The FLEC is committed to providing financial literacy and educational resources to support the financial capability of Tribal families and communities. This page highlights relevant federal agency news and resources for members of Tribal and Native communities and other stakeholders.
SPOTLIGHT IN THE NEWS
The Tribal Business News reported on the July 20, 2023, FLEC Public Meeting that included a panel discussion by Chief Lynn Malerba, Treasurer of the United States. The panel was part of a 90-minute discussion focused on the financial literacy and education needs of Tribal and Native communities.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Your Money, Your Goals is a set of financial empowerment materials for organizations that help people meet their financial goals by increasing their knowledge, skills, and resources. Companion guides have specific information for populations with unique needs.
The Focus on Native Communities Companion Guide provides organizations with information that meaningfully connects Your Money, Your Goals to the financial lives of Native community members.
Department of Education
Located within the Department of Education, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities seeks to support activities that will strengthen the Nation by expanding education opportunities and improving education outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students.
Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program - If you are a dedicated health professional willing to fulfill a two-year service commitment, the IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) can help you chart a course for a long-lasting and successful healthcare career. The LRP awards repayment of up to $50,000 for qualified health profession education loans to clinicians who commit to practicing in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities for an initial two-year commitment.
Links for financial assistance for higher education:
- Estimate Your Federal Student Aid – This website estimates what federal student aid you may be eligible to receive.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form – A free application form to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school.
- Types of Financial Aid - A list of Loans, Grants, Work-Study Programs.
- Federal Pell Grant Program - Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.)
Department of Health and Human Services
Integrating Financial Capability Services into Tribal TANF: A Case Study – This brief describes the experience of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe, which has worked to integrate financial capability services into its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Integrating Financial Capability Services into Tribal LIHEAP - The brief shares lessons and approaches for how tribal-serving organizations can integrate financial capability services into the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and other emergency assistance services.
Department of Labor (DOL)
With the Pension Protection Act, some benefit plans sponsored by Tribal and Native American Community employers became covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). DOL worked with the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) to provide fiduciary education. Below are some of the publications we provided as part of this outreach:
Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
This booklet addresses the scope of ERISA’s protections for private-sector retirement plans (public-sector plans and plans sponsored by churches are not covered by ERISA). It provides a simplified explanation of the law and regulations. It is not a legal interpretation of ERISA, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the advice of a retirement plan professional.
Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Your Employee Benefit Plan
This booklet has been prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) with assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). It is intended to be used as a quick reference tool for certain basic reporting and disclosure requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Understanding Retirement Plan Fees and Expenses
This booklet will help you better understand and evaluate your plan’s fees and expenses. While the focus is on fees and expenses involved with 401(k) plans, many of the principles discussed in the booklet also will have application to all types of retirement plans.
Department of the Treasury
The Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee advises the Secretary on significant matters related to the taxation of Indians, the training of Internal Revenue Service field agents, and the provisions of training and technical assistance to Native American financial officers. The membership has three appointees nominated by the Secretary, two appointed by the House Committee on Ways and Means and two nominated by the Senate Committee on Finance.
Through the use of monetary awards and training opportunities, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI Fund) Native Initiatives program creates jobs, builds businesses, and fosters economic self-determination in Native Communities nationwide. The Native Initiatives program uses a combination of financial, technical assistance, and training to build the capacity of CDFIs serving Native Communities.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Native American Veteran Direct Loan (NADL) program can be used by eligible Native American Veterans to finance the construction, purchase, or improvement of a home on Federal trust land.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
If a disaster or other emergency strikes, you may only have seconds or minutes to react. In those critical moments, your focus will be on your family’s safety. Once the immediate danger has passed, having your homeowners, renters, or flood insurance policy, bank account information, and other records and contacts in one secure location will help you recover faster.
The free Emergency Management First Aid Kit (EFFAK) gives you the peace of mind that your important financial information is at your fingertips. The EFFAK helps you organize critical financial, medical, and household information. It includes a checklist of important documents and forms to compile your relevant information.
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Community-Focused Tribal Initiatives of the Federal Home Loan Banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLBank of Des Moines)
- FHLBank of Des Moines Native American Homeownership Initiative (NAHI)
- FHLBank of Des Moines Native Outreach Directory
- FHLBank of Des Moines Competitive Affordable Housing Program
Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank of San Francisco)
- FHLBank of San Francisco Competitive Affordable Housing Program
- FHLBank of San Francisco Tribal Nations Opportunities Forum Resources
Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka (FHLBank of Topeka)
- FHLBank of Topeka Competitive Affordable Housing Program
- FHLBank Topeka Native American Housing Initiatives (NAHI) Grants Program
Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve’s Native Economic and Financial Education Empowerment (NEFEE) Program (stlouisfed.org) works in partnership with Tribal nations and Native communities and organizations to provide free economic and personal finance education that incorporates Native language and culture within curricula in a variety of formats. The above link describes the program’s offerings and directs those who may be interested in developing customized curricula to contact the NEFEE team at NEFEE@stls.frb.org.
Federal Trade Commission
FTC website: Native American Communities: Spot, Avoid and Report Scams. The site serves as a landing page for consumer and business education resources related to financing a car, spotting government impersonators, avoiding scams targeting small businesses, and more. You’ll also find information on where to report scams and how to order free materials to give out in your community.
FTC staff report: Consumer Issues Affecting American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. The report outlines FTC enforcement, outreach, and education efforts to identify and fight scams affecting American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
On January 26, 2023, HUD proposed a rule for Certification of Tribal Housing Counselors. This proposed rule provides an alternative regulatory standard for compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act’s counselor certification requirements that recognizes Tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and accounts for the unique status of Tribal land and housing programs in Indian Country. View comments on the proposed rule that were due to HUD by March 27, 2023.
Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor.gov website includes information on investing and investment products, a glossary of investment terms, Investor Alerts and Bulletins on frauds and current investment topics, publications, and free financial tools and calculators. You will also find a free and simple tool to check the background of an investment professional.
Investor Education Tools and Calculators
Fraud Prevention Resources
- What You Can Do to Avoid Investment Fraud
- HoweyTrade Fictional Online Investment Program Video, a fictional online investment program video that shows what real fraud can look like
- HoweyTrade Teachers Guide for high school teachers
- What is Affinity Fraud?
This resource provides useful tips and information for older investors on the basics of saving and investing, how to spot and avoid fraud, and more. Never stop learning, especially when it comes to protecting your hard-earned money.
Investor Alerts and Bulletins
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issues Investor Alerts and Investor Bulletins that focus on frauds, scams, investing, and investment products.
Social Security Administration
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) Webpage – Social Security’s centralized webpage with information and resources specific to the AIAN community. Tribal Benefits Coordinator Guide – A comprehensive Tribal resource with information related to Social Security benefits, services, and polices.
Spotlight on American Indians and Alaska Native Provisions – A snapshot of frequently asked questions related to Tribal provisions.