Building Native Communities Toolkit

The tools needed to help you facilitate your community trainings!

The History of the Building Native Communities Curriculum

With a desire to create a uniquely Native financial education tool, First Nations Development Institute and the Fannie Mae Foundation brought together a team of specialists with backgrounds in Native education and financial skills in 2000. Representatives from the Adult Literacy Resource Institute, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, First Nations Development Institute, the Fannie Mae Foundation, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Lakota Fund, and the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund all contributed to the development of the materials.

These experts understood that the materials must be relevant to and accessible within diverse Native communities. An underlying goal of this curriculum is to empower Native people, particularly in relation to personal financial management. Therefore, the curriculum approaches financial skills from diverse Native perspectives, building upon and reinforcing traditional values and knowledge. This is not difficult because similar skills are utilized in traditional Native resource management:

  • Awareness of resources
  • Saving
  • Budgeting resources
  • Using innovative new tools to maximize resources

Tribes throughout North America and Hawaii have been practicing these resource management skills for generations, ensuring the survival of our people. The curriculum seeks to connect people’s ancestral experience with the acquisition of new skills. Each session in the curriculum uses Native resource management skills as the foundation. New financial skills are introduced in a way that builds off of these traditional values and skills. Since 2001, over 35,000 individuals have been taught to manage their finances with confidence using the Building Native Communities (BNC) curriculum. Oweesta offers an intensive three-day certified train-the-trainer workshop, and today there are nearly 2,000 instructors nationwide who have been certified to teach the BNC curriculum. Participants in the workshop must pass a knowledge-based certification exam before receiving accreditation. Once an instructor has been certified, he or she receives access to a range of teaching tools and can order workbooks and teach the curriculum in his or her tribal home community.


Certified BNC 4th Edition Trainers


Certified BNC 5th Edition Trainers

Proven Results

Thousands of Native American individuals and families have utilized the Building Native Communities curriculum to take control of their financial futures.

Additionally, hundreds of individuals from dozens of tribes and organizations throughout the United States are certified to teach the Building Native Communities curriculum, now in its fifth edition. First Nations Oweesta is proud to partner with these grassroots community organizations which are leading the greater movement toward the economic self-sufficiency of all Native American communities, one family and community at a time.


Trainings Conducted by Certified Trainers


Community Members Trained in BNC Curriculum

Are you a certified BNC Trainer?

View your BNC Certificate and resources by logging in to the Oweesta Portal.

If you are having trouble logging into the BNC trainers portal, contact

Not a Certified BNC Trainer?

Please contact our Programs Coordinator Colista Matsaw for more information.

To Order Curriculum

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