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  • 08 Oct 2016 5:14 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates 

    On September 26, 2016, BeLieving in Native Generations (BLING), a Native-led nonprofit, partnered with ONAC to begin to open their nineteen allotted Children’s Savings Accounts for 4th and 5th grade students attending Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma. During the account opening event, ONAC, BLING, and staff from the school, met with the parents of the students and assisted them as they opened 529 accounts for the benefit of their children.  Each youth received the ONAC financial education booklet and a certificate celebrating their account.  ONAC provided the $100 account opening deposit for each student.  During the account opening event, the students drew assets of value to them.  ONAC provided the art supplies for their art project.  Additionally, ONAC provided the youth with organic gardening seeds for their families.  ONAC thanks Deborah Scott, Director of BLING; Kristie Subieta, Counseling Psychologist at Riverside Indian School; Clay Vinyard, Superintendent; Patrick Moore, Principal of the High School; and Jeremy Lee, Dean of Students, for their support of this project.

    One day later, on September 27, 2016, the American Indian Resource Center, Inc. (AIRC), also a Native-led nonprofit, partnered with ONAC to open thirty-five Children’s Savings Accounts for 5-8th grade students in the Cherokee Immersion after-school program, as well as accounts for their siblings.  During this particular account opening event, the parents attended and opened the accounts with assistance from ONAC and AIRC staff.  A Cherokee artist Matthew Anderson, Cultural Specialist at the Cherokee Arts Center & Spider Gallery, attended and shared information about Cherokee traditional arts.  The students then completed the Native arts project.  As a means of promoting that we are building multiple Native assets, ONAC provided each student with a bag of organic gardening seeds, as well as gardening instructions.  A big thank you to Pamela Iron, Executive Director, Georgia Dick, project lead, and other AIRC, Inc. staff for all their organizing efforts. 

    With grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute, with support of the Ford Foundation, ONAC has secured funding for 635 Children’s Savings Accounts.  As of October 2016, ONAC has opened and funded 220 accounts, plus funded mini grants for an initial 35 accounts that were opened by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, as well as funded two mini grants to the Kaw Nation and Ranch Good Days, Inc. for 40 more accounts, for a total of 295 accounts. 

  • 18 Aug 2016 4:07 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    PRESS RELEASE

    Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE , August 18, 2016    

    Contact: Christy Finsel, (405) 401-7873

    OKLAHOMA NATIVE ASSETS COALITION RECEIVES GRANT FOR 

     ASSET-BUILDING POLICY AND PRACTICE PROJECT

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) recently received a $120,000 grant from First Nations Development Institute, with support of the Ford Foundation. This award is for an Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Asset-Building Policy and Practice Project.

    With this grant, ONAC will receive funding for constituency building, educating policymakers, and building asset-building programs. “This grant will support ONAC as our coalition hosts our annual conference, provides funding for Children’s Savings Accounts and mini grants in Oklahoma, and offers free technical assistance to our partners who are designing and implementing asset-building programs in the state," said Christy Finsel (Osage), Executive Director of ONAC.   "This funding will also help ONAC to continue to work with tribal, federal and state policymakers and administrative staff to provide information about the unique challenges associated with the racial wealth gap in American Indian communities, including the need to respect tribal sovereignty and understand what program designs have worked in American Indian communities to build family economic security.  We appreciate First Nations Development Institute’s investment in our coalition.  ONAC is excited about this opportunity to help Native families build their assets by working with tribes and Native nonprofits to increase the numbers of asset building programs.” 

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), founded in 2001 and now a 501(c)(3) 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, visit http://oknativeassets.org.            

    # # #

  • 12 Aug 2016 3:52 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Newsletter, July 2016

    ONAC 2016 Conference

    On July 12, 2016, ONAC held our 2016 Conference in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma History Center.  Ninety-eight individuals registered to attend and eighty-three were in attendance.   This was our most attended conference to date. 

