofit partners provide the required financial education sessions for those who later receive seed funding for the accounts.  ONAC successfully completed year one of our Administration for Native American grant and will be funding 75 more emergency savings accounts during year two of the grant. 

    ONAC Grantees Completed Projects

    In the last several months, seven ONAC mini-grant awardees completed their projects.  ONAC was able to fund their efforts with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation. Congratulations to these grantees on the successful completion of their projects.   

    Seldovia Village Tribe, AK (funded 21 emergency savings accounts)

    People’s Partner for Community Development, MT (funded 10 child savings accounts; 40 emergency savings accounts; and administered their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program-implemented with support from the Chief Dull Knife Tribal College Cooperative Extension Service; through their VITA efforts, over $1.75 million federal refund dollars were returned to their community

    White Earth Investment Initiative, MN (funding to support their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program; $821,671 in total federal refund dollars were returned to their community)

    Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, AK (funding to support their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program; through their efforts, $914,540 in federal refund dollars was returned to the community

    Osage Financial Resources, Inc., OK (provided financial education for eighty-three individuals and administrative support for their emergency savings account and Children’s Savings Account outreach)

    Kiowa Tribe, OK (funded 35 Children’s Savings Accounts for youth in their Head Start program)

    Sequoyah Fund, Inc., NC (funded 22 Children’s Savings Accounts and 7 emergency savings accounts for Native families)

    ONAC Co-Hosted Two Financial Education Train-the-Trainers in October 2019

    On October 8-9, 2019, with Wells Fargo Foundation support, ONAC co-hosted a Native-specific financial coaching/credit counseling train-the-trainer with the Choctaw Nation in Durant, Oklahoma.  Shawn Spruce, a Native financial education consultant, provided the training.  Thirty-six participants attended.  

    On October 22-24, 2019, ONAC organized and co-sponsored, with Wells Fargo Foundation support, a First Nations Development Institute Building Native Communities financial education train-the-trainer.  The other sponsors included the Native Alliance Against Violence, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Choctaw Nation, and First Nations Development Institute.  The FINRA Investor Education Foundation, ONAC, Native Alliance Against Violence, First Nations Development Institute, and the Federal Trade Commission made financial education-related resource presentations during the training.  The fifty-three attendees were from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, and Washington DC.

    ONAC Supported Native VITA Practitioners to Attend VITACon 2019

    Through support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC paid for travel for the Director of Osage Financial Resources Inc., in Oklahoma, and two staff members from Four Bands Community Fund, in South Dakota, to travel to attend VITACon 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  

    Additionally, Patricia Schramm, ONAC’s Native EITC/VITA Network Coordinator, worked with the Taxpayer Opportunity Network (TON), in her capacity as a TON Steering Committee Member, and connected the following ONAC EITC/VITA directory constituents to TON for travel scholarships: Alu Like- Hawaii; Cherokee Nation-Oklahoma; Chief Dull Knife College Extension Service-Montana; Chickasaw Nation-Oklahoma; St. Labre Youth & Family Services-Montana; Tlingit Haida Regional Housing-Alaska; Ute Mountain-Colorado; and White Earth Investment Initiative-Minnesota. 

    Opportunity to Join the National ONAC Native EITC/VITA Network Mailing List and Directory

    With support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC has restarted the national Native EITC/VITA Network.  The purpose of the ONAC Native EITC/VITA Network is to share resources and opportunities, provide a platform for interaction among Native site coordinators, and to bring concerns from Native VITA sites to appropriate parties.  
     
    As part of these efforts, ONAC is generating a mailing list and a directory of Native-serving VITA sites and other interested parties.  Due to VITA site staff turnover and other changes regarding the national collection of Native VITA initiatives, there is an incomplete gathering of information about Native VITA sites in the U.S.  This directory will be available to Native VITA practitioners who would like to connect with others doing similar work throughout the country.   

    Please note that if you have signed up in the past to join the mailing list, but have not provided information for the directory, we are still in need of more information from you about your VITA-related efforts.  ONAC has been sharing funding opportunities for Native VITA sites with the directory contacts. 

    When individuals complete the survey, via the link provided below, they may note their preferences for how their information is shared with others.  
     
    Please visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/ONACVITA if you would like to be added to the mailing list or directory.

    If you have questions about the Native EITC/VITA Network, please contact Patricia Schramm, ONAC Native EITC/VITA Network Coordinator, at pschramm@oknativeassets.org.

    Thank you for all your work to support Native VITA efforts in tribal communities!

    Presentations at the HUD/ONAP Native Asset Building Summit

    The administrators of the HUD/ONAP Native Asset Building Summit kindly chose submissions from ONAC to present about Native Bank On and Native asset building coalitions during the Summit, held September 17-18, 2019, in Seneca Falls, New York.  Thanks also to Paige Diner, from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, who joined us in presenting during the Bank On session. 

    ONAC Completed A Customized Investor Education Booklet

    ONAC completed a customized investor education booklet (a resource we provide to parents/guardians who are managing their child’s Children’s Savings Account).  We are distributing the printed booklets to parents. 

    Financial Education Resources for Youth

    There are a variety of financial education resources available for youth.  Below are two options: 

    1).  First Nations Development Institute offers a $pending Frenzy financial education simulation kit.  This kit comes with everything you need to host a successful financial reality fair that will help prepare Native American youth to budget money. The $pending Frenzy financial reality fair was designed by First Nations Development Institute to offer Native youth an opportunity to practice handling a sum of money and to spend it wisely.  In the simulation, teens are given $40,000 in fake money and are required to make informed spending decisions to purchase a car, a house, groceries, and other items.  Students can practice visiting a bank to cash their check and deposit a share of their money into savings, and are also given the opportunity to learn about investing a portion of their money.  The full kit is available for $1,200 including free standard UPS ground delivery.  The kit comes with play money, a bill counter, booth materials, and a facilitator’s guide.  For more information, or to order a kit, contact (303) 774-7836 and ask for Simone Klein. 

