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  • 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.            

    # # #

  • 11 Jan 2016 1:57 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    January 11, 2016 

    Dear Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Constituents and Friends,

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is writing to let you know of our 2016 ONAC Membership Drive.  We invite you to join our coalition as a member.  Your support helps us to be a sustainable coalition. 

    Beyond our Native asset building coalition in Oklahoma, there are few other such Native coalitions in the country.  ONAC’s first priority is to serve tribes, Native nonprofits, and other supporters in Oklahoma.  Given the lack of other Native asset building coalitions near us, and around the country, we also invite those interested in Native asset building, outside of Oklahoma, to join our listserv and to participate in our conferences, webinars, and peer learning calls, given the need for such information in other Native communities.

    What is ONAC and What Types of Asset Building Projects are Members Involved In?

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) represents a consortium of 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.  Our coalition is a 501(c)(3) and is Native-led.

    ONAC members might engage in any of the following asset-building efforts: financial education programs, Individual Development Account programs, Child Savings Account programs, entrepreneurship activities, homeownership assistance programs, credit repair and credit building programs, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) outreach, foreclosure prevention programs, microenterprise development programs, family emergency savings accounts, and other communal asset-building activities, etc.

    Such members might also be seeking funding for asset-building projects; evaluating asset-building programs; drafting case studies highlighting best practices and lessons learned; addressing asset-building policies with tribal leaders, Native non-profits, and at local, state, and national levels; and engaging in peer learning and sharing.

    What Does ONAC Provide Constituents?

    • Mini grants to tribes and Native nonprofits for asset building projects.  (We awarded four $3,500 mini grants in 2014.  The project administrators completed those projects in 2015.  As of November 23, 2015, we have awarded three new grantees.  Earlier this month, we released a RFP for another round of mini grants.  Those proposals are due to ONAC by February 18, 2016.  To apply, go to http://www.oknativeassets-apply.org.  You will be asked to establish a username and password for the application). 
    • Funding for ONAC Children’s Savings Account pilot projects.  We have six confirmed partners (tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma) for our current pilot project. 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), and the Ponca Tribe Head Start (Ponca City).  We plan to release a RFP for additional partners in February 2016.
    • Asset building resources, models, and strategies.
    • An Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Conference to be held annually.  This year our conference will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, OK.  More information to follow.
    • A forum to talk about tribal, local, state, or federal asset building policies that affect your work and lives. 
    • Opportunities to connect to Native and non-Native asset building practitioners in Oklahoma, and around the country, for partnership.
    • Outreach to Oklahoma tribal leaders, tribal government programs, and other Oklahoma-based Native organizations/businesses to provide information about asset building related grants, conferences, webinars, peer learning calls, etc.
    • Free asset building program design and implementation technical assistance (TA) and training (a value worth $5,000 to $20,000, per tribe and/or Native nonprofit, depending upon their TA needs).
    • Administrative Policy Guidance requests to federal programs, as needed (such as our request for information about Tribal TANF-funded Individual Development Account program purchases, etc.)
    • Opportunities to speak at asset building conferences about your asset building programs.  In the last year, for example, we nominated the Cherokee Nation Commerce Group to participate on a youth entrepreneurship research advisory panel hosted by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity; nominated Patsy Schramm for the Taxpayer Opportunity Network Steering Committee;  and invited a number of Native asset builders to speak at our 2015 annual conference. 

    ONAC Requests Your Support!

    Your support helps Native families to build assets.  We invite you to join as a coalition member.  All membership donations are fully tax deductible as no goods or services are provided in exchange.  

    To join as a member, please click here.  If needed, the membership/donation form is attached.  Sponsorship opportunities also exist. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at (405) 401-7873 or cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.  

    Thank you for your support of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.!

    ONAC Leadership

  • 04 Jan 2016 1:58 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Seeks Proposals for Native Asset Building Projects in Oklahoma

    January 5, 2016 

    Grant Overview

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is pleased to announce this January 2016 Request For Proposals (RFP) to help fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.   ONAC, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and First Nations Development Institute, will award a total of $10,500 in mini grants to Oklahoma grantees.  Depending upon the projects (financial education curriculum supplies may cost less than seed money to open Children’s Savings Accounts), the mini grants will average $3,500 each.  Some awards may be slightly higher or lower than this average.  The grant period is for 12 months beginning March 15, 2016 and ending March 14, 2017.