    ONAC appreciates all those who participated in the conference.  Assistant Chief Lewis Johnson, of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, conducted the tribal welcome.  We then heard updates from ONAC and remarks from the Oklahoma Native Caucus Co-Chairs (Representatives Dan Kirby and Seneca Scott); Vincent G. Logan, Special Trustee, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST); Lillian Sparks Robinson, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans; Shawn Spruce, a consultant working with First Nations Development Institute; and Mashell Sourjohn, Associate State Director of Community Outreach.  After lunch, we took a wonderful on-site special tour of the Oklahoma Historical Society American Indian Collections led by Bill Welge, Matt Reed, and two other staff members from the Oklahoma Historical Society.  We then heard from several constituents about their family emergency savings account projects (Michael and Tami Lowery of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Dawn Stover of the Native Alliance Against Violence), as well as from Sarah Sattelmeyer of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Patricia Hart of New America.   After the afternoon break, three ONAC mini grantees (Thunder Whitecloud of the Mvskoke Loan Fund, Tina Pollard of Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, and Ted Moore of the Kaw Nation) shared updates about their projects.  We then had a Children’s Savings Account panel where we heard from John Blue, Secretary of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Kara Pasqua Whitworth (Director) and Christina Bowlin (CSA Coordinator) of the Office of Child Support Services of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Cynthia Logsdon Assistant Director of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation.  We ended the day with updates from Sharon Gordon-Ribeiro, Field Office Director-OKC of HUD; Pamela Charles, Sr. Stakeholder Relationship Manager of the IRS; and Cindy Carter Renfro, Native American Liaison of the U.S. Small Business Administration.   ONAC followed the conference sessions with a reception.  Thank you to all the speakers who shared their Native asset building expertise. 

    ONAC is grateful to our conference sponsors, AARP Oklahoma and Choctaw Asset Building, as well as First Nations Development Institute, with support of the Ford Foundation, for grant support of this conference.  Additionally, we thank Catherine Bryan (First Nations) and Dawn Hix (Choctaw Asset Building) who staffed the registration table; ONAC Board Members (Anna Knight, Terry Mason Moore,

    Elizabeth Ricketts, Dawn Hix, and Cynthia Logsdon) and Advisory Committee Members (Shay Smith, Ed Shaw, Christy Estes, and Lahoma Simmons); the Oklahoma Historical Society staff and volunteers; and all the constituents who traveled to participate in the day.  We are grateful for your support of the coalition and excited about Native asset-building efforts in Oklahoma!

    Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates 

    The third of our confirmed CSA partners, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, has opened a total of forty-eight ONAC Children’s Savings Accounts for youth enrolled in a financial education program they provided, as well as for children who attend their Early Childhood Learning Center.   They held a Family and College Savings Plan Night at their Early Childhood Learning Center on June 3, 2016.   During that event, they scheduled storytelling, a Native arts project, supervised playtime, and dinner.   At the end of the evening, they provided bounce houses for the children in their gym.  

    With their strong outreach efforts, their grants office opened Children’s Savings Accounts with Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma parents/guardians.  NAC provided children with $100 for their account, made payable either to the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan or MOST-Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan (as their tribal members live in both states given their close location to the Oklahoma and Missouri borders).  Additionally, ONAC provided each child with a piggy bank, ONAC generated Native-specific financial education booklet, a certificate celebrating their account, and gardening seeds and gardening directions to promote the idea that we are building multiple culturally-relevant assets, including food cultivation/food sovereignty.  Building from ONAC’s belief that assets are not only money, at the Family and College Savings Plan Night, the youth were invited to create a piece of artwork that expressed their understandings of assets.  With parental permissions, ONAC will use artwork from several of the youth, to create a desk calendar to promote the idea of building assets throughout the year.  A big thank you to Chief Glenna J. Wallace who attended and encouraged the parents and children to save for the future; the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma’s Grants Department (Tami Lowery and Michael Lowery); the Early Childhood Learning Center Director (Bobbie Ahrens) and staff; Wellness Center Director (Ron Wallace) and staff; Ryan Frieze of the IT Department; and those who volunteered with them to make the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma CSA pilot a great success!  

    ONAC to Speak at the LEAD Conference

    ONAC will speak at the upcoming First Nations Development Institute LEAD Conference to be held September 27-29, 2016, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   Ms. Finsel, of ONAC, will provide general Native Children’s Savings Account program design information, as well as specifics about the ONAC Children’s Savings Account program.  Two ONAC CSA partners, the Cherokee Nation Office of Child Support Services and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, will present information about their partnerships with ONAC to offer CSAs.  For more information, or to register, go to https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1823021.

    ONAC Awards One New Mini Grant in July 2016

    ONAC announces that it has awarded an ONAC mini grant to the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation.  This grant was made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

    In January 2016, ONAC released our second request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  We received excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  At the time, ONAC received an application from the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation but was not able to fund the grant until our second grant installment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation arrived.  ONAC is excited to work with their housing authority as they continue to offer Native asset building projects to their tribal members.  If needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to them as they implement their asset-building program.  Congratulations to the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation on this award.

    The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation will assist ten families with starting an Emergency Savings Account, as part of a matched savings account program, to help them to become more self-sufficient and move towards homeownership.  This grant will allow the housing authority to develop a core curriculum to help prevent foreclosure and send staff to foreclosure prevention and credit and budgeting training.  By June 2017, ten families will have opened emergency savings accounts with the initial deposit money ($200 per family) provided through this grant (awarded $3,500). 

    ONAC Welcomes Donations, Sponsorships, Memberships, and Endowment Support

    As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations, sponsorships, and memberships.  We are also interested in beginning an endowment. For more information, please go to the donate page at www.oknativeassets.org or call Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at 405-401-7873. ONAC appreciates your support!

    ONAC Announces New Board Member

    ONAC welcomes a new board member, Cynthia Logsdon.  She will join the board as a Board Director.  Mrs. Logsdon has a long history of supporting ONAC and providing leadership to the coalition.  Most recently, she was a member of the ONAC Advisory Committee.  Cindy is the Assistant Director of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  We are thankful for her service to ONAC!

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

  • 15 Jul 2016 5:00 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)
    We invite you to attend the 2017 Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) Conference.  ONAC will release the 2017 Conference date by early 2017.   

    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.

    Who should attend the conference?

    Those interested and engaged in Native asset building. 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:

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

    Agenda: Agenda is forthcoming.


     


    What is ONAC?  
    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 security of tribal citizens.

    What is ONAC’s role with Native asset building?
    ONAC is working with constituents and partners to increase the number of Native asset building opportunities such as:

    • financial education programs
    • credit builder programs
    • Individual Development Account programs (matched savings)
    • homeownership and foreclosure prevention programs
    • children's savings programs
    • entrepreneurial programs
    • free tax preparation at Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, etc.
    Questions?
    If you have any questions about ONAC or the 2017 ONAC Conference, please contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or at (405) 401-7873
     

  • 11 May 2016 1:58 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Announces Additional 
    Children’s Savings Account Partners

    May 11, 2016.  We, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), announce that we have chosen six new Children’s Savings Account partners, in addition to several current partners, to work with us to open 250 more ONAC Children’s Savings Accounts for Native youth. 

    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 March 2016, ONAC released a request for Letters of Interest for Children’s Savings Account partnerships.  We received excellent letters from tribal governments and Native nonprofits based in Oklahoma.  ONAC is thankful to all those who submitted requests for partnership.  Our coalition received requests for more accounts than we currently have funding to fulfill.  ONAC will continue to try to raise funds for future accounts.

    During the next fourteen months, ONAC will work with these six additional partners to open Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) with generous grant funding from First Nations Development Institute (with support from the Ford Foundation).   ONAC will provide the $100 opening deposit for each CSA, a piggy bank, a certificate celebrating the account, a Native-specific financial education booklet, the customized letters to parents/guardians, and other related account opening materials. 

