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Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) to Offer Children's Savings Accounts and Mini Grants for Family Emergency Savings Accounts with Tribes and Native Nonprofits in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK - The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), a statewide coalition in Oklahoma, has begun a project to promote family financial security and opportunity for American Indian families in Oklahoma through pilot Children's Savings Accounts and family emergency savings accounts.
The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.
"Children's Savings Accounts, or "CSAs," provide a nest egg of savings and can positively affect children's educational development. Building from the groundwork that ONAC has laid with CSAs over the last few years, this project will launch the largest pilot of a Native Children's Savings Account project in Oklahoma," said Christy Finsel (Osage), Executive Director of the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. "This project will also help our constituents to provide family emergency savings accounts. With the varied project designs of our partners, we will be able to help Native youth and their families save for their future, have access to flexible savings, and connect to other asset building services. These resources from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will allow the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, and our Native partners, to address intergenerational poverty and to continue to positively impact a number of American Indian citizens in Oklahoma."
Efforts will focus on offering financial education, opening accounts and providing the initial opening deposit funds. The project will also continue to build the capacity of ONAC constituents to provide similar programs in the future.
With this project, ONAC will work with our constituents to open a total of 270 Children's Savings Accounts for American Indian children, ages birth to eight, in Oklahoma over the next three years. The partners include the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Anadarko), Osage Financial Resources, Inc. (Pawhuska), Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (Shawnee), Cherokee Nation Child Support Program (Tahlequah), Mvskoke Loan Fund (Okmulgee), and the Ponca Tribe Head Start (Ponca City). Additionally, ONAC will offer a Request For Proposals (RFP) to fund six constituents (tribes and Native nonprofits in Oklahoma) as they provide family emergency savings accounts to tribal citizens. The family emergency savings accounts may be linked to other asset building programs the constituents already administer such as financial education, entrepreneurship development, foreclosure prevention and homeownership preparation, Native language, matched savings account, credit builder/credit repair, and free tax preparation assistance.
"This project will help Native families, with lower incomes, to open flexible savings accounts to buffer them in times of emergency, income fluctuation, or irregular expenses," Finsel said. "Such accounts will promote financial inclusion by providing a mechanism for Native families to connect to mainstream financial services that are safe and affordable. With this funding, we will provide the initial opening account deposit and then the families can grow the accounts over time with their own deposits. Emergency savings accounts, for any family, can be a step along the way towards family financial stability and economic mobility." Finsel added, "We are very excited about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's investment in Oklahoma Native communities and our Native-led asset building coalition."
About the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.: The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), first organized in 2007 and now a nonprofit, is a Native asset building coalition that works with Oklahoma tribes and partners interested in establishing asset-building initiatives and programs in Native communities, for the purpose of creating greater opportunities for economic self-sufficiency of tribal citizens.
The mission of ONAC is to build and support a network of Oklahoma Native people who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through the establishment of comprehensive financial education initiatives, Individual Development Accounts, and other asset-building strategies. For more information about the coalition, go to http://oknativeassets.org.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
Notice for FY-2015
MONDAY, JULY 6, 2015: You may pick up an application at the Tribal Office or you may call on July 6, 2015 or thereafter and request to have an application mailed to you. No applications will be mailed or given out before July 6, 2015 and no requests for applications will be accepted before July 6, 2015.
FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2015: If we have received your application by 5:00 Friday July 17, 2015 your check will be ready on Friday, July 31, 2015. No checks will be given out prior to July 31, 2015.
FRIDAY, July 31, 2015: Children's Clothing Assistance checks will be given out or mailed on Friday, July 31, 2015 for those applications that were received on or before July 17, 2015.
BENEFITS: The Wichita Executive Committee, by a vote of 5-0-0 on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, that all enrolled children of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes ages 17 years of age and under will receive $150 in assistance for the purposes of purchasing clothing. Children must be enrolled by 09/30/2015 to receive the benefit for FY-2015.
