OFN – Native Awards

Across the U.S., Native CDFIs help tribal communities overcome barriers to economic development opportunities and capital access.

In June 2019, OFN, Oweesta, and Wells Fargo proudly launched the Native CDFI Awards hosted at the annual OFN conference. The Awards honor and support Native CDFIs creating opportunity and promoting self-sovereignty measures and strategies that advance local efforts for community asset building within their tribal communities.

Past Award Winners

The Native CDFI Catalyst Award

This $100,000 grant is awarded to one Native CDFI with a compelling strategy.


Northwest Native Development Fund

Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) in Coulee Dam, Washington, received the Native CDFI Catalyst Award for its strategy to address a severe lack of housing stock on and around the Colville reservation by rehabilitating existing houses and constructing new homes.

The Award will enable NNDF to fund, with matching funds, the management and construction of one home. With the proceeds from the sale of this home, the CDFI will build or rehab another home and so on, creating a self-funding, replicable process to create a minimum of 10 new homes.


Cook Inlet Lending Center

Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) serves low- to moderate-income households that lack access to affordable financial products and services in the Cook Inlet region of Alaska. For Anchorage small businesses impacted by COVID-19, CILC has developed a business stabilization strategy — Survive-Adapt-Thrive — to help the businesses ride out the current recession. CILC will use its Native Catalyst Award grant to build the staff capacity required to successfully implement its strategy.


Four Directions Development Corporation


The Native CDFI Seed Capital Award

This $25,000 grant for one Native CDFI offering a strategy with great potential in various stages of development.


Spruce Root

Spruce Root assists Southeast Alaska’s people and businesses to reach their full potential through loan capital and support services. Currently the only CDFI, public lender, or bank offering low-interest microloans in Southeast Alaska, Spruce Root launched a microloan program in early 2021. The CDFI plans to use its Native CDFI Seed Capital Award to deliver one-on-one technical assistance to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs and help support them in applying for the CDFI’s microloan program.


Black Hills Community Loan Fund

Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) creates financial opportunities for economically disadvantaged families who aim to strengthen their financial future in the Black Hills Region. BHCLF will use its Native CDFI Seed Capital Award to support Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota artists during this unprecedented time. Due to the pandemic, tribal artists are unable to sell their products through the usual venues like art festivals, pow-wows, and museums. BHCLF is collaborating with Native Pop, a local nonprofit Native arts market and cultural celebration, to help Black Hills artists modify their business plans to meet today’s needs for social distance. With its grant, BHCLF will purchase equipment and consulting services to assist artists in redeveloping their marketing plans and building new websites.


Lummi CDFI