    The additional CSA partners are as follows:

    • Eastern Shawnee Tribe to open ONAC CSAs for youth in a financial education class they offer, as well as for youth attending their Early Childhood Learning Center in Wyandotte, Oklahoma.
    • Pawnee Tribe Title VI Elderly Meals Program to open ONAC CSAs for Pawnee grandchildren being raised by their grandparents in Pawnee and Payne County, Oklahoma.
    • BeLieving In Native Generations to open ONAC CSAs with youth attending Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
    • Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation to open ONAC CSAs for youth residing in their housing stock, through their Resident Services program.
    • American Indian Resource Center, Inc. to open ONAC CSAs for youth attending the after-school program of the Cherokee Nation Immersion School.
    • The Scholarship Foundation Program of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to open CSAs for seniors in high school, with assistance of The Johnson O’Malley Program of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.   The Scholarship Foundation Program of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation will incentivize the youth participating in financial literacy and FAFSA workshops and making additional deposits in their accounts by offering up to $200 in additional funding for the accounts.

    We appreciate the interest of these tribes and Native nonprofits in establishing nest eggs of savings for these youth. 

    For more information about the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., please go to http://www.oknativeassets.org/.    If you have any questions about ONAC and the Children’s Savings Account Program, contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.

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

    ONAC Newsletter, April 2016

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

    ONAC on Facebook

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

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

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

    Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates 

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

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

    ONAC to Speak at the Color of Wealth Summit

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

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

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

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

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

    ONAC Awards Four New Grantees in March 2016

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

    In January 2016, ONAC released our second request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  We received excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  ONAC is excited to work with the awardees as they continue to offer Native asset building projects to their tribal members.  If needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to the grantees as they implement their asset building programs.  Congratulations to the grantees!

    The new ONAC mini grant awardees are as follows:

    • The Kaw Nation will conduct a financial education workshop for at least twenty Kaw Nation students, between the ages of 13-17.  As part of the workshop, the tribe will work with the youth and their parents to either open a savings account at Eastman National Bank or an account through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  With the mini grant funding, the Kaw Nation will provide the opening deposit for the accounts.  The youth will have an opportunity to earn more money for their accounts by participating in an essay contest.  A panel, comprised of representatives from the Kaw Nation Tribal Youth Program, the Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program, and the Kaw Nation Education Department, will choose the essay topics. The students will be asked to share what they learned from the financial workshop and how they will use this financial knowledge toward their future goals.  Essay rules and applications will be made available to all students at the conclusion of the workshop.  A committee comprised of representatives from various Kaw Nation departments as well as a representative from Eastman National Bank will read and select the winning essays.  Winners of the contest will be announced on the Kaw Nation’s website (awarded $3,500).
    • Seminole Nation Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program will develop customized curriculum and administer a six-hour “Managing Your Family Finances” workshop, held on two days during summer 2016, for fourteen participants.  Those eligible for the workshops include Native American families residing in the Seminole Nation jurisdiction, which comprises 97% of Seminole County.  During the workshop, participants will gain knowledge related to budgeting, building credit, and saving towards a goal.  Each family will establish a savings plan.  The Program will work with the families to open a family emergency savings account, at BancFirst, and they will provide the opening deposit with grant funding.  The participants will be encouraged to add their own deposits to the account by following their individual savings plans.  The Program will contact the participants at 30-and 60-day intervals to assess the effectiveness of the savings plan.  The Program staff will conduct a pre-and post-workshop assessment. Childcare and meals will be provided during the workshop (awarded $3,500).
    • Ranch Good Days, Inc. will work with the Na Tsista Girls Basketball Team (from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes), their coach, and the girl’s families, to open twenty Children’s Savings Accounts.  The accounts will either be opened at a local bank or through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan. After the girls have saved funds in their account for six months, they will receive a $50.00 savings incentive, to be added to their accounts. The families will be asked to complete a program survey (awarded $3,500).
    • The Native Alliance Against Violence will develop a Financial Empowerment Training for survivors of domestic violence.  The training will be made available to survivors, via the internet, and to the twenty-two tribal domestic violence programs operating in the state of Oklahoma to offer to the domestic violence survivors they serve.  A minimum of twenty survivors who view the web-based training, and successfully complete a proficiency quiz, will be offered funds to open either a family emergency savings account or a 529 Oklahoma College Savings Plan account.  The Alliance will work with the tribal domestic violence programs to open the accounts (awarded $4,000).

