Supporting Research Reports & Academic Papers

Research is essential especially in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Below you will find supporting research, reports, and resources that address financial education and consumer protection issues in Indian Country.

National Congress of American Indians
First Nations Development Institute
First Nations Oweesta Corporation
Studies Done in Indian Country
Financial Education and Consumer Protection in Broader Communities

National Congress of American Indians

Native Financial Education Coalition White Paper: Supporting the Unique Role of Tribal Government and Community Leaders to Improve Financial Capability (2015) was produced to help inform the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans (PACFCYA). It highlights examples of what tribal government and community leaders are doing to improve financial capability in their communities. It also presents federal policy recommendations that will support the work of tribal governments and their partners in their efforts to improve the financial capability of tribal citizens. Access this White Paper here.

Indian Country FY 2013 Budget Request: Our Trust. Our People. Our America (2012) is a document produced annually by the National Congress of American Indians as a companion to the State of Indian Nations address. The document outlines key data related to the socioeconomic status of Native people and recommends particular federal policy strategies to revitalize Native economies, including federal investment in Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The Economic Development chapter includes financial management training as a strategy to expand business development. Access this report here.

Indian Country FY 2012 Budget Request: Honoring the Promises: The Federal Trust Responsibility in the 21st Century (2011) is a document produced annually by the National Congress of American Indians as a companion to the State of Indian Nations address. The document outlines key data related to the socioeconomic status of Native people and recommends particular federal policy strategies to revitalize Native economies, including federal investment in Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The Economic Development chapter includes financial management training as a strategy to expand business development. Access this research brief here.

Indian Country FY 2010 Budget Request (2009) is a document produced annually by the National Congress of American Indians as a companion to the State of Indian Nations address. The document outlines key data related to the socioeconomic status of Native people and recommends particular federal policy strategies to revitalize Native economies, including federal investment in Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Access this report here.

Native American Economic Policy Report (2007) is a report produced by the National Congress of American Indians and the Department of Interior, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, detailing the recommendations of the 2007 National Native American Economic Policy Summit. Recommendations specifically address the development of financial management skills and other issues identified by the NFEC. Access this report here.

Page Up

First Nations Development Institute
More information and articles can be found at the First Nations Knowledge Center

Building Assets and Building Lives: Financial Capability Programs in Native Communities (2015) was produced to provide an overview of a range of programs serving reservation-based Native communities in the Northwest Area Foundation region. The report will start by presenting a conceptual framework for understanding financial capability in Native communities, and a review of the literature on Native financial capability. The report will then discuss promising strategies and methods for increasing financial capability, and provide an environmental scan of successful programs serving Native communities in the eight-state Northwest Area Foundation region. The impact of these programs on financial empowerment and financial inclusion will be discussed. This paper will conclude with recommendations on how to support financial capability programs, and suggestions for how to most effectively promote these strategies in the region. Access this report here.

More Tax Time Troubles (2012) was produced by First Nations Development Institute’s as a follow-up to the 2011 Tax Time Troubles report. The current report assesses the quality of tax preparation services offered to Native American tax payers and assesses whether exposure to refund anticipation loans (RALS) and refund anticipation checks (RACs) was common in reservation border towns. The findings from this research suggest that paid tax preparers heavily marketed both RALs and RACs to the Native mystery shoppers where this research was conducted in New Mexico. Access this report here.

Building Trust: Consumer Protection in Native Communities (2011) was produced by First Nations Development Institute to explore the complex dynamics related to tribal consumer protection legislation and examines existing consumer protection and anti-predatory lending policies. This report highlights potential jurisdiction issues related to tribal consumer protection laws and calls for the implementation of consumer education systems. Access this report here.

Developing Innovations in Tribal Per Capita Distribution Payment Programs: Promoting Education, Savings, and Investments for the Future (2011) was produced by First Nations Development Institute to encourage tribes that have either established per capita distributions payment programs, or are planning to develop such programs, to consider building in innovative features that encourage long-term savings and investing. Access this report here.

Tax Time Troubles (2011) was produced by First Nations Development Institute to assess the quality of paid tax preparation in communities with high Native American populations and close to reservations. The findings suggest that Native consumers received poor quality tax preparation; received inadequate or non-existent refund anticipation check (RAC) disclosures; were charged unnecessary or unreasonable tax preparation fees; and encountered privacy issues. Access this report here.

Big Money: Structuring Minor’s Trust Programs for Native Communities (2011) was produced by First Nations Development Institute for tribal leaders interested in designing a minor’s trust program that promotes responsible money management for Native youth. Access this report here.

Financial Education in South Dakota’s High Native-Enrollment Schools: Barriers and Possibilities (2010) was produced by Oweesta Corporation in partnership with the Native Nations Institute and the University of South Dakota’s Government Research Bureau and supported by funding from the Council on Economic Education. This report looks at high Native-enrollment schools in South Dakota, reaching out to 17 teachers, administrators, community activists, and state education officials to better understand the barriers and possibilities of school-based financial education. Access this report here.

Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans among EITC Filers in Native Communities (2009) was produced by First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending to examine the use of Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) in Native communities. RALs can be extremely costly to the applicant where the average expense of the one- to two-week loan can be 50 to 500 percent APR, depending on the total fee and loan term. Access this report here

Urban Indian America: The Status of American Indian & Alaska Native Children & Families Today is a report by the National Urban Indian Family Coalition to the Annie E. Casey Foundation discussing the status of American Indian and Alaska Native Families to include indicators of economic instability. Access this report here.

