First Nations Development Institute receives $200,000 to Support Native American Communities in the Pacific NorthwestLONGMONT, Colorado (October 21, 2011) – First Nations Development Institute announced the launch of a new initiative titled, “Building Native American Family Economic Security,” a project to support economic independence in Native American communities in the Pacific Northwest. Supported by a $200,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative will build the capacity of Native American Community Development Financial Institutions that currently provide Volunteer Income Tax Credit (VITA) services, as well as support one additional Native American organization in launching a new VITA site. First Nations Development Institute will work closely with its wholly-owned subsidiary, First Nations Oweesta Corporation, on program implementation.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide resources to Native families through effective financial education and asset development tools to create pathways out of poverty. The initiative will also focus on linking VITA site participants to tribal, state and federal public benefits through the existing Washington Connection benefits portal.
“The Building Native American Family Economic Security initiative will encourage Native people to build assets and move them to economic independence," shared Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute. Participating organizations will include Native American Community Development Financial Institutions, community development corporations; loan or micro-loan funds; Individual Development Account programs; tribal business information centers or economic development organizations.
Sarah EchoHawk, Vice President
For more than thirty years, First Nations Development Institute has been working to strengthen Native American economies and communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.
First Nations Development Institute
351 Coffman Street, Suite 200
Longmont, CO 80501
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