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Native American Resource Directory

This directory describes and provides links to a sampling of organizations and resources for banks interested in lending, investing, or providing retail financial services in Indian Country. Resources are organized under the following categories:

Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Resources for Native Americans, the federal government’s official web portal, provides information about federally recognized Indian tribes and provides cultural, housing, and legal resources for Native Americans.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Office of Tribal Relations
The office serves as a single point of contact for tribal issues and works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the American Indians and Alaska Native constituents they affect.

Programs and Services
USDA offers many programs and services to members of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. The publications listed on this page provide summaries of USDA programs that support agriculture, food sovereignty, business and community development, conservation and forestry, research, extension, outreach, and education.

Rural Development
This federal organization makes critical investments in infrastructure, housing, schools, health clinics, and economic and community development to benefit Native families and communities across rural America. Rural Development’s Business Programs page provides information about financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth. The programs work through partnerships with public and private community-based organizations and financial institutions to provide financial assistance, business development, and technical assistance to rural businesses.

Programs & Services for Lenders
Rural Development offers several loan guarantee and relending programs.

Programs and Services for Tribes
This page provides links to Rural Development’s program and services for tribes.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Office of Native American Programs
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Native American Programs administers housing and community development programs that benefit American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal members, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Native Hawaiians, and other Native American organizations. The office administers the Indian Housing Block Grants, Indian Community Development Block Grants, Tribal HUD-VASH program, and other programs.

Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program
The Office of Loan Guarantee within the Office of Native American Programs guarantees Section 184 home mortgage loans made to Native borrowers. The loan guarantee assures the lender that its investment will be repaid in full in the event of foreclosure. The borrower applies for the Section 184 loan with a participating lender and works with the tribe and Bureau of Indian Affairs if leasing tribal land. The lender then evaluates the necessary loan documentation and submits the loan for approval to the Office of Loan Guarantee. The loan in limited to single-family housing (one to four units), and fixed-rate loans for 30 years or less. Neither adjustable rate mortgages nor commercial buildings are eligible for Section 184 loans. Maximum loan limits vary by county.

Tribal Housing Activities Loan Guarantee Program (Title VI)
Title VI is a public investment tool that HUD offers to federally recognized tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities. The program provides an additional source of financing for affordable tribal housing activities. A tribe/TDHE uses IHBG funds to leverage additional funds to finance affordable housing activities, so that it can undertake larger projects and build at today’s costs. This leverage is created by pledging the need portion of the tribe’s annual IHBG grant and the project’s income as security to HUD in exchange for a Title VI loan guarantee.

In turn, HUD provides a 95% guarantee of outstanding principal, plus accrued and unpaid interest as collateral to the lender. The lender then, provides the financing to the tribe.

U.S. Department of the Interior

Bureau of Indian Affairs
The bureau’s mission is to enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunity, and carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. The bureau’s Division of Human Services oversees the Housing Improvement Program, which provides home repair, renovation, replacement, and new housing grants administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and federally recognized Indian tribes. The program assists American Indians and Alaska Natives who have no immediate resource for standard housing.

Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs
This office assists and supports the Secretary of the Interior in fulfilling the United States’ trust responsibility to the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages and individual Indian trust beneficiaries. The office maintains the federal-tribal government-to-government relationship. The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary–Policy and Economic Development oversees the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, the Office of Indian Gaming, and the Office of Self-Governance.

The Indian Energy and Economic Development, Division of Capital Access, manages the Indian Loan Guaranty, Insurance and Interest Subsidy Program, which helps borrowers secure business financing on commercially reasonable terms. The program is open to federally recognized American Indian tribes, Alaska Native groups, individually enrolled members of such tribes or groups, and business organizations with no less than 51 percent ownership by American Indians or Alaska Natives. Borrowers apply for a loan through any lender that regularly engages in making loans. A lending institution should only apply for a loan guarantee or obtain loan insurance when it would not otherwise approve the borrower’s loan application.

U.S. Department of Justice

The Office of Tribal Justice
The Office of Tribal Justice serves as dedicated point of contact for Indian country-specific legal and policy matters at the U.S. Department of Justice. The website provides information that may be of interest to lenders working in Indian Country.

U.S. Department of Energy

Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program
This program partially guarantees up to $2 billion in loans to support economic opportunities to tribes through energy development projects and activities. Under this solicitation, the Energy Department can guarantee up to 90 percent of the unpaid principal and interest due on any loan made to a federally recognized Indian tribe or Alaska Native Corporation for energy development. The tribal borrower will be required to invest equity in the project and all project debt will be provided by non-federal lenders.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund’s Native Initiatives
The CDFI Fund created the Native Initiatives to support the creation and expansion of Native CDFIs. Native CDFIs help Native communities thrive by increasing the communities’ access to credit, capital, and financial services. Native Initiatives uses a combination of financial, technical assistance, and training to build the capacity of CDFIs serving Native communities.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Office of Native American Affairs
The office promotes and supports Native American entrepreneurs through tribal consultations, development and distribution of promotional materials, attendance, and participation in national economic development conferences.

Fannie Mae Native American Homeownership
Fannie Mae purchases HUD-184 mortgages to better support Native American populations. Fannie Mae’s low down payment HomeReady Mortgage is designed to help lenders confidently serve today’s credit-worthy low-income borrowers. HFA Preferred is Fannie Mae’s low down payment conventional mortgage product that participating housing finance agencies can use to serve low-to-moderate income borrowers exclusively through their lender partners.