Borrowing Trouble: Predatory Lending in Native American Communities (2008) is the result of a research study conducted by First Nations Development Institute and funded by the Anne E. Casey Foundation. The report details the practices of lenders targeting Native American communities with loan products that are often designed to exploit vulnerable borrowers who generally cannot afford to repay the loans. Access this report here.

Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27 Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute (2007) was produced by First Nations Development Institute. Chapter two of this report specifically outlines topics seen as essential for developing financial management and investment skills in Native communities. Access this report here.

Capital and Finance Issues: On-Reservation Private Sector Growth (2007) was produced by Oweesta Corporation and First Nations Development Institute for the National Native American Economic Policy Summit to describe the range of policies that can support private sector economic growth in Indian Country. These include Native CDFIs, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and a range of other strategies. Access this report here.

Family Economic Success in Native Communities: Adapting the Annie E. Casey Family Economic Success Framework to Rural and Reservation-based Native Communities was produced by First Nations Development Institute to examine Native rural and reservation-based community challenges and provides a framework for economic success that reflects the unique opportunities and challenges that exist in these communities. Access this report here.

Financial Education in Native Communities: A Briefing Paper (2003) was published by First Nations Development Institute, CFED and National Congress of American Indians and serves as a resource for tribes, policymakers, researchers, advocates, and community practitioners promoting financial education in Native communities. Access this report here.

Sovereign Individuals, Sovereign Nations: Promising Practices for IDA Programs in Indian Country (2003) was produced by First Nations Development Institute and presents a conceptual framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges facing Native IDA programs. IDAs are matched savings programs which help low-income individuals save and accumulate assets, with benefits that include increased economic stability, increased educational attainment, increased financial skills, and decreased rates of intergenerational poverty. Access this report here.

Page Up

First Nations Oweesta Corporation
More information can be found at the Oweesta website.

Deeping Our Understanding of the Financial Education of Native Youth: An In-Depth Look at Native Students in Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota (2008) is the result of a research study conducted by Oweesta Corporation and supported by a grant from the National Council on Economic Education. This study analyzes the personal financial knowledge of Native youth in three states with high Native populations – Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. It examines the largest sample of Native high school students ever surveyed regarding financial literacy skills. Access this report here.

The Financial Literacy of Native American Youth (2007) report was produced by Oweesta Corporation to gain an understanding of what Native students know and do not know about personal finances. It analyzes the results of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy’s bi-annual survey which assesses the financial literacy of young adults in their senior year of high school with troubling results. Low scores of Native students raise even more concern. Access this report here.

Page Up

Studies Done in Indian Country

Savings and Financial Services in Native Communities (2010) is a research brief produced by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis measuring the use of conventional financial services in Native communities and the differences by community based on accessibility. The brief calls for an increase in access to financial education for Native consumers. Access this research brief here.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites in Native Communities (2010) is a research brief produced by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis exploring the effectiveness of outreach and education efforts in Native communities for the purpose of increasing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) uptake. The research brief calls for increased outreach and education efforts to increase access to low costs tax preparation and increasing the opportunity for investments in the local economy. Access this report here.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Refund Anticipation Loans (2009) was produced by the Children’s Defense Fund to present data on the importance of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to low-income families and the importance of avoiding the pitfalls of Rapid Anticipation Loans. According to data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), more than 22 million taxpayers received the EITC in the 2006 tax year but lost $3.1 billion to tax preparation fees, RALs and other commercial products. Access this report here.

The Native American Lending Study (2001) was undertaken by the U.S. Department of Treasury‘s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund for the purposes of examining the access to capital and financial services on Indian Lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, identifying the barriers to access, and providing options to address these barriers. Access this report here.

Growing Economies in Indian Country: Taking Stock of Progress and Partnerships, A Summary of Challenges, Recommendations, and Promising Efforts (2012) reports features key economic and business development challenges in American Indian communities. The report offers recommendations and best practices to address these challenges. Access this report here.

Page Up

Financial Education and Consumer Protection in Broader Communities

Softening the Blow: Income Shocks, Mortgage Payments & Emergency Savings (2013) A study conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study implies that households who lack emergency savings are more inclined to experience mortgage payment problems if the household’s income unexpectedly drops. Access this report here.

In Our Best Interest: Women, Financial Literacy and Credit Card Behavior (2012) According to the study it was revealed that women with low levels of financial literacy were more prone to draw in costly credit card behaviors than men with low financial literacy. Access this report here.
For more information visit FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implication for Consumer Policy (2010) The study reveals one-third of young adults possess basic knowledge of interest rates, inflation, and risk diversification. The lack on financial literacy among young adults is closely related to socioeconomic demographics and young adult’s family financial circumstance. Access this report here.
For more information visit FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

FINRA 2012 National Financial Capability Study The study was first conducted in 2009 and uncovered key indicators among adults in the areas of demographics, behavioral, attitudinal and financial literacy characteristics. In 2012 the study continued to further explore financial topics that are relevant to today’s society (i.e. student loans, medical debt, etc.) . To view the results click here.

Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection.
Access this report here.
Visit The World Bank Responsible Finance for more information and articles.

Creating Financially Capable Communities: A Resource Guide (2012) The guide was created by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capabilities as an inspiration to regional, state, tribal, and local leaders to initiate financial literacy in communities. Access this report here.