    2).  The Junior Achievement of Oklahoma has K-12th grade curriculum that meet national and state education standards. “JA Finance Park”, for example, meets all 14 mandated financial literacy requirements for graduation in Oklahoma.  This is a highly interactive web-based program for 9th-12th graders. For more information, contact Jo Wise, OKC Regional Director, at jwise@jaok.org, (405) 300-1023.  

    Support ONAC’s Native Asset Building Efforts Throughout the U.S.         

    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.   

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

  • 12 Sep 2019 9:58 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    There are spots available for a Native-specific financial coaching and credit counseling training to be held in Durant, Oklahoma, from October 8-9, 2019.  The training is sponsored by Choctaw Asset Building, as well as the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), with support of the Wells Fargo Foundation. 

    Consultant, Shawn Spruce, will deliver 12 hours of training from a specialized curriculum featuring up-to-date credit reporting policies, debt collection laws, and real life case studies. The curriculum consists of the following eight modules with each module requiring between one and two hours of facilitation.

    1. Reading and Analyzing Credit Reports
    2. Establishing, Repairing, and Maintaining Good Credit
    3. Understanding Collections
    4. Debt Consolidation and Repayment Strategies
    5. Budgeting and Goal Setting
    6. Understanding Payday Loans
    7. Understanding Credit Cards and Student Loans
    8. Consumer Borrowing Trends

    Each participant will receive a training manual that will include key content from each module such as training activities and lessons, supplemental resources, and financial coaching tools. The manual will be spiral bound with paper quality capable of longstanding use as a reference guide and handbook. Free of charge to attendees.

    To register, go to: 

    Https://Www.eventbrite.com/E/Financial-Coaching-And-Credit-Counseling-Tickets-71384798855
  • 18 Jul 2019 2:57 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Oklahoma City, OK –The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), has significantly expanded its reach across the United States through its funding of family financial security programs for American Indian and Alaska Native families. 

    The $250,000 Wells Fargo Foundation grant, previously announced at the end of last year, is making an impact and building wealth within tribal communities. So far, the grant has funded culturally-relevant and community-centric services that help families start to accumulate savings through targeted outreach in Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Alaska, and Oklahoma. The grant was directed to American Indians and Alaska Natives through two of ONAC’s programs. 

    With support from the Wells Fargo Foundation grant, ONAC had the resources this year to: 

    • award $60,000 to select tribes and Native nonprofits that are administering Native Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA), financial education, Children’s Savings Account (CSA), and family emergency savings accounts programs; 
    • host ONAC’s annual asset building conference (held July 9, 2019, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma);
    • provide technical assistance for tribes and Native nonprofits that are designing and implementing asset building programs; 
    • conduct Native asset building research on Native Child Savings Initiatives in the United States; 
    • administer ONAC’s national Native EITC/VITA Network; and 
    • begin the first Native-led Bank On coalition in the country.  

    Additionally, with this grant support, ONAC will offer a Native-specific financial education train-the-trainer (scheduled for October 22-24, 2019 in Oklahoma). 

    The grant funds are helping ONAC, and its Native partners, to expand its reach and to positively impact a number of American Indian and Alaska Native families.  Julia Nelmark, Chief Executive Officer of White Earth Investment Initiative in Ogema, Minnesota, said, “Through the support of ONAC, White Earth Investment Initiative has provided free tax preparation services on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.  In addition, our partnership with ONAC has allowed us to envision ways to integrate additional asset building efforts into our VITA program to broaden our impact on low-and moderate-income households in our communities.”  

    Anna Knight, ONAC Board Vice President and Executive Director of the Cherokee Nation Commerce Group, said, “The Wells Fargo Foundation’s investment in Native communities and our Native-led asset building coalition has provided us with the resources to help many more Native families to build their assets.”

    “Asset building is a resource that helps families improve their path to economic self-sufficiency,” said Cora Gaane, head of Tribal Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “ONAC is a leader that has been very effective in expanding its programs to more communities and in staying focused on the impact of building good financial health.”   

    About the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.: 

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), first organized in 2001 and now a nonprofit, is a Native asset building coalition that works with 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.  The mission of ONAC is to build and support a network of Native people who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through the establishment of comprehensive financial education initiatives, Individual Development Accounts, and other asset-building strategies.  For more information about the coalition, go to http://oknativeassets.org.

    About Wells Fargo: 

    Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,700 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. With its corporate philanthropy, Wells Fargo aims to pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities by focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health, among other local community needs. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also actively support communities by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s overall corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories and www.wellsfargo.com/impact.

  • 13 Jun 2019 8:21 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Newsletter, June 2019

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is a nonprofit Native asset building coalition that works with 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 2018, the ONAC Board of Directors decided that ONAC would serve at a national level.  

    Annual ONAC Conference Scheduled for July 9, 2019

    We invite you to attend the upcoming ONAC Conference scheduled for Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Oklahoma City, OK.  To register, go to: http://www.oknativeassets.org/2019-ONAC-Conference. 

    During the conference, we will hear from a tribal leader about her tribe's vision for asset building.  We will also receive updates about ONAC's work and opportunities for collaboration; new approaches to integrated asset building efforts with Voluntary Income Tax Assistance, Children's Savings Accounts, and family emergency savings accounts; information about how to build support for Native Children's Savings Account programs; examples of Native-specific financial education teaching tools; background information on the Community Reinvestment Act and support of Native asset building programs; resources and news about upcoming events related to asset building; and an introduction to Bank On Approved Accounts as a tool to help build Native assets.  Speakers will be attending from around the country.  This conference provides a number of networking opportunities.   

    ONAC wishes to thank the following conference sponsors: Wells Fargo Foundation (overall conference sponsor), Osage Casino Hotel, Choctaw Asset Building, Cherokee Nation, Publishing Concepts, LLC, AARP Oklahoma, the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, and the Native Alliance Against Violence.

    The registration fee is $30.00 for the day and includes breakfast and lunch. 

    Thank you for all your support of ONAC and Native asset building!  We hope you will join us!

    ONAC Announces ONAC Bank On Hire

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) and national nonprofit the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced JR Webster (Muscogee-Creek) as ONAC’s Bank On Manager for a two-year term to advance banking access efforts. ONAC is one of five Bank On coalitions across the country whose work will be supported by the Bank On Fellows initiative. The goal of the national Bank On program is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. 

    Approximately 90 local Bank On coalitions across the country, largely led by or working closely with local government, work to expand access to appropriate financial products and services to the over 63 million people outside of the mainstream financial system who rely on alternative, costly financial services.  

    The national Bank On Fellowship Program provides funding to five Bank On coalitions to support a full-time staff position for two years — a “Fellow” — to lead coalition activities. Launched in 2017 with generous support from Wells Fargo, it is the first national initiative focused on building experienced banking access leaders across the country, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts while at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions. 

    “ONAC is grateful for this support to lead the first Native-led Bank On Coalition in the country.  We are excited to link Bank On certified accounts to our other existing asset building programming with Native-led nonprofits and tribal governments,” said Christy Finsel (Osage),ONAC Executive Director.  “We look forward to expanding our partnership with ONAC and to connecting the tribal citizens we work with to Bank On approved accounts so they may have a safe and affordable bank account,” said Anna Knight (Cherokee), Executive Director, Cherokee Nation Commerce Group.   

    The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between local governments, tribal governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. 

    “For millions of adults, meeting basic financial needs—like paying bills or depositing and using their paychecks—is a costly struggle,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Bank On coalitions across the country do critical work helping consumers access safe, affordable accounts, but we know that dedicated staff leadership can supercharge their efforts. We are proud to support Bank On ONAC and their new full-time Fellow, JR Webster, in helping tribal citizens connect to safe financial products."

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is an American Indian-led nonprofit with a mission to build and support a network of Native people, throughout the country, who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through asset-building strategies.  ONAC serves representatives of tribes and Native-led nonprofits by designing and implementing asset-building programs such as Children's Savings Accounts, family emergency savings accounts, financial literacy, and Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs.  As part of ONAC's programming, the coalition is starting a Native-led Bank On Coalition.  The Bank On ONAC Manager will work statewide in Oklahoma, as well as provide outreach to tribal communities throughout the United States.  JR Webster brings experience generating financial education curriculum and teaching financial education throughout Oklahoma, as a prior financial educator for a credit union.  Additionally, in his role at the credit union, he worked with a tribal government to offer safe and affordable bank accounts to tribal citizens.  "I'm incredibly honored to work with ONAC and the CFE Fund to bring access to financial services to tribal citizens.  I have seen firsthand how a lack of access can lead to a lifetime of struggle.  It is exciting to have this opportunity to make a difference in Indian Country," said JR Webster.  

    “This funding and new position focuses on positively impacting Indian Country to make many lives better by putting individuals and families on a path to greater financial health,” said Shelley Marquez, Senior Vice President, Community Relations at Wells Fargo. “The Bank On Fellows program is unusual in that it gives an asset building coalition a dedicated resource who can help remove economic barriers and customize solutions for tribal communities. The work can leave a lasting legacy.”

    Wells Fargo’s $1 million investment in the Bank On initiative also supports additional CFE Fund resources to local coalitions, boosting its efforts to expand access to safe and affordable financial products and services.  The CFE Fund provides funding and technical assistance to help coalitions improve availability of appropriate low-cost, low-fee transactional bank accounts that are certified as meeting the Bank On National Account StandardsAccounts meeting the Bank On National Account Standards are now available at 31 banks and credit unions with over 21,600 branches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

    The Bank On National Account Standards, updated for 2019 – 2020, identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs. Core account features include low costs, no overdraft fees, robust transaction capabilities such as a debit or prepaid card, and online bill pay.  To learn more about Bank On and the National Account Standards click here.

    ONAC Mother’s Day Blog

    First Nations Development Institute asked Christy Finsel to write a blog connecting Mother’s Day with her work as the Executive Director of ONAC.  To read the blog go to: http://bit.ly/ChristyFinsel.

    ONAC Fundraising Campaign for Children’s Savings Accounts

    The next 1:1 Fund campaign to support ONAC’s Children's Savings Account (CSA) program is scheduled for June 17-21, 2019.

    ONAC is celebrating the accomplishments of our children. From June 17-21, the 1:1 Fund will match your ONAC CSA donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500! The 1:1 Fund will have a match cap of $5,000 per partner for this June campaign (ONAC is a 1:1 Fund partner).  To donate, please go to:  https://give.classy.org/ONAC2.  Thank you for your support! 

    In the fall of 2017, ONAC was accepted as a partner by the 1:1 Fund.  They offer us two fundraising campaigns a year, during which time they match each individual donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500.  ONAC uses these donations to fund the $100 minimum opening account deposit required for each 529 account.   These funds allow ONAC to serve Native youth ages birth to 22.  

    Please help ONAC serve more Native youth!  Our goal is to raise $5,000 more to fund 50 CSAs for Native youth.  To donate, please go to: https://give.classy.org/ONAC2.