    Award Total: $14,500

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. thanks those who applied for these grant funds.

    After June 1, 2016, once additional confirmed grant installments arrive, ONAC will formally announce two additional ONAC mini grant awardees.  

    2016 ONAC Conference

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

    Conference Schedule: July 12, 2016

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

    Agenda: The agenda is forthcoming.

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

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

    To Register Online: Click Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What are the criteria for partnership?

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

    What does ONAC provide with this partnership? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ONAC appreciates your consideration of this partnership!

    ONAC Welcomes Donations and Memberships

    As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations, sponsorships, and memberships.  For more information, please go to the donate page at www.oknativeassets.org.  ONAC appreciates your support!

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

    Christy and the ONAC Board and Advisory Committee Members

  • 28 Mar 2016 9:10 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is requesting letters of interest, from tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma, that wish to partner with ONAC to open Children’s Savings Accounts with Native youth in their community.  

    Currently, ONAC is working with eight partners to open 380 accounts with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and First Nations Development Institute.  The partners include the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Anadarko), Osage Financial Resources, Inc. (Pawhuska), Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (Shawnee), Cherokee Nation Child Support Program (Tahlequah), Mvskoke Loan Fund (Okmulgee), Ponca Tribe Head Start (Ponca City), Kaw Nation (Kaw City, new mini grant awardee), and Ranch Good Days, Inc. (Altus, new mini grant awardee).  ONAC is grateful to our funders and partners for the opportunity to open accounts with Native youth.

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

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

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

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

    *Elliott, W., & Beverly, S. (2010).  The role of savings and wealth in reducing “wilt” between expectations and college attendance (CSD Working Paper 10-01).  St. Louis, MO : Washington University, Center for Social Development.  

    What are the criteria for partnership?

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

    What does ONAC provide with this partnership?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ONAC appreciates your consideration of this partnership!

    The ONAC Leadership




  • 24 Mar 2016 1:45 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC) 

    Announces ONAC Mini Grant Awardees

    March 24, 2016.  With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, and the Ford Foundation, we, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), announce that we have awarded four ONAC mini grants.

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is a nonprofit Native asset building coalition that works with Oklahoma 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 January 2016, ONAC released our second request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  We received excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  ONAC has awarded a total of $14,500 in mini grants to four ONAC constituents.  We are excited to work with the awardees as they continue to offer Native asset building projects to their tribal members.  If needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to the grantees as they implement their asset building programs. 

    The new ONAC mini grant awardees are as follows:

    • The Kaw Nation will conduct a financial education workshop for Kaw Nation students, between the ages of 13-17.  As part of the workshop, the tribe will work with the youth and their parents to either open a savings account at Eastman National Bank or an account through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan.  With the mini grant funding, the Kaw Nation will provide the opening deposit for the accounts.  The youth will have an opportunity to earn more money for their accounts by participating in an essay contest.  A panel, comprised of representatives from the Kaw Nation Tribal Youth Program, the Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program, and the Kaw Nation Education Department, will choose the essay topics. The students will be asked to share what they learned from the financial workshop and how they will use this financial knowledge toward their future goals.  Essay rules and applications will be made available to all students at the conclusion of the workshop.  A committee comprised of representatives from various Kaw Nation departments as well as a representative from Eastman National Bank will read and select the winning essays.  Winners of the contest will be announced on the Kaw Nation’s website (awarded $3,500).
    • Seminole Nation Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program will develop customized curriculum and administer a six-hour “Managing Your Family Finances” workshop, held on two days during summer 2016, for fourteen participants.  Those eligible for the workshops include Native American families residing in the Seminole Nation jurisdiction, which comprises 97% of Seminole County.  During the workshop, participants will gain knowledge related to budgeting, building credit, and saving towards a goal.  Each family will establish a savings plan.  The Program will work with the families to open a family emergency savings account, at BancFirst, and they will provide the opening deposit.  The participants will be encouraged to add their own deposits to the account by following their individual savings plans.  The Program will contact the participants at 30-and 60-day intervals to assess the effectiveness of the savings plan.  The Program staff will conduct a pre-and post-workshop assessment. Childcare and meals will be provided during the workshop (awarded $3,500).
    • Ranch Good Days, Inc. will work with the Na Tsista Girls Basketball Team (from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes), their coach, and the girl’s families, to open twenty Children’s Savings Accounts.  The accounts will either be opened at a local bank or through the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan. After the girls have saved funds in their account for six months, they will receive a $50.00 savings incentive, to be added to their accounts. The families will be asked to complete a program survey (awarded $3,500).
    • The Native Alliance Against Violence will develop a Financial Empowerment Training for survivors of domestic violence.  The training will be made available to survivors, via the internet, and to the twenty-two tribal domestic violence programs operating in the state of Oklahoma to offer to the domestic violence survivors they serve.  A minimum of twenty survivors who view the web-based training, and successfully complete a proficiency quiz, will be offered funds to open either a family emergency savings account or a 529 Oklahoma College Savings Plan account.  The Alliance will work with the tribal domestic violence programs to open the accounts (awarded $4,000).

