Dawson Her Many Horses is working closely with Wells Fargo’s National Tribal Advocate as well as a cross-functional advisory council focused on identifying and addressing challenges within Native communities.
Last year, Wells Fargo & Company announced a five-year, $50 million commitment to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to help address their unique economic, social, and environmental needs. Under the program, Wells Fargo will focus on expanding philanthropy programs, improving products and services for Indian country, and promoting Native culture, history, and contributions.
“Our longstanding relationships with tribal governments and American Indian/Alaska Native customers are a point of tremendous pride at Wells Fargo,” CEO Tim Sloan said in a statement when the commitment was announced. “I am pleased to be able to make this announcement on behalf of our 268,000 team members as part of Native American Heritage Month.”
Part of the commitment entailed Wells Fargo hiring a business relationship manager to focus entirely on the American Indian and Alaska Native market segment. Earlier this year, they made this crucial hire, choosing the Rosebud Sioux’s Dawson Her Many Horses, who brings 16 years of banking experience to the role. Her Many Horses is a Senior Vice President who leads banking services to Tribes and Tribal Enterprises.
“Dawson has a long history of serving this important community and truly understands the unique financial needs,” said Patty Juarez, national diverse segments manager for Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Banking Group. “Wells Fargo is proud of our longstanding relationships with tribal governments and American Indian and Alaska Native customers, and Dawson is uniquely qualified to help us keep those connections strong.”
Growing up, Her Many Horses spent time on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, as well as the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
According to the release announcing the hire, Her Many Horses will work closely with the bank’s National Tribal Advocate as well as a cross-functional advisory council focused on identifying and addressing challenges within Native communities through Wells Fargo’s business and operations, stakeholder and community management, policy, and philanthropy.
“I see myself as someone who’s there to help facilitate discussions around Tribal economic development,” said Her Many Horses.
He also said his role was to help Tribes access financial services as they look to diversify their economies.
“Gaming has been the primary driver of economic development for quite a long time, but gaming is maturing in many places across the United States,” he said. “Nobody is building casinos like they used to. Gaming is maturing, but at the same time, Tribal membership is growing. Tribes need to diversify and look for business and opportunities that will help them stay competitive and meet the demands of the communities they serve.”
“As Tribes diversify and look for opportunities, my hope is that Wells Fargo’s bankers will help them find and identify opportunities that will better position them for economic development,” he continued. “That’s why Tribes own businesses.”
Last year’s commitment and the recent hire of Her Many Horses is not the first time Wells Fargo has launched an initiative focused on enhancing Native communities. In 2016, the banking company developed an Indigenous Peoples Statement in consultation with tribal leaders, indigenous stakeholders, and their representatives. This statement was designed to help guide Wells Fargo’s decision making for projects where proceeds of Wells Fargo financing might potentially impact Native communities.
“We recognize that the identities and cultures of Indigenous Peoples are inextricably linked to the lands on which they live and the natural resources, including air and water, on which they depend,” the company wrote in the statement. “We acknowledge that Indigenous peoples, as social groups, can be among the most marginalized and vulnerable members of the global population.”
“We respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights to determine their own way of life on their own lands, according to their time-honored cultures, traditions, and beliefs,” the statement further reads. “We recognize the rights of these communities to meaningful and appropriate consultation regarding issues affecting their sacred lands and natural resources – traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used – today and for future generations.”
Wells Fargo has been serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities in the United States for more than 50 years. The company currently provides capital and financial services to more than 200 Tribal entities in 27 states. They also operate 19 branches and 42 ATMs on 17 reservations in seven states to serve Native American customers.
“One of the reasons I joined Wells Fargo is because we do a lot of work with a broad range of Tribal clients,” Her Many Horses said. “We are focused on Tribes in rural areas and urban areas. We have Tribes in our corporate, middle market, and business banking groups.”
“Because of our long history servicing Tribal clients, and my background as a banker that came from Indian country, we understand their markets and have the expertise and knowledge needed to help Tribes, Tribal Business Enterprises, and Retail Tribal Members.”
“We look forward to continuing to elevate the work we do in this space,” he said.