    Given our funding sources for these mini grants, two of the grants will be made to grantees implementing a family emergency savings account program.  The funds for such a program may be utilized for the initial account deposit money for your participants and other related program costs. While this is not a grant requirement, the family emergency savings accounts may be linked to other asset building programs you already administer such as financial education, entrepreneurship development, elder meal, seed saving, foreclosure prevention and homeownership preparation, matched savings account, credit builder/credit repair, and free tax preparation assistance.

    The funding for family emergency savings account programs will help Native families, with lower incomes, to open flexible savings accounts, at a bank or credit union, to buffer them in times of emergency, income fluctuation, or irregular expenses.  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, you may 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.  Depending upon the numbers of participants you wish to serve with a family emergency savings account program, you could, for example, provide the initial opening deposit of $50.00 each for 70 accounts or you could fund fewer accounts with more money (as an example of the latter, with a $3,500 project budget, you could fund six family emergency savings accounts at $500.00 each and then use the remaining $500.00 for other program expenses).  Depending upon the participants you serve, you can design your family emergency savings account program to meet local community needs.  For this program, ONAC does not require that you make the bank accounts custodial with the name of your tribe or Native nonprofit on the account.

    The remaining mini grant ONAC will award during this round of funding may be used to fund any existing or new Native asset building program in Oklahoma.   Examples of how mini grants may be used for such programs include funding for:

    • Financial education curricula materials for your financial education programs
    • A computer for your Voluntary Income Tax Assistance site (such sites help eligible tribal members prepare their tax returns for free and claim their tax credits
    • Match funds for your tribal Individual Development Account program
    • Initial deposit money for your Children’s Savings Account program (to help youth build a nest egg of savings)
    • Stipends/payments for youth employees working in your tribal employment program, so they so they have earned income to deposit into Individual Development Accounts
    • Training for your staff to be able to provide foreclosure intervention services to clients/tribal citizens
    • Loans made to customers through your Native nonprofit credit builder loan program 

    If you would like to talk through any of your asset building program ideas, please contact Christy Finsel, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, at (405) 401-7873, or email her at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org.

    Deadline

    The grant applications are due by February 18, 2016.  ONAC will review the grant applications and make the award determinations, awarding up to $10,500 total, among this round of grant recipients. ONAC will send the award notifications by March 4, 2016. A list of awardees will be posted on the ONAC website. ONAC will send the grant payments to the grant recipients.

    Eligibility

    Eligible applicants include:

    •  Tribal governments based in Oklahoma;
    • Tribal programs based in Oklahoma; or
    • Native organizations based in Oklahoma. 

    If applicants are not a tribal government, 501(c)(3), a 7871, or Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), they must have a fiscal sponsor. We do not require federal recognition for tribal governments; however, you must have, at a minimum, proof of state recognition.

    Application

    All applicants must fully complete the ONLINE grant application.  To access the application, please go to http://www.oknativeassets-apply.org.  You will be asked to establish a username and password for the application. 

    Help

    If you need technical assistance with the online grant application, please contact Christy Finsel, Executive Director, Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or (405) 401-7873.

     The deadline for applications is February 18, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. 

    Please Note: The online system automatically closes at 5:00 p.m. CST and applications not completely submitted by that time will be rejected by the system.  Please allow plenty of time for submitting online.  Proposals that are incomplete or are received after the deadline will not be considered.  No exceptions will be permitted.

     

     

  • 29 Dec 2015 3:15 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    ONAC Newsletter, December 2015

    ONAC Awards Three New Grantees in November 2015

    On November 23, 2015, ONAC announced three new ONAC mini grant awardees.   The three awardees are the Mvskoke Loan Fund, Citizen Potawatomi CDC, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

    In January 2014, ONAC released our first ONAC Mini Grant Request For Proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset building projects in Oklahoma.  We received seven excellent applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma.  At that time, we had funding for four projects.  Thus, we awarded a total of $14,000 in mini grants to four ONAC constituents.  Those awardees have since completed their projects.  Over the past eighteen months, ONAC has worked to raise additional funds to support the three remaining applicants.  At this time, we have secured funding through the Ford Foundation and its generous support of First Nations Development Institute and ONAC.

    ONAC is excited to work with the three new 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. 

