First Nations Development Institute and its wholly-owned subsidiary First Nations Oweesta Corporation (a community development financial institution) work in partnership with Native American tribes and communities throughout the U.S. to assist them in designing and administering financial and investor education programs. Our projects range from helping individuals and families understand the basics of financial management – opening and maintaining a bank account and using credit wisely – to helping individuals understand financial markets and a variety of financial instruments for borrowing and saving.
Learning how to manage finances ensures that Native people will be more likely to save and to challenge financial service providers to develop products that respond to their needs. Our programs result in increased investment levels and economic growth in Native communities. First Nations Development Institute uses the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum, which was originally developed by First Nations Development Institute and the Fannie Mae Foundation. First Nations Development Institute also coordinates the InvestNative investor education project (more information can be found at www.InvestNative.org. First Nations uses the Building Native Communities: Investing for the Future curriculum to teach investor education.
Recently Released Financial & Investor Education Reports and Publications
|Learning by Doing:|
Financial Education for
Youth Receiving Large
Lump-Sum Payouts (2012)
|Crazy Cash City|
Evaluation Report (2012)
Ten Best Practices for Effective
Native VITA Programs (2013)
Order Printed Copies at $10 Each or
Download for Free
Workbook 4th Edition (2011)
Download for Free
for Native Communities (2011)
Building Native Communities Financial Education Curriculum
Financial Skills for Families
Order printed copies of Financial Skills for Families - Workbook (4th Edition) or Financial Skills for Families - Instructor's Resource and Training Guide at $10 per copy at our Publication Store, (requires a Credit Card), complete the Publication Order Form (to use a Purchase Order or pay by Check)
Training Guide (2011)
Investing for the Future
Order printed copies of Investing for the Future - Workbook at $10 per copy at our Publication Store, (requires a Credit Card), complete the Publication Order Form (to pay by Check)
NOTE: The Investing for the Future Instructor's Guide is available for download only. For additional online Instructor resources, please visit the InvestNative Resource library.
Instructor's Guide (2009)
First Nations Development Institute offers several reports on financial education research.
Learning by Doing: Financial Education for Native American Youth Receiving Large Lump-Sum Payouts (2012) (1.85 MB)
|Crazy Cash City Evaluation Report (2012) (2.31 MB)|
This report covers an innovative experiential learning approach to Native youth financial education. In October 2012, First Nations piloted a financial simulation fair for Native high school students based on the Mad City Model that lets youth get a taste of the real world. The students were given an opportunity to make a series of spending and saving choices based on their fictitious family profile that identified occupation, debt, and family member information.
Financial Education in South Dakota’s High Native-Enrollment Schools: Barriers and Possibilities (2010) (885 KB)
Integrated Assest Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27 Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute - Chapter 2: Financial Management Skills in Native Communities (2007) (3.25 MB)
Family Economic Success in Native Communities: Adapting the Annie E. Casey Family Economic Success Framework to Rural and Reservation-based Native Communities (2004) (480 KB)
Financial Education in Native Communities: A Briefing Paper (2003) (902 KB)
A Partnership for Financial Education: Financial Education with the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation (2008) (2 MB)
First Nations Development Institute provides information about Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Native communities.
|Tax Time Savings for Native Communities: Ten Best Practices for Effective Native VITA Programs (2013) (4.1 MB)|
Most rural Native VITA sites, unlike urban VITA sites, face a unique set of challenges. The geographic isolation, low volunteer retention rates, economically distressed communities, and overall distrust of the federal government among many Native Americans can limit the success of traditional VITA site models (i.e., models developed by the IRS). In this report, we propose some best practices designed to address these unique challenges by developing culturally-relevant strategies, structures, and activities for launching and expanding successful VITA sites in Native communities.
Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native Communities (2009) (1.6 MB)
Integrated Assest Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27 Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute - Chapter 2: Financial Management Skills in Native Communities (2007) (3.25)
Building Native Communities: A Tribal Leader's Guide to Launching an EITC Campaign (2005) (2.5 MB)
Contributions of the Earned Income Tax Credit to Community Development in Indian Country (2005) (203 KB)
Building Native Communities: A Guide to Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Consumer Workbook (2004) (800 KB)
First Nations Development Institute offers several publications about IDAs in Indian Country.
Building Native Communities: Saving for the Future, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for Native Families (2005) (1.4 MB)
Policy Report: American Indian Tribal Communities and Individual Development Account (IDA) Policy (2003) (508 KB)
Sovereign Individuals, Sovereign Nations: Promising Practices for IDA Programs in Indian Country (2003) (449 KB)
Assets for the Future: Saving for the Seventh Generation (2000) (191 KB)
First Nations Development Institute provides information on designing per capita payment programs.
Big Money: Structuring Minor's Trust Programs for Native Communities (2011) (949 KB)
Developing Innovations in Tribal Per Capita Distribution Payment Programs: Promoting Education, Savings and Investments for the Future (2011) (290 KB)
First Nations Development Institute provides information about Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Native communities. For additional information on CDFIs, please visit the First Nations Oweesta Corporation website.
Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27 Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute: Chapter 6: A Catalyst for Asset Building: Native Community Development Financial Institutions (2007) (3.0 MB)
Investing in Community: Community Development Financial Insitutions in Native communities (2004) (306 KB)