Asset Building


"Critically, asset building policies give lower-income Native Americans (and their families and communities) the same kinds of opportunities to build assets and wealth as have been widely available to middle- and high-income Americans."

-Miriam Jorgensen

Asset building refers to strategies that increase individual, family, and community assets. In the Native community context, targets of asset building policy include (among other issues) financial and investor education, per capita policies, entrepreneurship development, banking relationships, homeownership, access to land, and Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

Publications & Projects

Indigenous Business in Canada Book

Indigenous Business in Canada addresses contemporary concerns and issues in the doing of Aboriginal business in Canada, reveals some of the challenges and diverse approaches to business in indigenous contexts from coast to coast to coast, and demonstrates the direct impact that history and policy, past and present, have on business and business education...


Creating Private Sector Economies in Native America

Native nation economies have long been dominated by public sector activities - government programs and services and tribal government-owned businesses - which do not generate the same long-term benefits for local communities that the private sector does. This book identifies and addresses key barriers to expanding the sector, provides policy guidance, and describes several successful business models...

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Financial Education in South Dakota’s High Native-Enrollment Schools: Barriers and Possibilities

Learning to use resources wisely and to plan financially for the future are important steps on the road to asset building, wealth creation, and self-sufficiency. They are particularly important skills for Native American youth, who come from lower income backgrounds than non-Native youth and have more ground to cover to reach financial security...

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Mortgage Lending on South Dakota’s Indian Trust Land: Findings from a Survey of Lenders

The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition has brought together a diverse group of more than 75 tribal, state, federal, nonprofit, and private sector stakeholders to identify barriers, share innovative solutions, and leverage resources to create a clear path to homeownership for Native people in South Dakota. This report identifies the specific capacity-building needs of housing practitioners and other Coalition members...

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Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities

This report emerges from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund’s commitment to helping Native Communities develop through increased access to capital. The ideas presented are grounded in an understanding of current economic conditions in Native Communities and in established research concerning the drivers of economic change in Native nations...


Per Capita Distributions of American Indian Tribal Revenues

This paper examines policy considerations relevant to per capita distributions of tribal revenues. It offers Native nation leaders and citizens food for thought as they consider whether or not to issue per capita payments and, if they choose to do so, how to structure the distribution of funds and make that distribution serve tribal goals...


all asset building publications

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