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  • 30 Jul 2020 10:26 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) Provides Emergency Cash Assistance to Native Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread rapidly across the U.S., American Indian and Alaskan Native communities are especially vulnerable. 

    In May, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) launched the first ever national Native-led emergency cash assistance program for Native families. Through this program, supported by a $400,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, ONAC is providing 550 emergency cash assistance grants ($500 per household) and is currently working to raise additional funds to support even more families. 

    “The pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on the health and economy of tribal communities and we know many Native American/Alaska Native’s are feeling uncertain about how they are going to pay rent, buy food, or keep up with monthly bills,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “We applaud ONAC for quickly stepping up to the challenge of getting direct cash assistance into the hands of these families to help them weather the storm.”

    The first round of emergency cash assistant grants, which do not need to be re-paid, went out to 120 Native families starting on June 5, 2020, and ONAC is currently working with pre-determined tribal and other Native-led nonprofit partners to identify others in need. Applicants are sent non-transferable links to the application. Program participants also receive wrap-around services, such as free financial coaching.

    The grant funds have allowed ONAC, and its Native partners, to quickly launch emergency cash assistance support and services directly to Native families that are not otherwise being offered. To help ONAC directly serve more Native families, please consider making a donation at https://give.classy.org/COVIDONAC.

  • 21 May 2020 8:34 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    News Release

    Contact: 

    Christy Finsel, cfinsel@oknativeassets.org

    (405) 401-7873

    May 15, 2020                                                                                     

    Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) Launches First Native-Led National Initiative to Distribute COVID-19 Relief Funds to American Indian and Alaska Native Families

    Oklahoma City, OK –The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), is assisting American Indian and Alaska Native families who are experiencing financial distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 15, 2020, the Wells Fargo Foundation awarded ONAC a $400,000 grant to launch the first national Native-led emergency cash assistance program for Native families. ONAC has already utilized these funds to hire an account manager, create program infrastructure, and begin outreach with our tribal and Native-led nonprofit partners to identify families in need of assistance. The first round of emergency cash assistant grants will go out to Native families on June 5, 2020.

    With support from the Wells Fargo Foundation grant, ONAC will: 

    • equitably distribute 550 emergency cash assistance grants across Indian Country, by region, over the next 11 months ($500 per family), and
    • provide wrap-around services, such as free financial coaching, to program participants.

    The grant funds have allowed ONAC, and its Native partners, to quickly launch emergency cash assistance support and services directly to Native families that are not otherwise being offered.

    To help ONAC serve more Native families, please consider making a donation at https://give.classy.org/COVIDONAC.

    About the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.: The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc. (ONAC), first organized in 2001 and now a nonprofit, is a Native asset building coalition that works with 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 Native people who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities through asset-building strategies. For more information about the coalition, go to http://www.oknativeassets.org/.

    About Wells Fargo: Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,700 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. With its corporate philanthropy, Wells Fargo aims to pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities by focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health, among other local community needs. In 2019, Wells Fargo donated $455 million to nonprofits across the U.S. and internationally with the intent to spark economic development. In addition, Wells Fargo provided $4 billion of capital to support the development of more than 15,000 affordable housing units in communities in over 30 states. So far in 2020, Wells Fargo has donated $175 million to COCID-19 relief efforts in vulnerable communities to support healthcare workers, housing, small businesses and financial health programs. News, insights and more information on the company’s overall corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories and www.wellsfargo.com/impact.

     

  • 20 May 2020 12:14 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Information Regarding Federal COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIP)

     Sent By Prepaid Debit Card

    It has come to ONAC's attention that Economic Impact Payments were sent by direct deposit, check, and also by prepaid debit card.  Here is information we are aware of regarding the prepaid debit card.  This information is available on the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center. Given that the IRS is not accepting calls regarding the EIPs, ONAC is unable to provide additional information about the prepaid debit cards beyond what is included below (including a customer service number to request a new card).  

    Q45. Will IRS be sending prepaid debit cards? (added May 20, 2020)

    "A45. Some payments may be sent on a prepaid debit card known as The Economic Impact Payment Card  The Economic Impact Payment Card is sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, managed by Money Network Financial, LLC and issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A.

    If you receive an Economic Impact Payment Card, it will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”  The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. Information included with the Card will explain that the card is your Economic Impact Payment Card.  Please go to EIPcard.com for more information."

    What if someone accidentally threw away their EIP card or the card is otherwise lost or stolen?

    If you accidentally threw away your card, as it arrived in a plain envelope, or your card is otherwise lost or stolen, log on to EIPCard.com and lock your account. Then call customer service at 1-800-240-8100 to request a new card.  There is a $7.50 fee for reissues after the first card, and you'll pay an extra $17.00 for a priority shipping fee. Additional fees for other services associated with the card will apply.  To learn more about those fees, go to https://www.eipcard.com/fee-schedule/.

  • 14 May 2020 7:25 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) is asking for your help in reaching out to Native women entrepreneurs.  We’ve developed a survey to help us better understand the realities faced by Native women business owners.  With this information, ONAC will be better able to advocate for Native women in our efforts to help close the women's wealth gap.  Please send this link out to all the Native women business owners you know.  Thank you!

    Here is the link to the survey:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ONAC_Entrepreneurs

  • 01 May 2020 4:06 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Dear ONAC Constituents and Friends: 


    Hope this message finds you safe and well. 


    The ONAC board has decided to postpone the ONAC Conference that had been scheduled for July 14, 2020.  


    We will hold the conference at a time when it is safer to meet in-person.


    Our coalition has been taking our programming online.  We look forward to continuing to work with you this year and beyond. 


    Thank you for your understanding regarding the conference postponement. 


    Christy and the ONAC Board Members

  • 17 Apr 2020 11:21 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) recently sent information to tribal communities across the country about how tribal citizens can more quickly receive the newly released Economic Impact Payments(EIPs) from the IRS by having a safe and affordable bank account that can receive direct deposits. The EIPs are for $1200 to U. S. citizens or resident aliens who have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less, and $2400 to joint filers who have combined incomes (AGIs) of $150,000 or less, and $500 for each dependent child.  

    ONAC hopes that as many Native peoples as possible are able to receive these important funds in a speedy manner; which would mean that they have a financial account that can receive direct deposit, since that is the most efficient way to receive these moneys from the Treasury.  The first several rounds of payments will be distributed by direct deposit from the Treasury starting this week, batch at a time, in set numbers – then paper checks will be generated in the final rounds of payments – likely several months from now. If you have received a payment from the government by direct deposit sometime in the last two years (such as a tax refund, SSI, or Social Security payments) you should receive your EIP in that same way, likely in the earlier rounds.

    It is not too late for those who have never given their account information to the IRS. If you do not have direct deposit information on file with the government (such as if you are a non-filer, or if you typically ask for a return in the form of a paper check), you can go to the IRS web site and enter your bank account number at this IRS webpage or change your address.  For filers and non-filers, the site to go to is:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments  and click on the “Get my payment” application. You can use the "Get My Payment" application to:

    • Check your payment status
    • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
    • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if            they don't have your direct deposit information and haven't sent your payment yet
    • Update your mailing address

    Also, non-filers can also go to:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and enter your bank account information and/or address information.  This non-filer tool also provides a free and easy option for people who may have too little income to file. Users should look for the heading “Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here” to take them directly to the tool.

    EIPs have begun to be distributed automatically to most people. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 with direct deposit instructions will receive the payments automatically. The IRS will look at 2019 filings first, then go to 2018 if you have not filed in 2019.  That means your banking and address information should be updated if you have not filed this year and that information has changed.  Automatic payments will also soon be made to income qualifying people receiving SSI, Social Security retirement, disability (SDDI), or survivor benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits.