Freddie Mac Native American Homeownership
Freddie Mac makes sustainable homeownership possible for more Native Americans by providing access to homebuyer education and financial education for youth and expanding resources for members of federally recognized Native American tribes. In addition to mortgage products, Freddie Mac offers a curriculum on developing homeownership opportunities in Native American communities, a tribal leaders handbook on homeownership, and a financial education curriculum for teens and young adults.

Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) Des Moines

Native American Homeownership Initiative
Since 1990, FHLB Des Moines has awarded $135 million in down payment and closing cost assistance to help more than 29,900 families with home purchases. Eligible households may receive up to $15,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Center for Indian Country Development
The center is a nationally recognized thought leader and clearinghouse for resources and initiatives concerning Native economic development. The center is a respected contributor to research critical to Indian Country constituents. In addition, the center is the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s principal point of contact and key supporter of the Federal Reserve in fulfilling the agency’s responsibility to Indian Country.

First Nations Development Institute
The institute’s mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. The institute invests in and creates innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. The institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance and training, advocacy and policy, and direct financial grants in six key areas: achieving Native financial empowerment, investing in Native youth, strengthening tribal and community institutions, advancing household and community asset-building strategies, nourishing Native foods and health, and stewarding Native lands.

Oweesta: National Native CDFI Intermediary
Oweesta is a Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy to help Native communities develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and financial products.

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
The Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations through applied research and service. At the heart of the Harvard Project is the systematic, comparative study of social and economic development on American Indian reservations.

University of Arizona Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy
The institute provides Native nations and policy makers with accessible research and policy analysis of governance and development in Indian Country and with comprehensive, professional training and development programs designed to meet the needs of indigenous leadership and management.

National American Indian Housing Council
The council promotes and supports American Indians, Alaska Natives, and native Hawaiians in their self-determined goal to provide culturally relevant and quality affordable housing for Native people. The council’s services to its members and the general public include advocacy for housing opportunities and increased funding for Native American housing and community development programs, training in many areas of Native housing management, on-site technical assistance for Native housing professionals, and research and information services related to Native housing issues and programs.

National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
The center is the largest national Indian-specific business organization in the nation. The center fulfills its mission by supplying management and technical assistance to Tribal and individually owned Indian businesses nationwide; serving as a training and resource center for native entrepreneurs; offering conferences, trade fairs, and fundraising events that advance economic development across Indian Country; advocating for American Indian and Alaska Native business development; and supporting the expansion and creation of domestic and global economic development opportunities.

National Congress of the American Indian
Founded in 1944, the organization is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities. The organization serves as a forum for unified policy development among tribal governments to protect and advance tribal governance and treaty rights, promote the economic development and health and welfare in Indian and Alaska Native communities, and educate the public toward a better understanding of Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Native American Financial Officers Association
The association supports tribal economies by advocating for sound economic and fiscal policy, providing innovative learning opportunities, convening thought leadership, and developing resources for tribes that strengthen governance and exercise sovereignty.

A Guide to Tribal Ownership of a National Bank
A companion to the OCC's Comptroller's Licensing Manual, this guide is designed to help federally recognized Native American tribes explore entry into the national banking system by establishing or acquiring control of a national bank.

Community Developments Fact Sheet: HUD Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program
This fact sheet describes the Section 184 program, which is a home mortgage federal loan guarantee for enrolled members of federally recognized tribes or for Tribally Designated Housing Entities.

Community Developments Fact Sheet: HUD Title VI Loan Guarantee Program
This fact sheet describes a loan guarantee program designed to support affordable housing in Indian Country. The Title VI loan guarantee assists Indian Housing Block Grant recipients who want to obtain loans for buying or constructing affordable housing but are unable to secure financing, or are offered financing that is too expensive, without the assistance of a federal guarantee.

Community Developments Fact Sheet: Indian Loan Guarantee Program
This fact sheet describes the U.S. Department of the Interior’s loan guaranty program, which is designed to help Native American-owned businesses access capital by providing their lenders with a federal loan guaranty. The program is open to federally recognized American Indian tribes or Alaska Native groups, individually enrolled members of such tribes or groups, or a business organization with no less than 51 percent ownership by American Indians or Alaska Natives.

Community Developments Fact Sheet: Multifamily Rural Housing Finance Program
This Community Developments Fact Sheet explains how the Rural Housing Service (RHS) guarantees qualifying mortgages made by RHS-approved national banks and federal savings associations.

Community Developments Insights: Commercial Lending in Indian Country: Potential Opportunities in a Growing Market
This report discusses the specific approaches that bankers active in this market have used to accommodate some of the business and legal challenges unique to Indian Country. Approaches include using several federal programs available to manage the risks in tribal commercial and business development.

Community Developments Investments: Extending Credit In Indian Country: How Banks Use Federal Programs to Promote Economic Development
This edition examines the availability of capital in Indian Country and the opportunities for banks interested in doing business there. While doing business on sovereign Indian lands may present some challenges, there are incentives that make investing and lending in Indian Country a profitable proposition.

Community Developments Investments: Housing Financing in Indian Country: Spotlight on HUD's Title VI Program
This edition spotlights HUD’s Title VI program, which provides an additional source of funding for Indian tribes receiving federal Indian Housing Block Grants for affordable housing activities.

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