PAUL, MN – Through the generosity of Northwest Area Foundation, this week, over 45 representatives from 21 Native Community Development Institutions (CDFI) will participate in an Access to Capital Convening through First Nations Oweesta Corporation’s Native CDFI Capital Access Initiative. The goal of this Initiative is to enhance participating organizations’ capacity to secure capital, directly responding to the need for substantial influxes of capital in Indian Country.

The Access to Capital Convening will include collaboration strategies for accessing capital discussions and networking strategies. The convening is a day of collaboration among peer organizations, learning from industry leaders and navigating partnerships with foundations and investors. At the conclusion of the convening, Northwest Area Foundation and First Nations Oweesta Corporation will host a private reception, Investing in Indian Country, uniting national, regional, and local foundations and investors with Native CDFIs. “We are honored to bring Native CDFIs, funders, and investors together, nurturing collaboration between like-minded entities for the growth of access to capital in Indian County,” says Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director of First Nations Oweesta Corporation.

With support from Northwest Area Foundation, the Native CDFI Capital Access Initiative addresses the need for increasing available capital in Native communities to meet unsatisfied financing demand. The Convening will prepare these institutions with skills and knowledge to secure necessary funding to sustain operations and a leveraged debt model. The Investing in Indian Country networking reception will facilitate development of relationships between Native CDFIs, investors, and foundations.

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 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

The mission of the Northwest Area Foundation is to support efforts by the people, organizations, and communities of our eight-state region to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity. The Northwest Area Foundation funds champions of change who reflect the distinct cultural strengths of the eight states and 75 Native nations of their region. They work in diverse communities to help people build assets through good jobs and financial capability – so that they can establish good credit, launch small businesses, and save for their futures. Together these skills equip families to overcome crises today and begin to feel secure and hopeful about tomorrow. For more information, visit www.nwaf.org.


Paul Bachleitner, Communications Director
pbachleitner@nwaf.org or 303.774.7836 x213