“Access to Credit and Capital in Native Communities” is required reading

Information is a valuable resource. Lenders, investors, lawyers and community leaders just gained access to a rich deposit of it. Last week, the Native Nations Institute released the “Access to Credit and Capital in Native Communities” report.

The CDFI Fund deserves credit for commissioning this study — a follow-up to its landmark 2001 study, the “Native American Lending Study.” The report celebrates the successes and honestly faces up to the issues that have persisted over this decade and a half.

I found several familiar names among those success stories. Travois is particularly proud that the Pueblo of Laguna’s innovative use of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) for infrastructure was held up as a positive example. We also applaud those familiar names who described the ongoing challenges in bringing greater capital access to Native America.

If you work in this space, set aside an afternoon and dive into this report. It is accessible, eye-opening and packed with useful narratives and data. Congratulations to the authors and all of those whose works were cited. Thank you to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian community leaders who participated in focus groups and consultations coast-to-coast.

This is a document I will keep close at hand as I do my work every day. Click here for more information and to download the report.