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First Nations Development Institute Partner Message

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) Announces Mini-Grant Awardees

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC [ ]) recently announced that it has awarded four ONAC mini-grants. ONAC represents a consortium of Oklahoma tribes and partners interested in establishing asset-building initiatives and programs in Native communities, for the purpose of creating greater opportunities for economic self-sufficiency of tribal citizens.

In January 2014, ONAC released its first-ever request for proposals (RFP) to fund Native asset-building projects in Oklahoma. ONAC received seven applications from tribal governments and tribal programs based in Oklahoma. When ONAC released the RFP it had a total of $10,500 to award to recipients (an average of $3,500 each for three grantees). After receiving seven applications in February, First Nations Development Institute [ ], a national Native nonprofit organization and the fiscal sponsor for ONAC, was able to secure $3,500 more to fund a fourth grantee. Thus, ONAC, in collaboration with First Nations, has awarded a total of $14,000 in mini-grants to four ONAC constituents. ONAC is excited to work with the awardees as they continue to offer Native asset-building projects to their tribal members. If needed, ONAC is available to provide free training and technical assistance to the grantees as they design savings programs and offer financial education-related classes.

The current ONAC mini-grant awardees($3,500 each) are as follows:

* The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Housing Division will hold four classes for 60 tribal citizens/homeowners to educate them about foreclosure prevention. They will also purchase a computer to run credit checks with their homeowners as well as supplies, refreshments and incentives for their classes.

* Wichita and Affiliated Tribes will administer a SummerSmart: Wichita Summer Youth Program where, in addition to building tribal pride through teaching Wichita history and culture and promoting good health practices, they will offer savings accounts for the interns and youth participants as well as financial education classes.

* The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians will offer a youth employment and financial education program where they will require that the participants save in a matched savings account program.

* The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma will continue to build internal staff capacity and will send a staff member to a training and certification course so they may provide credit counseling and budgeting classes to an estimated 80 tribal members during the grant period.

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition thanks those who applied for these grant funds. ONAC is actively seeking other funding to support the remaining three grantees, and will be in touch with them if ONAC is successful in that fundraising effort. Additionally, as ONAC receives feedback from other constituents in the state that they would be interested in a second competitive ONAC mini-grant RFP, it will seek additional support.

For more information about the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, please go to [ http:// ]. If you have any questions about ONAC and the mini grants, contact Christy Finsel, ONAC Coordinator, at [ ].


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