With profound gratitude, I am honored to announce that the Native CDFI Network has been selected to receive the historic Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) award $400M, as part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This marks a historic milestone in our collective efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental justice to our Native communities and recognizes the value of Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) as cornerstones of this work. I extend sincere appreciation to the visionary investment of the Biden Administration and the EPA. In addition, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the other deserving awardees of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund programs on their remarkable accomplishments.

Tune in to the EPA’s livestream to watch Vice President Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan announce the awards in Charlotte, NC today at 12:00 p.m. ET. 

Click here to view the White House’s full press release.

This historic funding is a substantial infusion of capital directed toward our Native CDFIs, will act as a driving force to uplift low-income and marginalized communities.  It will enable the Native CDFI Network to lead clean energy initiatives in Indian Country, advancing sustainability and environmental equity. The overwhelming majority of Native CDFIs and seasoned lenders dedicated to serving Native communities united to seize this historic opportunity to enhance the well-being and resilience of our ancestral lands, the places our people call home.

In line with our mission, we are committed to ensuring that this historic investment aligns with our core values. Our mission stands firm: to be a steadfast advocate for Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) nationwide, enabling access to capital and resources for Native peoples.

The Native CDFI Network dedicated several months to crafting an application and comprehensive national plan tailored specifically to serve Native communities. This plan aims to maximize the environmental, social, economic, and cultural benefits derived from Indian Country’s allocation of CCIA funding. Our coalition is fully prepared to implement and execute this plan effectively.

I commend the diligent efforts of the Native CDFI Network team in developing this comprehensive strategy to optimize the utilization of CCIA funding for the benefit of Indian Country. Additionally, I express gratitude to the Board of Directors, as well as consultants and contracted support, for their unwavering assistance and pivotal contributions in achieving this significant milestone.

With this award, the Native CDFI Network plays a key role in supporting 63 community lenders across Indian Country to fund renewable energy, energy-efficient upgrades, and sustainability projects, that will enhance well-being and create employment opportunities for Native people. NCN has partnered with intertribal organizations to broaden CCIA program outreach and engagement to actively involve communities, tribal leaders, and businesses. By prioritizing collaboration and fostering strong community connections with these essential partners, NCN aims to achieve optimal outcomes for these projects.

As we celebrate this momentous achievement, it’s essential to recognize that our journey is far from over. Over the coming months, NCN and EPA will negotiate award details and plan to officially launch the program later this year. While I am immensely honored and gratified by this award, I am far from complacent. This marks the beginning of our relentless advocacy and pursuit of economic justice for the Native communities we serve. NCN remains steadfastly committed to ensuring that Indian Country receives its fair share of GGRF funding, and our coalition stands poised and ready to deliver on that promise. Together, we will continue to push forward, striving to create a more equitable and prosperous future for all Native peoples.

Pete Upton, CEO, Native CDFI Network