In 2019, Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta) celebrated our 20th anniversary as an organization. It was a time of deep reflection as we completed new strategic planning activities and discerned how we could best serve as an intermediary and bridge to capital in the upcoming decade. In these conversations, it was clear that Oweesta is both stronger than we have ever been and that we must continue to strive, grow, and push ourselves on behalf of the communities we serve.
Through these discussions with our Board of Directors and parent company, First Nations Development Institute, all concurred that the best way to support Oweesta’s growth was to legally separate and for Oweesta to no longer be a subsidiary of First Nations Development Institute.
Our relationship will remain a close, and Oweesta will be forever grateful for the legacy First Nations Development Institute created by their envisioning of Native Nations having equitable access to capital and investment as most of America enjoys. Both our organizations remain deeply committed to the service of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. We also share the same set of guiding values, believing that when armed with the appropriate resources, Native people hold the capacity and ingenuity to ensure the sustainable, economic, spiritual and cultural well-being of their communities. It with deep gratitude to ours elders and former board members who walked before us and created and built both of these amazing Native-led non-profit organizations that we share this news.
As we look to the future, it seems like there is no better time for Oweesta to take these independent steps. In this time of great reckoning and conversation in our nation, Oweesta remains steadfast in our commitment to capitalizing and supporting the growing Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) movement. As we have seen day after day these last twenty years, Native CDFIs remain one the strongest and most impactful tools for aligning justice and capital for indigenous communities across the country. Oweesta therefore remains as excited about working with these amazing partners as we were on the day that our organization was created.
To learn more about the Oweesta of the future, we are pleased to share our 2021-2023 strategic plan. For all that Oweesta has accomplished, and for what we will in the future, we wish to express our gratitude to First Nations Development Institute, our former Board of Directors, as well as our many grassroots partners. Without your commitment, passion, and strength, we would not have come so far.