    ONAC and Our Children’s Savings Account Partners Busy Opening Accounts

    Since January of this year, ONAC has directly opened and funded 178 Children’s Savings Accounts for Native youth.  In total, since ONAC began funding such accounts in 2014, our coalition has funded a total of 792 Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs).  Special thanks to our tribal and Native nonprofit partners who have provided outreach for account opening events and helped to open accounts this year.   This year, these partners include: Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Osage Financial Resources, Inc., Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation Child Support Program, the Kiowa Tribe, and the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation.    Also, as of this year, with support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC is also currently supporting Native child savings initiatives in North Carolina (Sequoyah Fund), Montana (People’s Partner for Community Development and the Chief Dull Knife Tribal College Cooperative Extension Service), and Oklahoma (Kiowa Tribe). 

    ONAC and Partners Opening Family Emergency Savings Accounts 

    ONAC is now directly opening and funding emergency savings accounts for Native families. Since January 2019, ONAC has worked with the Kiowa Tribe, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, and Osage Financial Resources, Inc. to fund 61 accounts.  These tribal and Native nonprofit partners provide the required financial education sessions for those who later receive seed funding for the accounts.  The Administration for Native Americans provided funding for this project.  By September 2019, ONAC will fund 39 more accounts.  

    As part of ONAC’s work to build the capacity of tribes and Native nonprofits, ONAC has also provided grant support for tribes and Native nonprofits to administer emergency savings accounts programs.  In April 2019, ONAC completed a grant project with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. With their support, in the past year, ONAC grantees funded a total of 139 ESAs.  Additionally, with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC recently awarded grants to the People’s Partner for Community Development, Sequoyah Fund, Inc., and Seldovia Village Tribe so that they could fund 81 additional ESAs. 

    ONAC Grantees Completed Projects

    In the last several months, five ONAC mini-grant awardees completed their projects. ONAC was able to fund their efforts with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  From July 2018 to April 2019, the following grantees funded a total of 139 emergency savings accounts for Native families.  Congratulations to these grantees on the successful completion of their projects.   

    The Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma reported that they partnered with two financial institutions to educate their tenants on budgeting skills, different types of loans, predatory loan interest rates, and the importance of saving for a rainy day. They offered their classes for 4-6 weeks for one hour, each class, in the evening.  As they offered more sessions, more participants attended. Their goal is to move their tenants from low rent units to becoming a homeowner. They had twenty-five tenants complete their financial education course and open an emergency savings account. 

    The American Indian Resource Center, Inc. (AIRC) worked with Cherokee language immersion graduates, who attended the Tsunodeloquasdi Immersion School from ages three through eighth grade and who completed or tested out of Cherokee I and Cherokee II at Sequoyah High School.  Seven students completed the program and had funds to assist them with defraying school costs such as ACT/SAT exams, college application fees, college dormitory deposits for housing, senior pictures, graduation announcements, honor sashes for graduation, yearbook, etc. The students also completed a financial education class. 

    The Cherokee Nation Commerce Services funded seventy American Indians who are participating in the tribal workforce development program.  93% of these individuals had income less than 200% of the poverty level, with 66% even lower than that at less than 100% of the poverty level.  

    The Modoc Tribe worked with the Modoc Housing Authority to fund 15 families with emergency savings accounts ($100 per account).  They reported that the families they served do not have previous generations wealth and savings to rely on and that this grant provided that initial investment.  The tribal housing authority provided financial education to the families. 

    The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma funded twenty-two emergency savings accounts and provided financial education classes. 

    ONAC Awarded Eight Additional Grants to Tribes and Native-Led Nonprofits With Support From The Wells Fargo Foundation

    Since 2014, ONAC has awarded twenty-eight grants, $126,500 total, to tribes and Native nonprofits, as a way of supporting their Native asset building programs.  

    Of the twenty-eight grants awarded, ONAC awarded eight grants this spring ($60,000).  The new awardees include: 

    Seldovia Village Tribe, AK (funding to implement emergency savings accounts)

    People’s Partner for Community Development, MT (funding for child savings accounts, emergency savings accounts, and support for their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program-implemented with support from the Chief Dull Knife Tribal College Cooperative Extension Service) 

    Sequoyah Fund, Inc., NC (funding to support their child savings initiative and emergency savings account programming)

    White Earth Investment Initiative, MN (funding to support their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program)

    Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, AK (funding to support their Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program) 

    Osage Financial Resources, Inc., OK (funding to provide financial education and administrative support for their emergency savings account and Children’s Savings Account outreach)

    Kiowa Tribe, OK (seed funding for Children’s Savings Accounts for youth in their Head Start program)

    Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, OK (funding to support their financial education program)

    Financial Education Resources for Youth

    There are a variety of financial education resources available for youth.  Below are two options: 

    1).  First Nations Development Institute offers a $pending Frenzyfinancial education simulation kit.  This kit comes with everything you need to host a successful financial reality fair that will help prepare Native American youth to budget money. The $pending Frenzyfinancial reality fair was designed by First Nations Development Institute to offer Native youth an opportunity to practice handling a sum of money and to spend it wisely.  In the simulation, teens are given $40,000 in fake money and are required to make informed spending decisions to purchase a car, a house, groceries, and other items.  Students can practice visiting a bank to cash their check and deposit a share of their money into savings, and are also given the opportunity to learn about investing a portion of their money.  The full kit is available for $1,200 including free standard UPS ground delivery.  The kit comes with play money, a bill counter, booth materials, and a facilitator’s guide.  For more information, or to order a kit, contact (303) 774-7836 and ask for Simone Klein. 

    2).  The Junior Achievement of Oklahoma has K-12thgrade curriculum that meet national and state education standards. “JA Finance Park”, for example, meets all 14 mandated financial literacy requirements for graduation in Oklahoma.  This is a highly interactive web-based program for 9th-12thgraders. For more information, contact Jo Wise, OKC Regional Director, at jwise@jaok.org, (405) 300-1023.  

    Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day was celebrated on Friday, January 25th.  For the last 13 years, the IRS has partnered with supporters around the country to promote eligibility awareness of refundable credits such as the EITC, the Child Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit (CTC/ACTC), and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).   The IRS promotes this day as “EITC combined with the CTC/ACTC is a financial boost for working people and your local economy. EITC and the CTC greatly reduce poverty for working families. These working family credits lifted an estimated 9.4 million people out of poverty, including 5 million or more than half of them children” (see https://www.eitc.irs.gov/partner-toolkit/eitc-awareness-day/eitc-awareness-day-2and Chuck Marr, Chye-Ching Huang, Arloc Sherman and Brandon DeBot, CBPP-EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and support children’s Development, Research finds, October 1, 2015).  The ONAC national Native EITC/VITA Network promoted EITC Awareness Day.  As part of the Network, ONAC recognizes the Awareness Day promotional activities of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, which promoted EITC on their Facebook page throughout January 25th.  

    Join the National ONAC Native EITC/VITA Network

    The Native EITC/VITA Network is comprised of Native VITA site coordinators and advocates. The purpose of the network is to share resources and opportunities, to provide a platform for interaction among Native site coordinators, and to bring concerns from Native VITA sites to appropriate parties.  Those interested in 

    joining the network may contact Patsy Schramm, ONAC Native EITC/VITA Coordinator, at edgpj@aol.com.  Patsy is now serving on the Taxpayer Opportunity Network (TON) Steering Committee to help bring more Native voices to TON. We are grateful to Prosperity Now for including Patsy on the committee. 

    Support ONAC’s Native Asset Building Efforts Throughout the U.S.

    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. 

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

  • 15 May 2019 9:14 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    Media Contact:

    Christy Finsel

    cfinsel@oknativeassets.org

    405.401.7873


    OKLAHOMA NATIVE ASSETS COALITION, INC. AWARDED FELLOWSHIP TO EXPAND NATIVE COMMUNITY BANKING ACCESS 

    National Bank On Fellowship Will Support Multi-Year Project Around Removing Barriers to Financial Health For Thousands of Unbanked or Underbanked 

    May 15, 2019– Oklahoma City The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) and national nonprofit the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced JR Webster (Muscogee-Creek) as ONAC’s Bank On Manager for a two-year term to advance banking access efforts. ONAC is one of five Bank On coalitions across the country whose work will be supported by the Bank On Fellows initiative. The goal of the national Bank On program is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Approximately 90 local Bank On coalitions across the country, largely led by or working closely with local government, work to expand access to appropriate financial products and services to the over 63 million people outside of the mainstream financial system who rely on alternative, costly financial services.  

    The national Bank On Fellowship Program provides funding to five Bank On coalitions to support a full-time staff position for two years — a “Fellow” — to lead coalition activities. Launched in 2017 with generous support from Wells Fargo, it is the first national initiative focused on building experienced banking access leaders across the country, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts while at the same time generating best practices for other coalitions. 

    “ONAC is grateful for this support to lead the first Native-led Bank On Coalition in the country.  We are excited to link Bank On certified accounts to our other existing asset building programming with Native-led nonprofits and tribal governments,” said Christy Finsel (Osage), ONAC Executive Director.  “We look forward to expanding our partnership with ONAC and to connecting the tribal citizens we work with to Bank On approved accounts so they may have a safe and affordable bank account,” said Anna Knight (Cherokee), Executive Director, Cherokee Nation Commerce Group.  

    The CFE Fund leads the national Bank On movement, supporting local coalitions working to connect individuals and families to the financial mainstream through partnerships between local governments, tribal governments, financial institutions, and community organizations. 

    “For millions of adults, meeting basic financial needs—like paying bills or depositing and using their paychecks—is a costly struggle,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Bank On coalitions across the country do critical work helping consumers access safe, affordable accounts, but we know that dedicated staff leadership can supercharge their efforts. We are proud to support Bank On ONAC and their new full-time Fellow, JR Webster, in helping tribal citizens connect to safe financial products."

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is an American Indian-led nonprofit with a mission to build and support a network of Native people, throughout the country, who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through asset-building strategies.  ONAC serves representatives of tribes and Native-led nonprofits by designing and implementing asset-building programs such as Children's Savings Accounts, family emergency savings accounts, financial literacy, and Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs.  As part of ONAC's programming, the coalition is starting a Native-led Bank On Coalition.  The Bank On ONAC Manager will work statewide in Oklahoma, as well as provide outreach to tribal communities throughout the United States.  JR Webster brings experience generating financial education curriculum and teaching financial education throughout Oklahoma, as a prior financial educator for a credit union.  Additionally, in his role at the credit union, he worked with a tribal government to offer safe and affordable bank accounts to tribal citizens.  "I'm incredibly honored to work with ONAC and the CFE Fund to bring access to financial services to tribal citizens.  I have seen firsthand how a lack of access can lead to a lifetime of struggle.  It is exciting to have this opportunity to make a difference in Indian Country," said JR Webster.  

    “This funding and new position focuses on positively impacting Indian Country to make many lives better by putting individuals and families on a path to greater financial health,” said Shelley Marquez, Senior Vice President, Community Relations at Wells Fargo. “The Bank On Fellows program is unusual in that it gives an asset building coalition a dedicated resource who can help remove economic barriers and customize solutions for tribal communities. The work can leave a lasting legacy.”

