Financial Empowerment




The Alliance for Native Financial Empowerment (ANFE) is a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to promoting and supporting financial education and financial capability programs in Native communities. The membership of the Alliance for Native Financial Empowerment is made up of organizations and individuals that actively conduct financial capability programs in a broad range of Native American communities.


The Alliance for Native Financial Empowerment has a mission to be a national voice that advocates for field of Native financial education and invests in innovative curriculum, program design, and research. The ANFE will support Native financial educators and grassroots asset-building practitioners as they work to bring effective and innovative financial capability programs to their communities. ANFE will also elevate the voices of Native financial education practitioners in the national policy arena.


The vision of the Alliance for Native Financial Empowerment is that residents of Native communities will have equal access to information, resources, and curriculum related to financial capability, and that financial education professionals will have a national network for peer learning and information sharing.


The Alliance for Native Financial Empowerment is chaired by members of national organizations that are actively providing financial education programming in Native communities. The Leadership Team for the coalition includes:

Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director, First Nations Oweesta Corporation

A national, Native-led nonprofit organization, Oweesta Corporation supports economic growth in Native American communities through the creation, development and capitalization of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Oweesta helps Native CDFIs develop financial capability programs and provides a national certification workshop on the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families financial education curriculum. Oweesta also helps CDFIs implement asset-building programs such as Individual Development Accounts and credit builder loans.

Dante Desiderio, Executive Director, Native American Finance Officers Association

The Native American Finance Officers Association, or NAFOA, is a national Native-led nonprofit that  develops innovative training programs in financial management, builds the financial and economic skills of the next generation, and convenes tribal leadership, experienced professionals, and economic partners to meet the challenges of economic growth and change. NAFOA sponsors the Tribal Financial Manager Certificate (TFMC) working with Arizona State University's (ASU) American Indian Policy Institute and offers a summer “boot camp” for Native American finance professionals.


Sarah Dewees, Senior Director, First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute is a national Native-led nonprofit organization with a mission to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. First Nations Development Institute has designed several financial education initiatives such as the My Green campaign for youth receiving minor’s trust payments and the $pending Frenzy financial education workshop. First Nations Development Institute has also worked closely with national organizations to disseminate information about investor education and fraud awareness.

Christy Finsel, Executive Director, Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.

The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition (ONAC) is a nonprofit Native asset-building coalition that works with tribes and partners interested in establishing asset-building initiatives and programs in Native communities, for the purpose of creating greater opportunities for economic self-sufficiency of tribal citizens. ONAC is currently piloting Children’s Savings Accounts with fourteen tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma.


Shawn Spruce, President, Shawn Spruce Consulting

Shawn Spruce has been working in the field of financial education for over 10 years and has provided consulting services and program design advice to over 10 organizations in that time frame. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated several financial education initiatives and actively teaches financial education in multiple communities each year. 


A Collaboration Between: