Two CDFIs Win Native CDFI Awards

On the first day of OFN’s 2019 Annual Conference, Wells Fargo, First Nations Oweesta Corporation and OFN proudly presented the Native CDFI Awards to Four Directions Development Corporation and Lummi CDFI.

These two outstanding Native CDFIs are, in the words of Brandee McHale, President of the Wells Fargo Foundation, “a shining example of creative, knowledgeable lenders who know how to cultivate collaboration and position capital to create transformational change in Indian Country.”

Four Directions won the Native CDFI Catalyst Award, a $100,000 grant to help scale its new Community Development program. Lummi CDFI received the Native CDFI Seed Capital Award to help launch its new peer-to-peer technical assistance program that will strengthen the capacity and skillsets of Native-owned businesses. 

“Oweesta is excited to honor our Native CDFIs in this new way,” said Chrystel Cornelius, Oweesta Executive Director in the press release announcing the Awards. “In its nearly 20 years, Four Directions has created amazing new homeownership and entrepreneurship opportunities for the Wabanaki people. Its Community Development program marks a new day of collaboration and partnership at the Wabanaki and tribal level. We look forward to seeing the program evolve. Across the country in Washington state, Lummi CDFI is a much trusted and looked to resource for the first peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Its peer-to-peer technical assistance program will help the CDFI uplift even more tribal small businesses.”

Enjoy the video about Four Directions’ program.

Learn more about the Awards, Native CDFIs, and both of this year’s recipients at the Native CDFI Awards website.

Watch the video from the Native CDFI Awards video — see Chrystel Cornelius’s moving speech and the Awardees acceptance remarks.

See more 2019 OFN Conference highlights.