This year’s Native CDFI Capital Access Convening brought together hundreds of practitioners, funders and investors, allies, and individuals new to the industry to learn, grow, and celebrate Native CDFIs and the role they play in their communities’ growth and resiliency.
One question that naturally emerged and carried throughout the event is whether we are experiencing a moment or a movement? During the panel “Something Else”: Inequity in Capital Access, as the speakers explored the persistent invisibility of Native communities in philanthropy, policies, and data, they wondered – and worried – whether the advances we have made were of a moment or enduring. Michael Roberts, CEO of First Nations Development Institute went on to add, “If we are in a moment, it’s a moment of unity with BIPOC groups to change the larger narrative.” His words, and the many conversations at the Convening, remind us that we can turn this moment into a movement through community, collaboration, and organization.
We thank you for joining our 6th Annual Native CDFI Capital Access Convening. It is because of partners and practitioners like you that we can build ladders of upward mobility for our Native communities across the United States.
Visit the 2021 CAC event page to access presentations and sessions recordings. We’ve listed some highlights below:
- Edgar Villanueva, Decolonizing Wealth Project Principal, set the tone for the rest of the convening during his opening with a poignant reminder shifting the power of money is pivotal to the healing of Indigenous culture and institutions.
- A conversation with the CDFI Fund highlighted the agency’s dedication to serving Native CDFIs.
- Our relatives from the North, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), shared the progress AFIs (Aboriginal Financial Institutions) have made in Canada. In this cross-border conversation, we were reminded that unity is our strength.
- Our collaborators part of the Partners for Rural Transformation closed out the event with stories of how they challenge narratives and stereotype perceptions across diverse communities in rural America.
A special thanks to our sponsors Wells Fargo, Northwest Area Foundation, NeighborWorks America, Clearinghouse CDFI, Highlands SRI, and in-kind sponsor Vidmob. It is through your generous support and steadfast commitment to economic development that made our Convening possible.