Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families is a culturally-relevant financial education curriculum geared toward Native communities. It can be used by housing authorities, TANF programs, high schools, or other community programs.
The Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum has 6 modules and covers topics from balancing your checkbook to using credit wisely. For more information, visit the curriculum page.
First Nations Oweesta Corporation provides 2 and 3 day workshops to train you and your staff on using the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum in your programs. These workshops also have a certification component and all participants who pass a final exam are certified to teach the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum for three years. In addition, certified trainers have access to a range of trainer tools and resources through Oweesta’s BNC trainer's portal. To learn more about certification training, email Chris Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a desire to create a uniquely Native financial education tool, First Nations Development Institute and the Fannie Mae Foundation brought together a team of specialists with backgrounds in Native education and financial skills in 2000. Representatives from the Adult Literacy Resource Institute, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, First Nations Development Institute, the Fannie Mae Foundation, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Lakota Fund, and the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund all contributed to the development of the materials.
These experts understood that the materials must be relevant to and accessible within diverse Native communities. An underlying goal of this curriculum is to empower Native people, particularly in relation to personal financial management. Therefore, the curriculum approaches financial skills from diverse Native perspectives, building upon and reinforcing traditional values and knowledge.
The curriculum has been revised several times, and in 2016 First Nations Development Institute and First Nations Oweesta Corporation finalized the 5th edition of the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum with help from an advisory committee.