Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
On July 20th, USET/USET SPF Executive Director, Kitcki Carroll, appeared before the federal government's interagency Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) during a Tribal panel moderated by U.S. Treasurer, Chief Lynn Malerba, focused on Tribal Nations and our citizens.
Kitcki reminded federal agencies that while the economic and financial literacy challenges Indian Country faces today are similar to those of other populations and communities, ours are exacerbated as the result of centuries of harmful federal acts and policies, and that each agency has an obligation to address these unique challenges in a way that reflects each Tribal Nation's unique circumstances.
we talk about trust and treaty obligations, for far too long it has been
understood that among the federal family, those responsibilities go to the
Department of Interior, the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian
Affairs,” Carroll told members of the FLEC. “Every single one of you
bears responsibility for those treaty obligations. All of you [agencies
represented by the commission] should have offices for understanding Indian
was joined on the panel by Native American Financial Officers’ Association
Acting Executive Director Susan Masten (Yurok,) and Delphina Thomas (Diné,)
program director at the American Indian College Fund. Each of the panelists shared thoughts on what steps federal
agencies could take to improve financial literacy and access for Tribal Nations.
"As we know well, financial literacy is a lifelong tool, intended to give people the resources they need to achieve financial stability," said Treasurer Malerba. "This is especially true for Tribal communities, where financial literacy and access to reliable banking institutions can mean the difference between having an opportunity to have a comfortable and secure future or facing poverty. With the right resources, supporting financial literacy can help Tribal citizens build good credit, save for emergencies, go to college, and afford stable housing by owning or renting a home – all of which contribute to a stronger Tribal economy."
Economic sovereignty is essential to Indian Country’s ability to be self-determining and self-sufficient. Rebuilding of our Tribal Nations involves rebuilding of our Tribal economies as a core foundation of healthy and productive communities. USET SPF remains committed to working with federal partners to grow Tribal economies and empower Tribal Nations to build better futures for our people.
To view a recording of the FLEC meeting, as well as an agenda, please click here. To read an article summarizing the event, click here.
For more information, please contact Liz Malerba, USET SPF Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at email@example.com.