Long-Term Partnership Continues to Provide Opportunities for Financial Empowerment in Native Communities

LONGMONT, Colorado (June 17, 2016) – First Nations Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta) and KeyBank Foundation are pleased to announce the three-year continuation of their long-term partnership focused on increasing access to financial education in Native communities using the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum.

The KeyBank Foundation has actively supported the financial education efforts of Oweesta over the last four years, demonstrating its profound commitment to Native communities. This commitment has allowed Oweesta to lead a longitudinal research project documenting the sustained impact of financial education in Native communities and deliver 13 financial education trainings using the curriculum. These trainings took place across the United States, ranging from Alaska to Florida.

“Financial education is a critical component of economic sustainability in Native communities.  Oweesta is pleased to partner with KeyBank in the creation of thriving Native families and economies,” said Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director of Oweesta.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with First Nations Oweesta to help more Native individuals make smart financial decisions and gain confidence in their financial futures,” said Margot Copeland, chair and CEO of KeyBank Foundation. “We are encouraged by the tremendous momentum so far and look forward to the personal success stories in the years ahead.”

The Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families (BNC) curriculum was created in 2000.  It uses culturally-appropriate methods to teach essential financial skills to American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, such as budgeting and managing personal finances. Oweesta provides a three-day train-the-trainer and certification program, preparing practitioners to teach financial education and lead financial education programs in their own communities.  Oweesta’s training program resulted in the certification of 616 trainers in the Building Native Communities Financial Education 4th Edition curriculum. Today, more than 25,000 individuals have been taught to manage their finances with confidence using the curriculum.

Last month, in honor of April being National Financial Literacy Month, Oweesta and its parent organization, First Nations Development Institute, jointly announced the release of the 5th edition of the BNC curriculum. The revised curriculum includes an updated Participant Workbook and Instructor Guide, as well as a new website at www.BNCweb.org, a comprehensive online portal for Native financial educators and practitioners.

“These revisions ensure that the BNC curriculum stays relevant to the newest financial challenges, as well as effective as possible in helping families take charge of their financial futures,” said Krystal Langholz, Chief Operating Officer of Oweesta.

This month we are pleased to announce the commencement of the 5th Edition Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families national train-the-trainer program starting in July 2016. These trainings, as well as the printing of the 5th edition of the BNC, are generously funded by the KeyBank Foundation. The first of these training will be held in Michigan. For more information on the training schedule or to register, please visit the events section at www.oweesta.org/events.

About KeyBank Foundation:
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose “to help clients and communities thrive, and its mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures.”  The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.

About First Nations Oweesta Corporation
First Nations Oweesta Corporation was created 15 years ago to address the lack of capital and financial infrastructure holding back economic development in Native communities as recognized by its parent organization, First Nations Development Institute.  First Nations Oweesta Corporation’s mission is to provide opportunities for Native people to develop financial assets and create wealth by assisting in the establishment of strong, permanent institutions and programs that contribute to economic independence and strengthened sovereignty for all Native communities.  For more information, visit www.oweesta.org.