Tanya Fiddler (Cheyenne Sioux), executive director of Four Bands Community Fund, a native community development financial institution (CDFI) in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, shared innovations in economic development with leaders from the federal government and private sector at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting on June 30 in Chicago, Illinois.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, brings global leaders—including heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of chief executive officers and heads of foundations—together to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Fiddler shared an alternative long-term approach to economic development that invests in youth of communities by integrating concepts of financial literacy and entrepreneurship into K-12 classrooms.
“This session presented a stark contrast between the issues of rural versus urban economic development,” Fiddler said. “I was honored to have the opportunity to share our successes in rural and Native America. Although, often forgotten by the rest of the country, we have some truly innovative approaches that are building our local economies and improving the quality of life for our residents.”
The nonprofit Four Bands Community Fund leads the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in small business development, business lending, financial literacy and entrepreneurship education to overcome the challenges of poverty and unemployment.
At the CGI America Meeting, Fiddler was among many notable panelists, including Jennifer M. Granholm, former Governor of Michigan; John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado; Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com; Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Governor of Indiana; Robert J. McCann, CEO of UBS Wealth Management Americas; Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business School Professor; and Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles.
President Clinton concluded the CGI America Meeting by emphasizing the effectiveness of programs and organizations, such as the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund and Four Bands Community Fund, that create jobs in some of the most economically distressed areas in the country.
View a live taping of the session at http://livestre.am/QDfc.