    Wells Fargo’s $1 million investment in the Bank On initiative also supports additional CFE Fund resources to local coalitions, boosting its efforts to expand access to safe and affordable financial products and services.  The CFE Fund provides funding and technical assistance to help coalitions improve availability of appropriate low-cost, low-fee transactional bank accounts that are certified as meeting the Bank On National Account StandardsAccounts meeting the Bank On National Account Standards are now available at 31 banks and credit unions with over 21,600 branches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

    The Bank On National Account Standards, updated for 2019 – 2020, identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect consumers to accounts that meet their needs. Core account features include low costs, no overdraft fees, robust transaction capabilities such as a debit or prepaid card, and online bill pay.  To learn more about Bank On and the National Account Standards click here, or follow the conversation on Twitter @CFEfund #BankOn.

    About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

    The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders in almost 70 cities to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

    About Bank On 

    Bank On coalitions are locally-led partnerships between local public officials; city, state, and federal government agencies; tribal governments; financial institutions; and community organizations that work together to help improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families in their communities. The Bank On national initiative builds on a grassroots movement of dozens of coalitions in cities across the country, offering national account standards, capacity grant support, pilot funding, and a learning community. In addition to connecting unbanked individuals to accounts, Bank On programs raise public awareness, target outreach to the unbanked, and expand access to financial education. Visit www.cfefund.org/bankon for more information.

    About Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets.  Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially.  Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,400 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.  With approximately 268,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune's  2017 rankings of America's largest corporations.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo No. 3 on its most recent list of the top corporate cash philanthropists.  In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits.  Wells Fargo's corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities,  environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion.  News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories


    ###

  • 10 May 2019 11:07 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    First Nations Development Institute invited ONAC's Executive Director, Christy Finsel, to write a Mother's Day blog.  

    Here is a link to the blog: http://bit.ly/ChristyFinsel. 

  • 28 Mar 2019 9:33 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    As of March 2019, ONAC has funded 781 Children's Savings Accounts (CSA) for Native youth.  87% of the account beneficiaries are from families living at 200% or below the federal poverty level.  ONAC is grateful to our twenty-one CSA partners for their work with ONAC on account outreach. 

  • 19 Mar 2019 10:37 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Oklahoma City, OK (March 26, 2019)- The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) is now accepting applications for a full-time, two-year, ONAC Bank On Manager.  

    The deadline to apply for the position is April 23, 2019.   To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.  

    The ONAC Bank On Manager job description is found below.

    Background

    As a part of Bank On, cities across the country have formed coalitions to expand banking access efforts; to date, at least three million people have opened bank accounts certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards.  The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), leads the national Bank On initiative and the multi-city Fellowship Program. The Bank On Fellowship Program is a national initiative focused on building a multi-city cohort of successful Bank On managers, equipping them with the training, tools, and resources to make significant advancements in local banking access efforts and, at the same time, generating best practices for other coalitions around the country.  Please refer to www.cfefund.org/bankon for more information about the national Bank On movement.  

    The Oklahoma Native  Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) is  an American Indian-led nonprofit with a mission to build and support a network of Native people who are dedicated  to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through asset building strategies.  ONAC serves representatives of tribes and Native-led nonprofits by designing and implementing asset building programs such as Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs), family emergency savings accounts, financial literacy, and Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs.   As part of ONAC's programming, the coalition is starting a Native Bank On coalition. 

    ONAC administers four programs: 

    1). Children's Savings Accounts, CSAs (opening and funding 754 CSAs to date, to help Native youth build a nest egg of savings; we have 21 tribal and Native nonprofit partners); 

    2). Grants for Native asset builders (mini-grants and larger grants to fund various asset building programs; we have a grant administration system in place, provide technical assistance to grantees, and have awarded twenty-seven grants, $126,200 total since 2014, to tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Montana, Alaska, and North Carolina); 

    3). Professional development for Native asset builders and program building (planning and hosting our annual conference; offering free technical assistance to our constituents as they design and implement asset building programs; submitting administrative policy guidance requests; conducting evaluation of asset building programs; administering a national Native VITA/EITC network; and coordination of a Native Bank On coalition); and 

    4).  Emergency Savings Accounts, ESAs (plans to fund 240 ESAs from 2018 to 2021.  240 additional ESAs were funded by December 2018). 

    Manager Position

    The Bank On Fellow will be a member of the Bank On Fellowship cohort with four other Fellows who will work collaboratively to provide leadership to the Bank On initiative to make significant advancement in local banking access efforts.  The Manager will be responsible for reporting to and working with ONAC’s Executive Director to realize the vision of the ONAC Bank On coalition, overseeing day-to-day operations, and coordinating with the CFE Fund.  The Manager will be a full-time employee of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. The position will be a two-year commitment, with the expectation that the ONAC Bank On coalition will continue beyond the two-year fellowship, if funding is secured. 

    Key Job Responsibilities Include the Following:

