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: