Native CDFI Network strives to be an active voice for our members who are involved in the day-to-day work of promoting economic equity for Native peoples and building thriving economies across Indian Country. Our advocacy efforts involve reporting on important industry challenges and successes, collectively responding to calls for comment on policy changes and initiatives and informing our members and supporters of relevant policy matters. In addition, our team actively serves on boards and advisory committees, engages in critical partnerships, and participates in speaking engagements that expand the voice of Native CDFIs within and outside our industry spaces. Check out what NCN has been up to on your behalf!


June 2023

  • NCN’s CEO Pete Upton amplifies Native voices in climate justice conversations during the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs -Unapologetically Building Black Equity Conference and the Financial Innovation Roundtable. Read more here.
  • NCN’s CEO Pete Upton was invited to attend a Senate subcommittee meeting on the ‘State of Native American Housing’. Upton asked the committee to consider particular proposed reforms of the CDFI Certification process under the US Treasury. Read more here.
  • NCN’s CEO, Pete Upton, attended South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition’s 10th Annual Convening, site visit, and Lender Symposium in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. The convening and tour, hosted at the Crow Creek Tribal Hall, celebrated a decade of impactful initiatives, and explored avenues for further development in housing and economic sovereignty. Read more here.

May 2023

  • NCN requested a formal listening session regarding the CDFI Fund’s process to reform the CDFI Certification Application and related regulations. View the letter to Treasury here.
  • NCN’s CEO Pete Upton attended a meeting held by the U.S. Treasury on climate-focused community finance. The discussions revolved around leveraging financial resources, implementing sustainable practices, and fostering community resilience in the face of climate change. Click here to read more.
  • NCN submitted formal comment letters to federal agencies sharing and advancing the consensus priorities of Native CDFIs and key national partners on two key policy and funding issues: (1) the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) Applications, and (2) the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).
  • NCN called on Congress to increase funding for the CDFI Fund Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program to $50 Million for FY 2024. Click here to view the letter.

April 2023

  • NCN hosted a two part training series: “Introduction to Commercial Solar Finance for CDFIs”. The objectives informed CDFIs how they can help bring solar energy to communities through a variety of project finance strategies – including community solar, commercial and multifamily project finance, municipal and other public projects, and financing for installers who offer solar leasing or power purchase agreements to end users.

March 2023

  • NCN’s CEO Pete Upton participated in a roundtable meeting on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund hosted by JP Morgan Chase & Co. The primary objective of this convening was to explore opportunities to optimize and leverage the capabilities of CDFIs as implementors of the financing infrastructure to successfully deploy GGRF grants and finance an accelerated and inclusive clean energy transition in target communities.

  • In collaboration with the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) and Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, a letter was sent to Senator Charles Schumer and Speaker Kevin McCarthy calling on Congress to Increase Funding for the HUD Section 4 Program to $50 Million and Establish a 10% Set- Aside for Tribal Communities for FY 2024.
  • NCN launched a new capacity building service for its members. NCN will work with members who are CDFI certified and/or have received funding from the CDFI Fund to collect information for three key CDFI Fund reports and enter the required information into AMIS. A list of the reports eligible for this service, along with report due dates and related services fees can be found here.
  • Opened registration for the 2023 NCN Institute Training Series for Native CDFI leaders and team members; the virtual series will run from May through October.
  • Announced a two-part training series on how Native CDFIs can bring solar energy to communities; collaborated with Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy, the University of New Hampshire and the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • NCN CEO Pete Upton attended National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s 2023 Just Economy Conference. Upton participated in a panel that explored a variety of investment and grant opportunities and highlighted efforts to build wealth in Indian Country.

February 2023

  • NCN released the results of its comprehensive survey documenting the likely impacts the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the CDFI Certification Application and related regulations will have on Native CDFIs. More than 50 Native CDFI chief executives responded to the survey.
  • NCN began a new series of conversations with industry experts and policymakers designed to expand the power of Native CDFIs to grow economic opportunity for Native peoples. A recap of “NCN Live” conversations can be viewed here. See upcoming webisodes here.
  • NCN CEO and Chairman Pete Upton travelled to Phoenix, AZ to attend a workshop on the CDFI Fund NMTC Program Native Initiative. This workshop was hosted by Big Water Consulting. Click here for a recap of the event.

January 2023

  • NCN engaged Native CDFIs across the country to develop and submit formal comments on the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the Annual Certification and Data Collection Report Form (ACR); the comments were joined by 17 Native CDFI co-signatories.
  • NCN designed and deployed a comprehensive survey that sought to better understand the likely impacts of the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the CDFI Certification Application and related regulations. A total of 51 Native CDFI chief executives responded to the survey, with NCN set to release the survey findings in February 2023.
  • NCN resumed its popular “Difference Makers” interview series with Native CDFI chief executives, releasing an interview with Leonard Smith, CEO of Native American Development Corporation. NCAN Plans to release several more interviews in the coming months.
  • NCN launched a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Tribal Relations (OTR). The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to produce an electronic toolkit (NCN e-toolkit) empowering Native CDFIs and promoting tribal community awareness of and access to Rural Development programming. The NCN e-toolkit will include best practices in identifying program fit for proposed activities, accessing and utilizing each program, and recordkeeping and reporting strategies. The e-toolkit work products will be tailored specifically to the unique needs and aspects of Indian Country and Tribal Nations and is expected to launch later this year.