A committee made up of Standing Rock Sioux Tribal members worked on a project to fill the gaps in the community.
Since 2009, Oyate Community Development Financial Institution has been providing various services to tribal members.
“By taking the entrepreneurship training course, they learn how to set goals to develop their business concept, and then they will learn how to do marketing and financial management,” said Jonathan Anderson, director of the Tribal Business Information Center. of Sitting Bull College.
“Lots of inquiries, you know people with business ideas. Get a number of requests that we have approved and closed for a number of loans. So I guess we think the program brings some benefit.” , explained Erv Kanuth, loan officer for Oyate CDFI.
But as the program continues to grow, committee members realized that there was a much greater need in the community.
There is no kind of financial or banking institute that tribal members have access to in Sioux County.
“Brings a place where people can invest their money, take their checks, because it’s been hand in hand in rural communities for decades. And it still continues to be the case when a person takes their check and goes to the gas station, goes to a grocery store and cash that and use it for a few week expenses and try to move from the next month to the next on. check is coming ”, explained Joseph McNeil, chairman of the board of directors of the CDFI of Oyate.
Through planning, a committee came up with the concept of the Oyate Credit Union – with a focus on helping people do just that, building their credit, having direct access to checking accounts and savings and other financial opportunities.
“Individually, for yourself and for your families, you are losing opportunities to have tools that can benefit you the way we talk about getting consumer loans, home loans or auto loans. And build that credit history to do it. But as a business, you have no leg to lean on because you haven’t accumulated any credit, ”McNeil explained.
The goal is to have a physical location established over the next two years for the Oyate Credit Union.
The concept has already been approved by the National Credit Union Administration.
The next step is fundraising they need around $ 2 million to get the project started.