January 5, 2022
U.S. Treasury certifies Nixyáawii Community Financial Services
Nixyáawii Community Financial Services (NCFS), a non-profit corporation owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), was notified on January 3, 2022 that the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund has certified NCFS as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
CDFI’s are mission-driven financial institutions that help communities that are traditionally left out of banking and investing options for building assets be that property, homeownership, or small business development. There are over one thousand CDFI’s nationally and roughly 70 that are Native CDFI’s.
NCFS Board President Kelly George said, “This is truly a milestone for our organization and the Tribal community. So many people have worked hard and held confidence that an economic development tool such as this could happen.”
The Umatilla Confederated Tribes began evaluating the CDFI opportunity in 2015 with an extensive community assessment followed by a detailed business plan, primarily under the leadership of Wildhorse Resort CEO Gary George and Wildhorse Business Development Services. That plan detailed consolidation of several programs including Business Development Services, the Housing Department’s Homeownership Program, and the long-standing Tribal Credit Program. The CTUIR Board of Trustees formally approved the plan in February of 2020.
With COVID and supply chain issues, the various staff of those programs had to continue in their former locations until the new NCFS offices were completed and opened on July 1, 2021, with a ribbon-cutting on August 10. The dedicated seven-member NCFS Board of Directors have met regularly over the last year, providing direction on all the various aspects of the Tribes’ new financial institution.
“Big congratulations to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation for earning this designation as a formal Community Development Financial Institution and their work to establish this financial mainstay to help tackle historic injustices that have blocked credit for Native communities.” said Senator Ron Wyden, Chair of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley added, “CDFI’s like Nixyáawii Community Financial Services are crucial to building equitable economies and opening the doors of opportunity to all, and I am so pleased to see them receive this formal certification from the Treasury.”
Nixyáawii Community Financial Services (NCFS) is a Native Community Development Financial Institution loan fund that will provide loans, homeownership assistance, business development services, youth, and adult financial education to members of the Umatilla Confederated Tribes, Reservation residents, and Tribal employees.
For more information, contact Dave Tovey, Executive Director, NCFS, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541.255.3465.