    • COALITION MANAGEMENT: In coordination with ONAC's Executive Director, cultivate new and existing relationships with local, regional, and national partners including tribal, city, county, and state officials; banks and credit unions; community organizations; researchers and advocates; and banking regulators including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, and National Credit Union Administration.  Develop and support a multi-sector Bank On Advisory Committee (if needed).
    • BANK ON NATIONAL ACCOUNT STANDARDS: Work with financial institutions who do not yet offer nationally certified products that meet the Bank On National Account Standards to achieve certification. 
    • PARTNERSHIP INTEGRATION: Identify and cultivate opportunities to incorporate banking access into existing program infrastructure.  Work with program partners to implement successful integrations.  Lead meetings with senior staff within municipal agencies, tribes,  Native-led nonprofits, financial institutions, and community-based organizations to develop and advance local coalition initiatives.
    • PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: Work with the ONAC Executive Director to design the Bank On Coalition strategy and to manage the Bank On program budget.
    • DATA: Track, analyze and report data about Bank On activities.
    • CONTENT EXPERTISE: Serve as a resource to the community around banking and financial empowerment issues.
    • SUSTAINABILITY AND FUNDRAISING: Work with the ONAC Executive Director to identify and cultivate relationships with local funders and public funding source entities to seek ongoing public and private support to ensure program remains financially sustainable. 
    • MARKETING/MEDIA: Create an appropriate marketing and outreach strategy to reach unbanked local residents. Incorporate public service messages to encourage the opening of safe and affordable accounts.
    • TRAINING: Work with relevant partners to ensure awareness about and accessibility to certified banking products.  Lead forums and manage external relationships to communicate the value and mission of program
    • LEARNING COMMUNITY: Work with the CFE Fund to support the local Bank On program model and coordinate on the multi-city Fellowship cohort initiative. Actively participate in the Bank On Fellows learning community opportunities. Assist in reporting to the CFE Fund on Fellowship activities and program progress.
    • COMPLEMENT BANKING ACCESS GOALS: Train program partners who will engage clients around financial education and banking access issues.
    • TRAVEL: Some national and local travel, including mandatory training in Washington, D.C. from May 28-31, 2019.
    Education
    • Minimum of a Bachelors degree and 1-3 years of professional experience required.
    • Masters degree preferred.
    Experience
    • Minimum of two years experience independently running a program or project preferred.
    • Deep relationships/network with community, including financial institutions, Native-led nonprofits, tribal governments, and federal partners strongly preferred.
    • Familiarity with Native asset building programming, banking, mainstream financial products, and the Community Reinvestment Act preferred.
    • Familiarity with challenges facing unbanked/underbanked tribal citizens preferred.
    • Strong background in community organizing, coalition management, or multi-sector collaboration preferred.
    • Experience with public speaking and communications experience preferred.
    • Experience in grant writing/budget management preferred.
    Skills
    • Advanced interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to work closely with a wide range of constituents, including comfort leading meetings with senior-level staff from tribal governments, state and federal governments, municipal agencies, financial institutions, funders, and community-based organizations required.
    • Excellent written and presentation skills required.
    • Compassion and understanding of the social issues/structures surrounding the complexities of being unbanked. 
    Automobile Insurance

    Maintain personal automobile insurance and provide ONAC with a copy of the insurance policy.

    Application Deadline:

    The deadline to apply for the position is April 23, 2019.  To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.  



  • 17 Dec 2018 5:08 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Newsletter, December 2018

    ONAC Awarded A Grant By the Wells Fargo Foundation

    In November 2018, ONAC was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Wells Fargo Foundation.  These funds allow ONAC to expand our programs to promote family financial security for American Indian and Alaska Native families through the Wells Fargo American Indian/Alaska Native Financial Capability Grant Program.  This grant will fund culturally-relevant and community-centric asset building services and programs through targeted outreach in Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Alaska, and Oklahoma.  The grant award will be directed to American Indians and Alaska Natives through a two of ONAC’s programs.  Through ONAC’s Grant Program, ONAC will award funds to select tribes and Native nonprofits that are administering Native Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA), financial education, and family emergency savings accounts programs.  The support from Wells Fargo Bank will also support ONAC’s Professional Development/Asset Program Builder Program so that ONAC may continue to host an annual asset building conference; provide train-the-trainers and technical assistance for tribes and Native nonprofits designing and implementing asset building programs; participate in national, regional, and local advisory groups and committees; conduct Native asset building research and evaluation; promote Native Bank On efforts; and update and print ONAC-generated financial education booklets for our Children’s Savings Account program.  Additionally, with this support, ONAC will revitalize the national Native EITC/VITA Network of Native site practitioners and advocates.  If you would like to be added to the Native EITC/VITA distribution list, please email Patricia (Patsy) Schramm, the ONAC Native EITC/VITA Coordinator, at edgpj@aol.com.

    ONAC Awarded An Administration for Native Americans SEDS Grant

    In September 2018, ONAC was awarded an Administration for Native Americans SEDS grant.

    ONAC received support to continue our programs to promote family financial security for American Indian families in Oklahoma through the Helping Native Families, in Oklahoma, to Build Assets Project.  This grant funds asset building services and programs in one of the most densely populated areas of Indian Country, including both urban and rural Native communities.  The grant award will be directed to Oklahoma American Indians through a two-pronged approach, including funding the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan $100.00 required opening account deposits of 270 Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) for Native youth, ages birth to 22, and the funding of 240 family emergency savings accounts for Native families.

    The project is funded by a three-year, $375,000, Social and Economic Development grant from the Administration for Native Americans, awarded through the Administration for Children and Families.

    “Children’s Savings Accounts, or CSAs, provide a nest egg of savings and can positively affect children’s educational development.  ONAC is administering the largest American Indian-led seeded CSA program in the country, funding 594 accounts to date, with nineteen CSA partners (tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma),” said Christy Finsel (Osage), Executive Director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. 

    “This project will also help Native families with lower incomes open flexible savings accounts to buffer them in times of emergency, income fluctuation, or irregular expenses,” Finsel said.  “Such accounts will promote financial inclusion by providing a mechanism for Native families to connect to mainstream financial services that are safe and affordable.  With this funding, we will provide the initial opening account deposit and then the families can grow the accounts over time with their own deposits.  Emergency savings accounts, for any family, can be a step along the way towards family financial stability and economic mobility.”

    The resources from the Administration for Native Americans will allow the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, and our Native partners, to continue to positively impact a number of American Indian citizens in Oklahoma.  Finsel added, “We are thankful and very excited about the Administration for Native American’s investment in Oklahoma Native communities and our Native-led asset building coalition.” 

