Jodi Rave: Native American Bank makes difference
"The Native American Bank was created in 2001. The bank's total assets topped $86 million as of June 30, up from $24 million in 2002. The bank is now owned by 26 federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations across the United States. The bank's mission is to promote economic development in Native communities, which have been historically under-served by mainstream banks.

More than 85 percent of the bank's loans are made to Native people, including commercial, home mortgages, real estate and consumer loans.

“The Native American Bank represents perhaps the most courageous, grand and ambitious banking experiment in the history of the United States,” said Colbert. “For generations, mainstream banks have ignored and avoided Indian Country and reservation areas.

“They said they couldn't make money in Indian Country,” he said. “They said Indian people would default on any loans they made. They said reservation areas were too economically distressed. They said that the trust land status of reservations was a complete obstacle to transacting any business. � In effect, they said that Native people were not bank-worthy.”

But the national Indian bank has proved otherwise.

“Now in our sixth year of operation, Native American Bank is no longer an experiment,” said Colbert. The bank expects profit margins to double in 2007, compared to the previous year's figure of $551,000.

The bank could improve its lending service in Indian Country if amendments were made to the National Bank Act, which would allow tribes to control interstate branches of nationally chartered banks in reservation areas. Colbert said the NAB would like to establish 100 new bank branches on 100 reservations across the country."

Get the Story:
Democrats partner with Native bank (The Missoulian 8/9)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

Related Stories:
Jodi Rave: WOMAN challenge proves enlightening (8/6)
Jodi Rave: Youth show talent at Native Elite Sports camp (8/1)
Jodi Rave: Powwows pay tribute to veterans (7/30)
Jodi Rave: Sacred Hoop Journey inspires hope (7/26)
Jodi Rave: Native center at UM raises enough money (7/19)
Jodi Rave wins awards for columns and reporting (7/9)
Jodi Rave: Montana tribes at bottom of gaming scale (7/2)
Jodi Rave: Native women continue the challenge (06/18)
Jodi Rave: Graduates eager to make a difference (6/11)
Jodi Rave: Nez Perce homeland remains sacred (6/4)
Jodi Rave: Covering tribal disenrollments (5/30)
Jodi Rave: Paying respects to the departed (5/28)
Jodi Rave: Women of color need to work together (5/24)
Jodi Rave: Disenrollment and the national media (5/21)
Jodi Rave: Native women take up walking challenge (5/16)
Jodi Rave: Navajo family takes the WOMAN Challenge (5/14)
Jodi Rave: Basketball standout graduates from UM (5/14)
Jodi Rave: Native language programs struggle (5/8)
Jodi Rave: NARF delivers message with hip-hop (5/7)
Jodi Rave: Leadership in a multicultural age (4/30)
Jodi Rave: More Natives needed in journalism (4/20)
Jodi Rave: Probate reform changes 'devastating' (4/16)
Jodi Rave: Indian probate conference in Montana (3/30)
Jodi Rave: Native language preservation efforts (4/16)
Jodi Rave: Cobell calls for accountability (4/12)
Jodi Rave: Doctrine of Discovery and Indians (4/11)
Jodi Rave: Tribal colleges press for federal funds (4/6)
Jodi Rave: George Longfish never short on imagery (4/4)
Jodi Rave: Cobell calls trust offer 'insulting' (3/30)
Jodi Rave: Indian probate conference in Montana (3/30)
Jodi Rave: Lawmaker a symbol of Old West ignorance (3/26)
Jodi Rave: Res2007 highlights tribal economies (3/19)
Jodi Rave: Violence against Native women rising (03/12)
Jodi Rave: Violence against Native women rising (03/12)
Jodi Rave wins national fellowship award (03/06)
Jodi Rave: Natives find 'Voices' at Autry Museum (3/2)
Jodi Rave: Environmental racism expert in Montana (3/1)
Jodi Rave: Chippewa Cree artist honors heritage (2/28)
Jodi Rave: Nellie Two Bulls leaves strong legacy (2/22)
Jodi Rave: Count me among America's lawn freaks (2/20)
Jodi Rave: Tribes receive heating assistance (2/19)
Jodi Rave: Tex Hall leaves tribe with $100M-plus debt (2/12)
Jodi Rave: Meet your next Native American Idols (2/12)
Jodi Rave: Without funds, NAIHC fires half of staff (2/9)
Jodi Rave: Montana panel cuts Indian education budget (2/7)
Jodi Rave: Sharing the dance and harvest in Alaska (2/5)
Jodi Rave: Montana family preserves beading (1/30)
Jodi Rave: Navajo Nation to market scenic routes (1/22)
Jodi Rave: Native youth get turned onto reading (1/19)
Jodi Rave: Think tank aims to help Native students (1/16)
Jodi Rave: Winona LaDuke speaks in Montana (1/11)
Jodi Rave: Myers drops bid for 9th Circuit seat (1/11)
Jodi Rave: Interior mum on class action tribal suit (1/5)
Jodi Rave: Rep. Rehberg backs Indian committee (1/5)
Jodi Rave: Cobell sees hope for case in new year (1/2)