    Award Total: $14,500

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. thanks those who applied for these grant funds.   After June 1, 2016, once additional confirmed grant installments arrive, ONAC will formally announce two additional ONAC mini grant awardees. 

    For more information about the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., please go to http://www.oknativeassets.org/.    If you have any questions about ONAC and the mini grants, contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.

  • 21 Jan 2016 4:51 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Update on NativeGiving Campaign

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC) is a nonprofit organization that relies on grants, memberships, and generous donations to do our work in Oklahoma.   

    With your support, in December 2015, ONAC met the NativeGiving match gift challenge.   Through this year-end campaign, our coalition received $500.00 in match funds.  During this campaign, with the donations from 39 individual donors, and the match funds, ONAC raised a total of $1,250.00.  

    We wish to thank all the individuals who donated to our coalition.  ONAC also thanks those who passed along our NativeGiving campaign requests to colleagues, family, etc.   

    ONAC congratulates two other Native nonprofits in our NativeGiving cohort.  Sust'ainable Molokai (Kaunakakai, HI) and Tewa Women United (Española, NM) won the two NativeGiving campaign incentive awards for the most funds raised and the highest number of gifts.  Both of these organizations are like ONAC in that they are smaller Native nonprofits doing work with Native children and families.  We are proud to be in this cohort.

    As we begin 2016, ONAC is grateful to work with our grantees and partners as we fund, design, and implement asset building projects in Oklahoma.  It is an honor to work with you. 

    We appreciate your support and look forward to collaborating with you this year!

    Christy and the ONAC Board and Advisory Committee Members

  • 15 Jan 2016 3:57 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    PRESS RELEASE

    Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT: Christy Finsel

    January 15, 2016                                                                             (405) 401-7873

    OKLAHOMA NATIVE ASSETS COALITION RECEIVES GRANT FOR ASSET-BUILDING POLICY AND PRACTICE PROJECT

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) recently received a $120,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute, with support of the Ford Foundation.  First Nations is located in Longmont, Colorado.  This award will support Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition’s Asset-Building Policy and Practice Project.

    With this grant, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) will receive funding  for constituency building, educating policymakers, and building asset building programs.

    “This grant will support ONAC as our coalition hosts our annual conference, provides funding for Children’s Savings Accounts and mini grants in Oklahoma, and offers free technical assistance to our partners who are designing and implementing asset building programs the state.   This funding will also help ONAC to continue to work with tribal, federal, and state policymakers, and administrative staff, to provide information about the unique challenges associated with the racial wealth gap in American Indian communities including the need to respect tribal sovereignty and understand what program designs have worked in American Indian communities to build family economic security.  We appreciate First Nations Development Institute’s investment in our coalition.  ONAC is excited about this opportunity to help Native families build their assets by working with tribes and Native nonprofits to increase the numbers of asset building programs,” said Christy Finsel (Osage), Executive Director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), founded in 2001 and now a 501(c)(3) 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, visit http://oknativeassets.org.            

    # # #

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 720-0770

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