    40 BNC Train-the-Trainer Participants Certified to Teach Financial Education

    From October 23-25, 2018, 40 individuals attended an ONAC-hosted BNC training in Oklahoma City, OK.   All the attendees were certified to teach the Building Native Communities financial education curriculum.  Such trainings are designed to provide Native-specific and culturally-relevant financial education training for those that teach financial education in Native communities.

    Native-specific financial education trainings, such as BNC trainings, acknowledge the broader understanding Native communities have about assets, as assets not only being money but also sovereignty, kinship, Native languages and arts, natural resources, etc.  The training materials include culturally relevant examples and note the ways Native communities have been saving for generations.  Tribes and Native nonprofits may choose to integrate Native financial education into their other asset building programs.  

    This training was sponsored by First Nations Development Institute, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), Native Alliance Against Violence, Choctaw Asset Building, Bank2, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Victim Services.  Thanks to all these sponsors.  We would not have been able to host this training without their support.

    Successful 1:1 Fund Campaign to Support ONAC’s CSA Program

    On November 27, 2018, the 1:1 Fund matched your ONAC CSA donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500.  During this campaign, ONAC raised $2,554.   With your support, ONAC met our goal for the day and has funds for 25 more CSAs. 

    In the fall of 2017, ONAC was accepted as a partner by the 1:1 Fund.  They offer us two crowdsource-based fundraising campaigns a year, during which time they match each individual donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500.  ONAC uses these donations fund the $100 minimum opening account deposit required for each 529 account.   These funds allow ONAC to serve Native youth ages birth to 22.  Since 2014, ONAC has funded 624 CSAs.

    Financial Education Resources for Youth

    There are a variety of financial education resources available for youth.  Below are two options:

    1).  First Nations Development Institute offers a $pending Frenzy financial education simulation kit.  This kit comes with everything you need to host a successful financial reality fair that will help prepare Native American youth to budget money. The $pending Frenzy financial reality fair was designed by First Nations Development Institute to offer Native youth an opportunity to practice handling a sum of money and to spend it wisely.  In the simulation, teens are given $40,000 in fake money and are required to make informed spending decisions to purchase a car, a house, groceries, and other items.   Students can practice visiting a bank to cash their check and deposit a share of their money into savings, and are also given the opportunity to learn about investing a portion of their money.  The full kit is available for $1,200 including free standard UPS ground delivery.  The kit comes with play money, a bill counter, booth materials, and a facilitator’s guide.  For more information, or to order a kit, contact (540) 371-5615.

    2).  The Junior Achievement of Oklahoma has K-12th grade curriculum that meet national and state education standards. “JA Finance Park”, for example, meets all 14 mandated financial literacy requirements for graduation in Oklahoma.  This is a highly interactive web-based program for 9th-12th graders. For more information, contact Jo Wise, OKC Regional Director, at jwise@jaok.org, (405) 300-1023. 

    Support Native Asset Building in Oklahoma 

    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. 

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

  • 10 Dec 2018 8:55 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    News Release

    Contact:

    Christy Finsel, cfinsel@oknativeassets.org

    (405) 401-7873

    December 10, 2018                                                           

    Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) to Expand Native Asset Building Efforts in the United States

    Oklahoma City, OK - The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) received a $250,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to expand its family financial security programs for American Indian and Alaska Native families.

    This grant will fund culturally-relevant and community-centric services that help families start to accumulate savings through targeted outreach in Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Alaska, and Oklahoma.  The grant will be directed to American Indians and Alaska Natives through two of ONAC’s programs.  Through ONAC’s Grant Program, ONAC will award funds to select tribes and Native nonprofits that are administering Native Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA), financial education, Children’s Savings Account (CSA), and family emergency savings accounts programs.  The support from the Wells Fargo Foundation will also support ONAC’s Professional Development/Asset Builder Program so that ONAC may continue to host an annual asset building conference; provide train-the-trainers and technical assistance for tribes and Native nonprofits designing and implementing asset building programs; participate in national, regional, and local advisory groups and committees; conduct and publish Native asset building research and evaluation; and update and print ONAC-generated financial education booklets for ONAC’s CSA program.  Additionally, with this support, ONAC will restart a national Native VITA network. 

    “Understanding how to put your family on a path towards saving money is vital for feeling a sense of security,” said Mike Rizer, head of Community Relations for Wells Fargo. “ONAC has a deep understanding of how to address the challenges in tribal and Alaska Native communities so we wanted to broaden their programs, which empower individuals but also help at a community level by working with other nonprofits.”

    “Asset building is a resource that helps families improve their path to economic self-sufficiency,” said Cora Gaane, Tribal Advocate and head of Tribal Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is proud to support organizations like ONAC, which assist Native people in building financial and tangible assets.”  

    The project is part of Wells Fargo’s five-year, $50 million commitment to support American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Wells Fargo has been serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities in the United States for more than 50 years. The company is dedicated to serving these communities with products, services, and financial education programs tailored to help tribal clients, tribal governments, tribal enterprises, and tribal members succeed financially. The resources from the Wells Fargo Foundation will allow the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, and our Native partners, to expand its reach and to positively impact a number of American Indian and Alaska Native families.  Finsel said, “We are thankful and very excited about the Wells Fargo Foundation’s investment in Native communities and our Native-led asset building coalition.”

    About the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.: The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), first organized in 2001 and now a nonprofit, is a Native asset building coalition that works with 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.  The mission of ONAC is to build and support a network of Native people who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through the establishment of comprehensive financial education initiatives, Individual Development Accounts, and other asset-building strategies.  For more information about the coalition, go to http://oknativeassets.org.

    About the Wells Fargo Foundation: Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,950 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2017, Wells Fargo donated $286.5 million to 14,500 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered a record 2 million hours. Wells Fargo’s corporate responsibility efforts are focused on three strategic priorities: diversity and social inclusion, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 401-7873

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