We are excited to announce Bank of America has invested in Native American Bancorporation, the holding company of Native American Bank, for a 4.9% ownership stake. We are thrilled to welcome Bank of America to support our efforts to deliver financial resources that help sustain economic opportunities in the communities we serve. The pandemic took a disproportionate toll on the health and economy of Native tribes and our customers need us now more than ever.
A commitment with immediate positive impacts
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact to Native Nations and Native communities compared to the rest of the U.S. Not only did the pandemic create a health crisis in these communities, but there were major economic impacts as well. Social programs and services, vital to many of its recipients, were abruptly shut down, and countless employees were suddenly laid off or furloughed, with many more at risk of employment uncertainty.
While we are proud in our role in supporting Indian Country by participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), there is always more work that can be done. Now, with the vaccines rolling out and businesses trying to establish a new sense of normalcy, the need for economic resources in Indian Country is only increasing. Therefore, Bank of America’s investment could not be timelier as it allows us to meet a growing demand in providing financial services to Indian Country and our local communities.
We are excited for the immediate impacts this investment will make at NAB. We have the ability to leverage these funds meaning our lending capacity will increase. We will also continue to invest in our infrastructure, so we can continue to provide top-notch service to our customers, and we will continue to grow our company by hiring more people who are passionate about working in Indian Country. All of our goals continue to be in pursuit of our mission to assist Native American and Alaskan Native individuals, enterprises and governments to reach their goals by providing affordable and flexible banking and financial services.
A welcomed effort to support Indian Country
The investment by Bank of America is part of their larger effort to support indigenous communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus. We at NAB have witnessed the impact this pandemic had on our communities, and we applaud allies like Bank of America who are stepping up to provide additional resources, so organizations like ours can continue to make a positive difference in the communities we all serve.
“The economic needs in tribal communities continue to be a challenge that we, as a society, need to address,” said Andrew Plepler, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. “These challenges have been further exacerbated by the coronavirus. There is an urgent need to invest in tribal and native-owned small businesses, healthcare and jobs development, to mitigate some of the enormous economic and health risks these communities currently face.”
An additional $3 million was committed to various Native organizations in the form of grants. Recipient organizations included:
- American Indian College Fund;
- First Nations Development Institute;
- National American Indian Housing Council;
- National Congress of American Indians;
- Partners in Health, in collaboration with Community Outreach & Patient Empowerment;
- Our Native American Business Entrepreneurship Network (ONABEN);
- Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corp;
- United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY);
- Navajo Technical University;
- Mesa Community College;
- Denver Indian Center;
- Denver Indian Health and Family Services;
- Indian Pueblo Cultural Center;
- Native American Connections;
- First Nations Community Health Source;
- Oklahoma City Indian Clinic;
- Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma;
- Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma; and
- First Nations Oweesta Corporation.