Tanya Fiddler: Reservation communities boost their economies

"Indians have long struggled with a loss of wealth and reservations are often portrayed as poverty-stricken. Many Americans are struggling too, and the median net worth of families in the United States plunged by almost 40 percent over the last three years, according to a report released this week by the Federal Reserve.

But Native Americans have been fighting since the first settlers came to America, and they aren’t about to give up now.

Over the last couple decades, a movement has taken root from within reservation communities that has been empowering tribal citizens to renew their traditional values and embark on a path to prosperity.

Many reservation communities have created community-based revolving loan funds, also known as community development financial institutions (CDFIs), to spur economic activity. These unique financial institutions provide loans, training, and assistance to underserved low-income populations that traditional lenders would consider “high risk.”"

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Tanya Fiddler: Changing the Face of Poverty (Indian Country Today 6/27)

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