Native American Bank Lends To Growing Indigenous Fashion Company

Denver, CO—Native American Bank, N.A. (NAB), a national Native-owned community development bank and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), provided an Indigenous fashion company a $150,000 loan to support its growing business.

Ginew is the first Native-owned denim collection in the country, which was founded in Portland, Oregon by Dr. Amanda Bruegl (Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee) and Dr. Erik Brodt (Ojibwe), associate professors at Oregon Health & Science University. Today, the company sells denim, tees, accessories and other goods, all drawing direct inspiration from Native cultures.

With access to capital provided by NAB, Ginew plans to hire three new staff from the Native community and expand its clothing line options into new areas.

“Native American Bank is rewriting how Native communities can access banking services,” said Thomas Ogaard, President and Chief Executive Officer for Native American Bank. “Partnering with Ginew not only shows our commitment to small business, but our understanding of their importance of being a Native women-owned company that designs culturally appropriate Native apparel. The company can now rest assured knowing they have the support from an institution who values and supports their mission and growth for the next several years.”

NAB was established in 2001 after 20 Tribal nations and Alaska Native Corporations expressed the need for a national bank to serve Native people, communities, and Tribal governments and enterprises. Today, the company operates retail banks in Colorado and Montana, and recently opened a business office in Washington state.

Approximately 95% of NAB’s loans are made to Native- and Tribal-owned companies. Nearly 90% of the bank’s commercial lending supports projects in areas certified as “Historically Under-Utilized Business Zones” by the Small Business Administration, and other areas that are considered economically distressed. In the past five years, the bank has made loans totaling $128 million to support $250 million in projects in Indian Country.

“Too often, we are forced to look to banks who don’t understand Native entrepreneurship, and the responsibility that comes with it,” said Dr. Amanda Bruegl (Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee), co-owner of Ginew. “We are part of a select group of Native brands transforming the apparel industry through authentic representation of Native culture. It takes Native-owned entities, like Native American Bank, to understand the value of investing in that vision.”

Along with Ginew, NAB has provided capital to other Indigenous fashion companies and retailers, including OXDX in Arizona and Eighth Generation in Washington state.

“Limited access to financial capital and services has been a significant barrier for Native small businesses,” said Ogaard. “We aim to remove that barrier to increase economic independence and foster a climate of self-determination in investment, job creation, and sustainable economic growth for small business owners located on or off the reservation.”

Photo credit to Ginew Inc.


Veronica Lane
Vice President, Marketing Director


About Native American Bank
Chartered as a national community development focused bank, Native American Bank, N.A. is also a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). NAB is committed to being a self-sustaining CDFI and is the first national American Indian-owned community development bank in the country. NAB supports the communities that it services, and it received an “outstanding” score on the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam. Learn more at