Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2023) — Two Native CDFIs — NACDC Financial Services and Hawaiian Lending & Investments (HLI) — were honored by Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Oweesta Corporation with the 2023 Native CDFI Awards for the lenders’ unique strategies to advance finance justice in tribal communities.
The national Native CDFI Awards recognize Native CDFIs for creating economic opportunity and promoting wealth building within their tribal communities.
“Native CDFIs are essential to helping tribal communities build economic sovereignty,” said Harold Pettigrew, president and CEO of OFN, the leading national network of CDFIs. “OFN is proud to partner with them and support their critical role in Indian Country. NACDC and HLI are two wonderful examples of Native CDFI ingenuity. They are helping to heal centuries-old injustices toward indigenous peoples and the Native CDFI Awards honor their extraordinary vision and service.”
NACDC, based on the Blackfeet Reservation, received a $100,000 Native CDFI Catalyst Award to build a trauma-informed financial services training program for employees of Native CDFIs. The training will help CDFIs better support clients who face money management challenges associated with historical trauma from the systemic stripping of land, culture, and Native heritage over centuries.
HLI received the 2023 Native CDFI Seed Capital Award for its food sovereignty strategy. The $50,000 grant will help the CDFI develop products and services that promote agricultural expertise and experience among Native Hawaiians living on trust lands.
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