Building Native Communities (BNC)

Financial Empowerment for Teens & Young Adults

Oweesta Corporation is pleased to announce and roll-out our newly developed financial education curriculum.

Building Native Communities: Financial Empowerment for Teens & Young Adults, was developed in partnership with First Nations Development Institute and Freddie Mac. Driven by the knowledge that youth need financial skills to help bridge the gap from surviving to thriving, the curriculum focuses on crucial financial skills such as developing a spending plan, money management, saving for an education or emergencies, and buying a home. These financial skills build a foundation for our youth that will allow them to experience financial freedom and self-sufficiency as adults.

Financial education is essential

Acquiring these financial skills place youth on the path to financial well-being, which is critical for health and the well-being of for Native communities. These financial skills foster self-sufficient and strong Indigenous economies.. This tailored financial education curriculum is designed for youth around 14-22 years of age. It takes a deep dive into the seven different financial literacy lessons, and provides two supplements focusing on student loan debt and managing per capita payments. In addition, the curriculum provides many useful resources like budgeting templates.

The Building Native Communities (BNC)

This curriculum is designed for Indigenous communities. Created for tribal communities, the curriculum was created to help tribal departments, Native CDFIs, non- profits and other Native organizations establish and sustain financial education programs. Upon completion of our train-the-trainer programtraining, participants will be prepared to take the financial education curriculum back to their Tribal communities to engage and empower their youth. The greatest return on investment any community can make is to invest in our youth, helping them realize the dream of our ancestors. This is the goal of of the Building Native Communities (BNC): Financial Empowerment for Teens & Young Adults curriculum.

We had a family learn how to negotiate negative credit in order to pay-off old balances.

Personally, this training program was shared with my daughters and it really helped them understand why it was important for my budget to work on a monthly basis because we were getting ready for a mortgage loan. My daughters now help me keep in line when it comes to saving money for our home and unnecessary expenses.

I successfully opened my first credit card with adequate knowledge!


Planting the Seeds

Circle of Life – Building our Foundation

Financial Empowerment for Teens & Young Adults

Play Games

Choose any game below and have fun while learning.

Financial Football

Visa and the National Football League have teamed up to help teach financial concepts with Financial Football, a fast-paced, interactive game that engages students while teaching them money management skills.

Financial Soccer

Put your financial skills to the test with the new 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Brazil-branded version of Visa’s fast-paced, multiple-choice question game.

Gen I Revolution

Developed for middle school and high school students, this online game gives your students the chance to learn important personal finance skills as they play and compete against fellow classmates.

Next Gen Personal Finance

The Interactive Library features simulations, graphs, quizzes, and other online interactives. Conveniently sorted by topic, our Interactive Library will supplement your classroom instruction and provide opportunities for student input and engagement.

Wants vs. Needs

When you are going to buy something, it is important to ask yourself, “Is this a need or a want?” When you buy things that you want, before you buy things that you want it is easier to save money.

Chair The Fed Game

Learn how monetary policy works by taking charge of a simulated economy.

Plan’it Prom App

To help combat the high cost of prom, Visa’s free app helps teens and parents budget for every prom-related expense.

Stock Market Game

The Stock Market Game is the right tool for you to help your students build a fundamental understanding of investing while providing them with real world skills practice in math, English Language Arts, economics, social studies, and other subjects.


The goal of the Smarties game is to practice setting and achieving realistic and ambitious goals, to understand the influences on individual and group setting and to experience the impact of competition and the achievement motive on goal setting. Another fun, interactive way to get the Youth engaged and practice goal setting!

The Race for Good Credit Game

The goal of the Race for Good Credit Game is to put the youth in the shoes of developed characters – Never Pay Nathan, Minimum Pay Maria, Partial Pay Pete, Always Pay Annette and No Credit Nancy. Based on different scenarios throughout the months of the year, participants will “race” depending on the shoes they walk in and characters they picked. A fun, interactive way to get the Youth engaged and a basic understanding of importance of credit!

Money Go Round – Save or Spend

The goal of the Money Go Round – Save or Spend Game is to make choices based on different, relevant daily scenarios or choices that the youth make. Each participant is provided with $110 in play money (eleven $10 bills), with each participant making a choice to save or spend $10 from the list of questions. If they choose to spend they must place a $10 bill in the middle of the table. Then hand the remaining money to the participant on their right and continues around the table until all of the questions have been answered. Another fun, interactive way to get the youth engaged and practice financial decision-making!

Additional Resources

Success Stories

The most important thing they told us about credit was to not buy anything you couldn’t immediately pay off and to keep our charging to below 30% of our credit line.

I then got in contact with my local Native CDFI to apply for a credit builder loan. With a credit-builder loan, the lender required monthly payments until I paid for the loan in full. Once I got the loan, the lender reported my on-time payment history to the credit bureaus which helped me build my credit. Slowly, but surely my credit got to where it is now with a mid-score of 716. Growing up, I saw how much my parents struggled without good credit and I didn’t want the same for myself or my children. The Building Native Communities curriculum helped me a lot and certainly set me up for a good financial future.

Allliayah M. attended Gallup Central High School during her senior year and was required to take the Building Native Communities: Financial Empowerment for Teens & Young Adults financial literacy class that not only taught best practices in financial management, but also covered a lot of information on how to successfully build credit to be better prepared when it’s time to apply for a credit card or a loan.

Joe D. attended our Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families class as a requirement of his Tribe to receive his per-capita at 18 years old.

He opened a savings account, obtained a secured credit card and a small loan from us to establish credit. It’s now 2 years later and he is in escrow to purchase a condo. His parents (he’s only 20 years old) will need to co-sign and the Tribe has provided down-payment assistance, but this young man is on his way to success. His family is very supportive of his aspirations. He works and is attending the local Junior College to prepare for his next step in his future.

FBED-Credit helps a lot with our low-income families that have little to no income. Most don’t have a checking or savings account. A few have never held a job longer than a few months or have no ambition. Teaching them basic budgeting skills and telling stories about families that were in their same boat has really inspired them. Some have applied for jobs within the communities. We have new job opportunities on our reservation that allows low income families develop great work ethics and become a working family household. Our goal is to do follow ups on every client we have taught to track their progress. Thanks to our tribal 477TANF program for allowing FBED Credit to bring the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families training to their clients and our community members

Recommended Apps


How to proceed

BNC train-the-trainers are offered several times each year at convenient locations throughout the country. Please visit for a list of our upcoming national trainings. Oweesta also provides customized regional BNC trainings in your community, please contact our Programs Officer Vincent Grant for more information.

To Order Curriculum

To order BNC materials, please contact

5th Edition BNC Participant Workbook $18 each
5th Edition BNC Instructor Guide $19 each
Financial Journal $14 each
BNC Coaching Curriculum $10 each (Not for sale at this time)
BNC Youth Curriculum $30 each