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

    • The Mvskoke Loan Fund will enroll one of their staff members in the credit counseling certification program offered by Rural Dynamics, Inc.  The staff will then work with entrepreneurs to improve their credit rating and help prepare them to receive business loans (awarded $3,500).
    • Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC) will offer Shonya Mbwaka (Money Smart) to stimulate sustainable economic opportunity for the Citizen Potawatomi tribal community and all past and current clients.  Through this project, the CPCDC will provide five workshops for a target of 50 people.  The main topic will be investing, but they will also review the basic financial essentials. Participants will receive a plan developed for their situation in the form of workshops, individual credit sessions, and budgeting sessions (awarded $3,500).
    • The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma will offer their tribal employees the opportunity to become more economically self-sufficient as they participate in Dave Ramsey “Financial Peace University” classes. Through video teaching, class discussions, and interactive small group activities, this financial education program will present culturally-appropriate and practical steps toward economic self-sufficiency.  Employees will be taught how to get rid of debt, manage money, spend and save wisely, and plan for retirement.  Additionally, during this project, the tribe will provide youth financial education materials for the tribal employee’s children. To incentivize class participation, the tribe will offer $50.00 each, in opening deposit funds for a family emergency savings account, to twenty-four of the tribal employees who complete the financial education program (awarded $3,500).

    Award Total: $10,500.  Congratulations to these grantees!

    ONAC to Release Request for Proposals for Next Round of Mini Grants

    On January 5, 2016, ONAC will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for another round of ONAC mini grants.  Two of the grants that will be awarded will be for family emergency savings accounts.  The remaining mini grant will be available to support other asset building programs such as credit builder/credit repair, financial education, matched savings accounts, foreclosure prevention, homebuyer education, Children’s Savings Accounts, etc.  The applications will be due on February 18th.  Applicants will be notified about award determinations on March 4, 2016.  The grant period will run from March 15, 2016, to March 14, 2017.  If any Oklahoma tribes or Native nonprofits have questions about a potential proposal, please contact Christy Finsel at cfinsel@oknativeassets.org or (405) 401-7873. 

    2016 ONAC Conference

    The 2016 ONAC Conference will be held on July 12, 2016, at the Oklahoma History Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Please save the date!  More information to follow.

    Children’s Savings Account Pilot Updates

    ONAC has been preparing materials for our Children’s Savings Account (CSA) pilot.    The Cherokee Nation Child Support Program was the first of our six confirmed partners (tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma) to launch the project.  They opened their first account in December 2015.  They will work with their child support clients to open Children’s Savings Accounts for families with an annual income equal to or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level who have children ages birth to eight.   ONAC will provide the $100.00 initial deposit, as well as a piggy bank, Native-specific financial education booklet, and certificate of participation for the child. The other five partners will launch their Children’s Savings Accounts pilots throughout the next year.  We are excited to get the 320 savings accounts opened!

    As part of our CSA campaign over the past several years, ONAC has worked with child support contacts to tease out alternatives to state owned debt forgiveness (such as with the CSA in the state of Kansas) as state owed debt forgiveness is not currently allowed in Oklahoma.  We have arrived at an alternative option that tribally- administered CSAs may want to offer their clients.

    To add extra incentive for parents served by the Cherokee Nation Child Support Program to deposit funds in the accounts, they will offer the custodial and non-custodial parents, who have established cases, an offer for private mediation.  If both parties are willing, and the non-custodial parent owes a custodial parent money, in order to work a good obligation, the non-custodial parent may deposit money into the Children’s Savings Account for the benefit of their child.  This reduces the non-custodial parent’s debt, and helps the child to have a bigger nest egg of savings.  We hope that this Children’s Savings Account project, with an added debt reduction component, may be a model for other tribally-administered Child Support Programs that wish to offer Children’s Savings Account programs.  We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Cherokee Nation Child Support Program to launch this program.

    ONAC Welcomes Donations and Memberships

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

    ONAC Thanks Our Constituents and Friends Who Donated to ONAC Through NativeGiving.org.  We Met the Match Gift Challenge! Several More Days to Give to Help Us Win a $1000.00 Prize. 

    With your support, we reached the match gift challenge.  Thank you!  This means that between November 1st to December 27th, twenty-one individuals donated a total of $500.00 to ONAC, helping us receive an additional $500.00 in match funds.  ONAC thanks those who have donated to ONAC through NativeGiving.org!  

    If you would like to make a donation through December 31st, a generous donor has pledged to award a prize of $1,000.00 to the participating organization that raises the most funds through the website by the end of the year, plus a $1,000.00 prize to the organization that raises the largest number of individual gifts through NativeGiving.org (regardless of the total dollar amount).  To donate, please go to http://www.nativegiving.org/node/20.  

    Happy New Year!  Thank you for your support of ONAC.  We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to support asset building opportunities for Native families in Oklahoma. 

    Christy and the ONAC Board and Advisory Committee Members

Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition 
(405) 720-0770

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