Native CDFIs face the pending release of potentially disastrous certification updates from the U.S. Treasury this month. At the same time, the Native CDFI Network is working on an application to tap into a $6 billion pot of money through an accelerator program under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

NCN’s CEO, Pete Upton, addressed some of the upcoming challenges and opportunities to an an audience of tribal leaders and Native executives at the Great Lakes Tribal Economic Summit, presented by Tribal Business News.

“This is why it’s so important we have a seat at the table,” Upton told Tribal Business News Senior Editor Elyse Wild during the talk. “We’re the only Native-led organization that’s going after the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator Fund. If we are not there…then as soon as you mention a project in Indian Country, a lot of roadblocks go up, and maybe a lot of those banks that aren’t familiar with Indian Country leave the room.”

The proposed U.S. Treasury rule updates for CDFI certification could slash “twenty to thirty percent” of Native CDFIs, Upton said. Announced last fall, those regulations could prevent CDFIs from issuing mortgage loans with balloon payments, terms longer than 30 years, or any interest-only loans.

Read more from Tribal Business News here.