Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., said on Monday that the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska has become a major shareholder in the Native American Bancorporation Co.
“First and foremost, we saw this as an excellent investment opportunity for Ho-Chunk, Inc.,” Morgan said in a news release, adding “but we also understand that access to capital is a major economic hurdle for tribal communities and truly wanted to be part of the solution.”
The Native American Bank, N.A. (NAB) is headquartered in Denver, Colo., and has a retail branch and loan production office in Montana. The bank specializes in commercial loans to Native American governments and enterprises, as well as home loans to Natives.
Native American Bancorporation Co. was formed in 1988, and in 2001, twenty tribal nations and Alaskan Native Corporations set out with a dream “to create a national bank to serve all Native people, communities, governments and enterprises across the country” and established Native American Bank, N.A. (NAB), its website says. Both the Native American Bancorporation Co. and NAB are certified Community Development Financial Institutions, whose purpose is to promote economic development in areas that are underserved by traditional financial institutions.
The projects NAB has supported include $5.2 million for a recycling facility in Florida, $5.5 million for a new hotel in Montana, $1.7 million for a new general store in a remote Alaska village and nearly $8 million for housing projects in South Dakota and North Carolina.
“We have made a concerted effort to source projects that meet the bank’s mission while providing economic diversity and meaningful jobs,” Thomas Ogaard, president and CEO of NAB and the Native American Bancorporation Co. “The capital support provided by Ho-Chunk, Inc. is a valuable resource that allows us to continue these efforts, grow the bank and make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”
“This is the first and only bank to exclusively serve the financial needs of Indian Country,” said Morgan.