Native CDFIs to Set Policy Priorities & Meet With Congress on Strategies to Grow Tribal Economies

NCN Chairman Pete Upton, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, and Executive Director Jackson Brossy at meeting to discuss modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on August 27, 2019. The Policy Summit, currently underway, November 19-21, is taking place at NIGA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Native CDFI Network)

The first Policy Summit for leaders in the Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) movement is underway to set the advocacy agenda for 2020 and beyond. As Native CDFIs increase assets in Tribal communities, the network is leveraging Congress to help accelerate this growth. 

The Native CDFI Network (NCN) will hold the first annual Policy Summit this week in Washington, D.C., on November 19-21. At the Summit, Native American-serving community development financial institutions (NCDFIs) will set policy priorities and then meet directly with Congress to advocate for strategies that will help grow Native economies.

NCN Chairperson Pete Upton of Native 360 Loan Fund stated, “we are looking forward to a lively and comprehensive discussion about our shared policy challenges. We will turn these challenges into action items so that together, we help build access to capital in our communities, create jobs, and grow our economies”

Upton added, “we have a packed agenda — discussion items include how to increase access to capital for NCDFIs, modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) so that banks are incentivized to invest in Indian Country, and how Native communities can have fair access to New Market Tax Credit allocations. Native CDFIs must be at the policy-making table, and we are here to make our voices heard.”

NCN is the only national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFIs), as defined by the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund. The network was founded in 2009 by NCDFIs serving American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in rural, urban, and trust land communities. Nationally, there are 65 Treasury-Certified and 15 Emerging Native CDFIs in 23 states across the country. NCN members are powerful vehicles delivering investment, economic, and housing capital across Indian Country.

NCDFIs work primarily in Tribal areas of the country to increase access to capital for small business, housing, consumer, and Tribal or Native-owned economic development projects through the delivery of community-based loan fund programs, financial literacy, business training and the facilitation of investment instruments to underserved Native communities.  These Native or Tribally controlled nonprofits are at the front line of growing assets, creating jobs, and building economies across Indian Country.

NCN Policy Chairperson Robin Danner of the Homestead Loan Fund of Hawaii added, “the Policy Summit is where leaders in the Native CDFI movement will meet to set the advocacy agenda for 2020 and beyond. Native CDFIs are creating jobs and growing assets all across the country, and Congress can help accelerate this growth. We invite anyone interested in advancing the Native CDFI movement to attend.”

The meeting will feature a variety of speakers from Members of Congress, to executives of national community development organizations, to experts in Native American policy. Speakers include Native American Congresswomen Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, Maurice Jones of LISC, Marietta Rodriguez of NeighborWorks America, Marion McFadden of Enterprise, Kevin Allis of the National Congress of American Indians, and Dante Desiderio of the Native American Finance Officers Association.

NCN is partnering to hold the meeting at the National Indian Gaming Association’s Stanley Crooks Conference Center at 224 Second Street, SE, Washington, DC. On-site registration will be available on November 19 and 20.

More information on the Native CDFI Network can be found at



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