NCN This Week: April 5, 2022

In Case You Missed It:
NCN’s 2022 Policy Priorities
The Native CDFI Network recently released its Policy Priorities for 2022. The NCN Board of Directors and Policy Committee developed this comprehensive set of priorities at NCN’s Mid-Winter Policy Round Table event in Washington, D.C. in February. Designed to strengthen the policies and expand the resources supporting Native CDFIs across the country, these priorities include calling on Congress to make the highly successful USDA 502 Native CDFI Direct Lending Pilot Program a permanent national program available to all federally certified Native CDFIs, and allocating $30 to $50 million in annual funding for the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program.

To view NCN’s 2022 Policy Priorities, please click on the link below.
2022 NCN Policy Priorities

NCN to Launch “Difference Makers” Interview Series
The Native CDFI Network is excited to announce its launch later this week of its new “Native CDFIs: Difference Makers for Indian Country” weekly interview series. Featuring in-depth interviews with the chief executives of Native CDFIs across the country, the series casts a much-needed spotlight on the many positive benefits that Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) create for tribal communities and the leaders who help make Native CDFIs the transformational success stories they are. First up this Thursday is Christopher Coburn, CEO of the Mvskoke Fund!

Native CDFI Leader Jonelle Yearout Joins NCN Policy Committee
The NCN Board of Directors recently appointed Jonelle Yearout, who serves as Executive Director of the NiMiiPuu Community Development Fund in Lapwai, Idaho, to serve as Regional Delegate for the Northwest Region on NCN’s Policy Committee. Yearout replaces outgoing Northwest Regional Delegate Shalynn Kellogg. NCN thanks Shalynn for her important contributions to the Policy Committee’s work.

An enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe, Yearout is passionate about solving challenging social and economic issues for the Nez Perce Tribe, her fellow tribal members, and surrounding rural communities. Her mission-driven focus is on delivering innovative products and services that raise up her people’s voice and enable them to create a brighter future.

Congratulations, Jonelle, and welcome to the NCN team!

NCN Policy Committee Member Tonya Plummer Appointed to State of Montana Board of Housing
On February 7, 2022, Tonya Plummer was appointed to the State of Montana’s Board of Housing by Montana Governor Gianforte.

She will participate as one of seven appointed board members and utilize her experience in housing, economics, finance to contribute to the board. An enrolled tribal member of Assiniboine, Sioux and Cree heritage who serves as Executive Director of Montana Native Growth Fund, a Native CDFI based on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and focused on Native housing and homeownership, Plummer brings the unique perspective and voice of Montana’s Tribal communities.

Tonya’s service will help make Montana a better place now and for future generations, and NCN congratulates her for her appointment and for her service.

NCN’s Pete Upton and Robin Danner to Speak on Panel at USDA Tribal Consultation on April 11th


NCN Board Chair/Interim Executive Director Pete Upton and NCN Policy Committee Chair Robin Danner will participate on a Tribal Caucus panel on Economic Development as part of next week’s virtual April 2022 USDA Tribal Consultation on Barriers and Equity. The Tribal Caucus – co-hosted by Native CDFI Network, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, and the Native American Finance Officers Association – is scheduled for Monday, April 11 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT, and is being held in conjunction with the Tribal Consultation focused on Economic Development that will take place later that afternoon.

To register for the Tribal Caucus and to learn more about USDA’s six-day Tribal Consultation on Barriers and Equity, please click the link below.
USDA Tribal Consultation

Native American Agriculture Fund Accepting Applications for the 2022 Native Ag Underwriting School
The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the 2022 Native Ag Underwriting School. A joint effort between NAAF, Native CDFI Network, Center for Farm Financial Management, and Intertribal Agriculture Council, the School will take place on May 17-19 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This three-day training will provide existing and future lenders in Indian Country the tools they need to start or expand their agricultural lending programs. Native CDFI professionals seeking to grow their knowledge of agricultural lending will especially benefit from this training. Current college students and recent college graduates interested in a career in agriculture lending in Native communities are also encouraged to apply.

Applications will be evaluated on experience working with Native farmers and ranchers, interest in advancing the field of agricultural lending in rural and Tribal communities, and commitment to serving Native farmers and ranchers. A total of 40 spots are available for this training.

To learn more and to apply, please click the link below.
NAAF Native Ag Underwriting School Training

Ag Lender and Producer Survey Responses Being Sought
Surveys are underway by Akiptan CDFI for a study to help determine the unmet financing need for Native producers. CDFIs can participate in the lender survey here. Producers can participate in the survey here. A video explaining the study is here. Please share the link, participate and make your voices heard. Surveys close on July 31, 2022.

NCN is Hiring!
To expand the organization’s capacity to support the growing needs of Native CDFIs, the Native CDFI Network has announced three new staff position openings. To review the position openings and apply, please click on the Job Announcements below:
NCN CDFI Program Manager/Loan Officer
NCN Communications Director
NCN Administrative Assistant