Native American Bank, NA
In 2001, twenty Native American tribes and Alaskan Native corporations established a national bank to serve all Native people, communities, governments and enterprises across the country. Today Native American Bank is the only Native owned, federally chartered bank in the United States. Native Americans have long been subject to an acute lack of access to credit and financial services preventing individuals as well as communities from achieving self-sufficiency and financial security. NAB pools economic resources from Indian tribes and tribal entities all across the country to support economic independence and cultivate self-determination in Native American communities.
Radical change is possible in the banking sector. It's already happened, actually. Over the past 30 years, the U.S. banking sector went from one dominated by small, community banks to one dominated by massive, global banks. Public policy was a major driver of that shift. Some have spent the last decade or longer searching for ways to restore some community-mindedness to the banking sector. We can’t possibly list them all, but here are some of the ones we’ll be watching closely as the COVID-19 pandemic drags out into an economic recession and eventual recovery. Native American Bank is mentioned.
After overcoming numerous obstacles, and getting knocked to the ground earlier this decade, Native American Bank is solidly on its feet again and moving in a new direction. "It's all about perseverance, about the will to succeed," said chairman Kent Paul, at an opening ceremony for the bank's new location at 201 N. Broadway on Thursday. The Denver-based bank has left behind a 24th-floor office in a downtown highrise it leased for a building it owns on Broadway, a location that is street-level and more accessible. It will join a long-running retail branch the bank operates in Browning, Mont., serving members of the Blackfeet Nation, providing lessons on how to compete in consumer banking. Most of the bank's business has focused on commercial borrowers, but NAB, with the help of technology, wants to serve more individuals, said NAB president and CEO Thomas Ogaard.
The Native American Financial Officers Association (NAFOA) has awarded Red Lake the 2019 Small Deal of the Year Award for establishing a grocery store and retail complex in an area that greatly needed one. The new store eliminates a 60-mile round trip for healthy foods and everyday items for the local community. Native American Bank, the lead financing institution for the Red Lake complex, is proud to have played a small part in this success. "Native American Bank was honored to serve as a problem-solver and trusted resource for creative financial solutions," said bank President Tom Ogaard. "We hope to bring our understanding of sovereign governments and regulatory issues to even more community development projects in underserved tribal areas."