WHO MAY APPLY: Due to problems in the past between Parents and Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles, only Parents or Legal Guardians may apply for Clothing Assistance for the Children. If a Grandparent, Aunt or Uncle is applying for someone for Children's Clothing they must have written consent from the parent to apply and to pick up the check. It is stated in the Children's Clothing Assistance Guidelines that only parents or legal guardians may apply. If we do not have written consent from the parent it may delay the issuance of the Children's Clothing Check.
RECEIPTS: Receipts for clothing purchases from this year's program (FY-15) must be turned in to the Enrollment Office in order for your child(ren) to be eligible for FY-2016 Children's Clothing Assistance. You as the parent or legal guardian are responsible and must take responsibility to ensure that your child(ren) receipts are returned.
PLEASE DIRECT ANY QUESTIONS TO THE ENROLLMENT OFFICE
WICHITA AND AFFILIATED TRIBES
P.O. BOX 729, ANADARKO OK 73005
(405) 247-2425 EXT. 134
MAKE SURE YOU TURN IN THE RECEIPTS FOR YOUR CHILDREN SO THEY CAN
CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE ASSISTANCE.
USDA Awards Grants to Tribal Nations for Nutrition Education Programs
FNS Office of the Chief Communications Officer (703) 305-2281
Albuquerque NM, June 15, 2015 - While representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the annual conference of the National Association of Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations today, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced close to $1 million in grants to support nutrition education programs for participants of the USDA's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). In total, 15 nutrition education projects serving participants in 17 states were selected through a competitive award process that was open to tribal nations and state agencies that administer FDPIR.
"USDA is committed to working with American Indian communities to create a healthy start for children, and provide the nutrition assistance that will lead to healthy lives," Under Secretary Concannon said. "The awardees have developed creative, self-initiated projects designed to assist participants with incorporating healthy foods and physical activity as daily lifestyle habits.
This program supports the Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative by helping to ensure tribal youth have access to healthy food - a challenge on reservations that often do not have access to a grocery or other healthy alternative except through USDA nutrition programs. Six of the awardees are located in areas receiving additional technical assistance through USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative, and one awardee is located in a community selected for the Obama Administration's Promise Zones Initiative.
This funding will allow American Indian tribes like the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to expand and create new projects to better their community. The Choctaw Nation's 2015 FDPIR nutrition education grant will build on a project funded in 2014 to add a hoop house as a central location to provide gardening education. This project will encourage FDPIR participants to increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables by conducting food demonstrations with foods that are grown and harvested as a result of hoop house activities. This is just one example of the steps that USDA is taking to provide nutrition education among FDPIR participants that can lead to healthier lifestyles.
The full list of awardees includes:
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana
- Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
- Midwest Region Nutrition Advisory Committee, via the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
- Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Indian Reservation in New Mexico
- Wichita and Affiliated Tribes in Oklahoma
- Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin
- Mountain Plains Region Nutrition Advisory Committee via the Spirit Lake Tribe in North Dakota
- Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana
- The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana
- Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington
- Lummi Nation in Washington
- Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California
Since fiscal year 2008, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has provided up to $1 million annually in nutrition education grants for projects that benefit FDPIR participants and those eligible for FDPIR. Last month, USDA announced new funding opportunities for state agencies and tribal nations to develop innovative strategies to prevent hunger and food insecurity.
FDPIR operates as an alternative to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for low-income American Indian and non-Indian households. Recipients either reside on a reservation, in a household located in approved areas near a reservation, or in Oklahoma where at least one person is a member of a federally recognized tribal nation. The program provides a package of USDA Foods that has been selected to enable participants to maintain a nutritionally-balanced diet that is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Currently, there are 276 American Indian tribes participating in FDPIR through 100 tribal nations and five state agencies. This program serves approximately 87,000 individuals each month.
FDPIR is one of 15 nutrition assistance programs administered by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service that works in conjunction with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, and the Summer Food Service Program. Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net.