The heritage, culture and experience of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today are observed during National Native American Heritage Month in November. CUNA and Inclusiv are co-hosting a free webinar for CUNA members today, Nov. 16 starting at 2:00 p.m. (CT) featuring strategies of credit unions that successfully deliver targeted financial services to Native Americans in the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii.
Presenters for “How CUs Can Better Serve Indigenous/Native Communities” will include:
· Shayna Ferguson, manager/loan officer of Lakota FCU
· Helen Mickel, president/CEO of Tongass FCU
· Ron Moorhead, president/CEO First Financial CU
· Robyn Miller, branch manager, Black Hills FCU
About one million Native Americans live on the 567 federally recognized tribal reservations, according to Inclusiv. Today, there are 16 Native credit unions, 74 Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and 18 Native banks serving largely unbanked and underbanked reservation communities.
The 16 Native credit unions stretch from Hawaii to the Seneca Nation in New York, hold collective assets of about $300 million and serve 57,000 members. While few in number, their impact is substantial and highlights the transformational impact of community development credit unions (CDCUs) and CDFIs on local communities.
CUNA News covered Ferguson and Lakota FCU’s innovative idea to bring credit union services to its members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation – more than two million acres – by bus last year. Earlier this year, Mickel explained unique ways Tongass FCU serves Natives in rural areas near Ketchikan, Alaska.
Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to share, ask questions and learn how to be better advocates for financial equity and inclusion.
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