Building Native Communities (BNC)

Financial Skills for Families

Oweesta Corporation is dedicated to helping empower Native people and communities take control of their financial futures.

The importance, knowledge and experience of modern-day financial literacy like how to manage family budgets, operate businesses, achieve financial goals, use credit wisely, or building a foundation through homeownership, and growing personal and community assets, is vital to growing self-reliance in financial skills and building a strong financial foundation.

Empowering Native Communities

Without programs like financial education, matched savings programs, entrepreneurship, homebuyer education and credit counseling, many of our clients would not be able to take their community members, their institution, and their economies to the next level. We assist with the development and integration of many of these programs in a variety of institutions, empowering them to set their goals and achieve the impact they have sent their sights on by developing and providing culturally appropriate resources and tools to empower Native communities.

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.

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The Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Participant Guide is available here

Financial Skills for Families is an innovative and culturally-appropriate financial education curriculum developed to enable community members to realize their traditional values by learning financial skills that will help each person make informed financial decisions for themselves, their family and their community and to help Native organizations establish and sustain successful financial education programs. Through a joint partnership with First Nations Development Institute, the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families has been a financial education resource force in Indian Country for almost 20 years. In 2016, First Nations Development Institute and First Nations Oweesta collaborated on creating the 5th Edition of the BNC curriculum which is being taught through national train-the-trainer events across the country with financial educators and practitioners from many different Tribal communities. The national train-the-trainer workshops enable distribution of the most up-to-date, relevant financial knowledge to Native communities and offers expert training from certified instructors with firsthand experience in Native communities, who are committed to empowering Native communities throughout the country.

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The Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families Instructor Guide is available here

The 5th edition of the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum instructors guide is now available! You can download a PDF of the Instructor Guide free of charge, or order printed copies for $19. For more information, see below. If you have questions about the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum, please email Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families is a financial education curriculum designed to teach financial skills in diverse Native American communities. To download a free PDF, click the Download File button.

Success Stories

Jason W. decided to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

He was newly separated and needed to adjust spending behaviors. We were able to sit down with Jason and: track spending, identify trends, prepare a Cash Flow Plan, reduce debt, and establish savings goals. He was able to separate business and personal finances. Establish a basic savings account as well as an emergency savings account. He eliminated over $8,000 of personal debt and is properly managing an automobile loan and home mortgage while consistently paying extra principal. Jason has found balance in his financial world and has become a better citizen, friend, and father.

Bridgette R., a young single mother struggling to live on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation was working odd jobs just so her and her son Liam could get by.

With no car, living with her father and brother, and the only one in her household determined to find a job, she was hired on a temporary worker at her local Native CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution). She showed up every day demonstrating true workmanship and continues to be trustworthy. Bridgette has been employed with this organization for over a year now. She has paid off all of her overdue bills she accumulated, bought a car, got off of food stamps, and now can afford a place for her and her son. In July 2018, Bridgette then attended the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families train-the-trainer in Anchorage, Alaska. She came back to Montana with a brand-new perspective on life. Bridgette knew the only way to make a better life was to set financial goals and be more aware of where the money was going. She is now one of the lead instructors for the Fort Belknap Education Department – Credit Financial Literacy Team on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

Betty H., I have an Elderly client who was in serious trouble with predatory lending (payday loans).

I did some one on one lessons out of the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum covering wants and needs and spending plans. Now she can track her spending and keeps a spending journal. She has had no more problems keeping up with her everyday bills and personal needs. She brings in her journal every other month and shows me where she is at financially and she is very proud of herself.

How to proceed

Through the training, financial education practitioners will learn tools and techniques to work with clients to create long-term financial behavior changes, set personalized goals, practice new financial behaviors, overcome challenges, and celebrate success. Financial coaching trainings are offered several times each year throughout the country. Please visit for a list of our upcoming national trainings. Please contact Stephanie Cote,, with our Financial Education & Asset Building Department, for more information.

To Order Curriculum

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