WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department awarded almost $1 million yesterday to Native American groups to build two new credit unions on Indian reservations and to expand two others as part of its Native American CDFI Assistance program.
Yesterday’s awards included a $147,000 grant to the Lakota (Sioux) Federal CU Steering Committee, which is chartering a credit union on the Sioux Reservation in Kyle, S.D. The project received a $150,000 CDFI grant last year and is expected to be approved by NCUA in the coming months. The Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation covers 70,000 square miles in the western third of South Dakota and is home to 40,000 Native Americans, but it does not have a single bank or credit union.
The Treasury also awarded $111,000 to the Ho-Chunk Community Development Corporation in Walthill, Neb., which is planning to charter a credit union for the Winnebago tribe.
Two Hawaiian credit unions serving Native Hawaiian people also received grants.
The Molokai Community FCU will use its $376,000 to provide housing related support to Native Hawaiians who have received land from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
And the Prince Kuhio FCU will use its $364,000 grant to implement its Ho’ola Loan Program, which will provide unsecured loans as credit building alternatives to payday loans.
The Native American program, part of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, awarded a total of $11.5 million in grants to 33 groups.
Those awards are separate from the $18 million awarded to 25 credit unions and credit union groups yesterday under the CDFI’s core program.