    The Manager of the Native Bank On ONAC initiative of ONAC is pleased to offer more information on how to get a safe, affordable, easy-to-use bank account that can be obtained through either an online or drive-through account opening process, please go to ONAC’s web site:  http://oknativeassets.org, or more specifically to:  http://www.oknativeassets.org/our_work/Native-Bank-On-ONAC to find information on banks, nationally, and those in Oklahoma, that have developed accounts according to Bank On certified National Account Standards, to provide such an account for you – even if you have had problems maintaining a bank account in the past.  You can also contact the manager directly at kedwards@oknativeassets.org with any questions that the web site fails to answer for you. 

    ONAC hopes that you have a quick and productive experience accessing your EIP, and that you are able to open a new and reliable bank account to help you realize your economic goals, and we also hope that you and your family stay safe and well during these uncertain times.  

  • 16 Apr 2020 8:11 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Below are ONAC's COVID-19 Responses:

    1). Regarding efforts by Native Bank On ONAC to connect Bank On certified accounts to tribal citizens, ONAC will be opening accounts with two banks in Oklahoma that have newly certified Bank On accounts.   One of the banks is Native-owned and the first one in the country to offer Bank On accounts (AllNations Bank).  The other bank is First State Bank of Oklahoma.  We have arranged for both banks to open their newly certified Bank On accounts through their drive-throughs.  Our tribal partners in these two separate tribal Bank On integrations (Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and Absentee Shawnee Housing Authority) will be distributing the information about the account openings to the tribal citizens they serve.   ONAC has customized handouts for each. We have also reached out to other tribal leaders in Anadarko to try to connect the tribal citizens they serve to this account. 

    2). ONAC was invited to present about Bank On during an upcoming call organized by regional HUD and FDIC contacts.  Karen Edwards, Manager, Native Bank On ONAC, will present on ONAC’s behalf.

    3). ONAC provided Native Bank On updates and resources to the Bank On listserv. 

    4).  ONAC generated a Bank On handout that we sent to our 1,300 person distribution list.  

    5). ONAC also awards grants.  We currently fund Native VITA sites in Maine, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  We have sent the grantees Bank On account information for their respective states. 

    6). In addition to ONAC administering the national Native Bank On initiative. ONAC also administers the national ONAC Native EITC/VITA Network.  If you wish to join that listserv, please email Patsy Schramm (Cherokee) at edgpj@aol.com.  ONAC communicates with tribal VITA sites around the country and serves on the national Taxpayer Opportunity Network steering committee.  Ms. Schramm has been distributing taxpayer and COVID-19-related information to our distribution list. 

    7).  ONAC has been administering an emergency savings account program for the past several years.  We have allocated certain numbers of accounts to several tribal partners for 2020.  In response to COVID-19, we have moved the financial education and application online.  In Anadarko, OK, we are offering that the ESAs could be held in a Bank On approved account at First State Bank of Anadarko, as the accounts have low fees. 

    8).  ONAC administers a Children’s Savings Account program.  In response to COVID-19, we have moved the financial education and application online. 

  • 26 Mar 2020 11:03 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Connecting Tribal Citizens to Safe and Affordable Bank Accounts Amid Time of “Stay at Home” Orders

    As of March  26, 2020, in anticipation of tribal citizens needing online banking options, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) is providing information about “Bank On” bank accounts.  Such accounts may be opened by individuals in need of a safe and affordable account.  Bank On accounts have transparent monthly fees, a maximum opening account deposit of $25 per account, and no overdraft fees.  The accounts are certified as safe and affordable through Bank On National Account Standards (NAS), and are offered as part of a nationwide Bank On initiative.  Bank On NAS Certified account names differ from bank to bank, but account features are the same across all banking partners.  ONAC is offering this information, as our coalition is administering the first national Native Bank On initiative in the country.  

    Direct deposit into these accounts is not required, but better allows the holder of these accounts to receive wages and benefits without delay, even when working from home, home sick, or assigned reduced hours that don’t line up with a payday.  With online banking and mobile banking (and as available during this time with drive-thru deposits and some limited face-to-face account openings), one can now open an account, view the balance, make deposits and withdrawals, and pay bills remotely and safely with a mainstream banking option.

    Across the United States, the following accounts are certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards at all locations, and can be opened online:

    · Bank of America, Advantage SafeBalance Banking Account

    · Chase, Secure Banking Account

    · Citi, Access Account

    · Dollar Bank, No Overdraft Checking Account

    · First Commonwealth Bank, SmartPay Card

    · KeyBank, Hassle-Free Account

    · Northwest Bank, Compass Digital Account

    · U.S. Bank, Safe Debit Account

    · Wells Fargo, EasyPay Card

    · Truist Bank, Money Account (available at BB&T online and branches) 

    Per state, there are additional financial institutions offering certified Bank On accounts.  You can check the list of such available account at https://joinbankon.org/coalitionmap/#certifiedaccounts to see if there is a bank closer to your residence.  You can then check with them to determine how they are opening accounts during this time of social distancing and “stay at home” orders from various cities and states.  

    Specifically, in Oklahoma, the following banks have Bank On NAS Certified accounts with various account opening procedures:

    · Bank of America, Advantage SafeBalance Banking Account (online)

    · Chase, Secure Banking Account (online)

    · Citi, Access Account (online)

    · Wells Fargo, EasyPay Card (online)

    · Simmons Bank, Affordable Advantage Account (as of yesterday, prior to the “stay at

      home” order by Governor Stitt for Oklahoma counties with confirmed COVID-19 

      cases, you could open this account in the lobby by appointment - call any bank 

      branch for appointment; you can now check to see if this is still an option in the 

      county you reside given the quickly changing “stay at home” orders)

    · First State Bank of Anadarko - ask for Bank On certified account (branches are 

      open – you can open the account in the lobby; safe distancing observed, as, to our

      knowledge, there is not yet a case of COVID-19 confirmed in Caddo County; if a 

      case is confirmed, process could change)

    · AllNations Bank, Simply Safe Account (open account at drive-thru windows so that 

      no in-person meetings occur)

     

    Bank On account features include:

    · Low minimum deposit ($25 or less)

    · Debit card/pre-paid card

    · No monthly minimum balance required

    · Low minimum monthly fee ($5 or less)

    · Free bill pay by customer

    · Free monthly statements


     

  • 24 Mar 2020 7:13 PM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    The Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis, kindly published a story about the recently published ONAC Native Children's Savings Initiative report.  The story can be found here: https://csd.wustl.edu/onac-report/ ONAC is grateful to Dr. Sherraden and the CSD for this support. 

  • 19 Mar 2020 9:01 AM | Christy Finsel (Administrator)

    Dear ONAC Constituents, Partners, and Friends, 

    For those of you needing access to, or wanting to review, some valuable Census toolkit information related to the 2020 Census and an accurate counting of tribal citizens, please go to the NCAI Indian Country Counts site at http://indiancountrycounts.org.  Some of the information below is quoted directly from the toolkit available at the NCAI site noted above.

    "Householder Question: For many reasons, it is important that American Indian and Alaska Native households be counted in the 2020 Census.  This depends on the race of “Person 1” or the first person listed on the census form.  If that person says he or she is American Indian or Alaska Native, then the household will be counted as one with an American Indian or Alaska Native 'householder.'”  In the NCAI toolkit, information is also provided about the option to check off multiple races. 

    Also important, according to NCAI, "On the 2020 Census form, you can identify your race as American Indian or Alaska Native and you can write in the name of your “enrolled or principal tribe.” The space for entering responses collects up to 200 characters and records up to six entries so you can enter more than one tribe. Make sure to try to write in the official name of your tribe. You can look it up on the tribal website or ask your tribe about their preference in how their name is written."

    For updates about the 2020 Census field operations, related to COVID-19, please go to https://www.census.gov.

    An accurate count will provide needed data for planning and fundraising, examination of the need for services in rural tribal areas and urban areas, allocation of Congressional seats, and the amount the federal government will set aside for tribal social program assistance.    

    Let's do what we can do to support an accurate count of Native peoples and communities in the 2020 Census.  

    ONAC is wishing you safety and good health. 

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