Advancing Financial Mobility within Native Communities

Wednesday, May 3, 2023
12:00pm - 1:30pm ET

The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHI TCU), along with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor, is hosting a virtual four-part dialogue series that addresses multiple topics that impact employment for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

This virtual dialogue, the third in the series, reviewed economic disparities and access to financial resources within Native communities. The American Indian and Alaska Native communities in the United States continue to face pervasive structural barriers to economic advancement. According to the 2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country report, 9.7 million people identified as American Indian and Alaska Native in 2020, accounting for 2.9  percent of all people living in the United States. Yet, Native people are held back by persistent disparities in employment, income, banking access, and education. These disparities impact their economic well-being and mobility. Speakers shared strategies for supporting Native individuals, including those with disabilities, with resources for economic self-sufficiency, the importance of banking, and financial education. You will also hear personal stories from Native speakers with disabilities on their financial journey to economic advancement and self-sufficiency.

Event Objectives:

  • To gain a deeper understanding of the impact of financial inequalities within urban and rural Tribal communities.
  • To understand the impact of asset-building tools offered by Native-led nonprofits and Native Nations.
  • To learn about personal journeys of success from multiple perspectives within Native communities.
  • To identify promising Native asset-building practices, areas of need, resources, and policy considerations to inform a national policy agenda.

Featured Speakers and Individual Story Tellers:

  • Spero Manson, Distinguished Professor and Director, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Department of Community & Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Christy Finsel, Executive Director, Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.
  • Stephanie Cote, Senior Programs Officer – Financial Education and Asset Building, Oweesta Corporation
  • Lee Gaseoma, Project Manager and Traditional Cultural Guidance and Support Lead, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC)
  • Rosalie Perry, Employment Coordinator, Employment Services, Ability360
  • Crystal Hernandez, Executive Director, Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health

Previous Dialogues: