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Noteworthy News

Agriculture Finance Roundtable Brings Together Diverse Group
Discussion Aimed at Increasing Access to Capital for Native American Farmers and Ranchers
November 5, 2018
On Friday, October 26, 2018 over 50 people gathered for an Indian Agriculture Finance Roundtable in Rapid City, South Dakota. The event was hosted by the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, a group of community partners committed to growing Indian business in South Dakota, and focused on three main topics related to ag finance:

  • The Keepseagle vs. Vilsack settlement resulting in the formation of the Native American Agriculture Fund
  • Resolving financial disputes in the tribal and local courts
  • How to make successful loans to Native American farmers and ranchers
Read the full article.

Under New Leadership Indian Business Alliance Prepares for Year of Action
September 26, 2016
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA), a group of community partners that work collaboratively to strengthen Native entrepreneurship development, has announced a new Executive Team that will be responsible for managing the organization's affairs over the next year. The leadership team was elected through an open statewide nominations process and is comprised of nine individuals that have over 150 years of collective experience in Native American issues.
Read the full story.
Read the article in the Native Sun News.

South Dakota: A Strong Force in Economic Development
June 10, 2015
Blog post by Sam Rikkers, Deputy Administrator, USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service: To me, the phrase 'economic development' is more than a buzzword – and that was reinforced during an all-too-brief trip to western South Dakota. It's easy to get caught up in the policymaking and program implementation in Washington, D.C., and I find great value in getting to the field so I can see exactly how these programs are helping our local stakeholders and partners, small business lenders, and entrepreneurs make investments in the local economy.
Read more.

Native Business Gathering in Deadwood
May 19, 2015
Native American business owners and tribal leaders will gather with representatives from lending institutions and government agencies for the 2015 South Dakota Indian Business Conference in Deadwood this week. Native entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs will learn about the successes and challenges in creating an Indian business.
Listen to the story on South Dakota Public Radio.
Listen to the story on National Native News.

Social Enterprise Café Builds Life Skills of Reservation Youth
August 1, 2014
To the residents of the Cheyenne River Reservation, the newly-opened Keya Café & Coffee Shop in Eagle Butte, South Dakota is a great place to pick up a cup of coffee and a pastry in the morning. But behind the scenes, this small business is working on a much broader scope by addressing such issues as the environment, job creation, diabetes, and youth life skills. Read the full story.
Read the article in Indian Country Today.

Over 500 Native Americans to Benefit from Business Development Initiative
April 24, 2014
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance has launched a two-year initiative designed to foster local small and micro-business development, deliver training and development services to boost successful employment experiences, and provide a platform for networking and advocacy that supports strong public policies vital to thriving local economies in South Dakota's reservation communities. The initiative, titled "Building a Foundation for South Dakota's Native American Vision" and funded largely in part by a $150,000 grant from the Northwest Area Foundation, will provide training and resources to each of the state's nine reservations and is estimated to impact over 500 Native American individuals. Read the full story.

SDIBA Holds Policy Meeting in Pierre - Hears from Some U.S. Senate Candidates and State Lawmakers
November 25, 2013
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance held its fall policy meeting in Pierre last Friday. The event included a Senate candidate forum and State Legislative Preview. Three U.S. Senate candidates shared their perspective on economic development in the state's reservations and two state lawmakers provided a preview of the 2014 Legislative session.
Listen to interviews on Dakota Radio Group.
Read the news article in the West River Eagle.

Twenty-two Individuals Certified to Help Native Americans Improve Workplace Skills
October 18, 2013
On October 9, 2013, twenty-two individuals from five South Dakota reservations were certified as course instructors for "Workin' with Tradition," a training program that helps individuals in rural Native American communities prepare for successful employment. The instructor certification course was sponsored by the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, a group of community partners dedicated to growing Indian business throughout the state.
Read the article in Indian Country Today.
Listen to the story aired on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Hatching Economic Development: A New Business Incubator for Crow Creek
June 27, 2013
"I want to develop my breakfast-burrito business into a restaurant," said Lisa Lengkeek, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and 2013 winner of the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance contest for best business plan of the year. "I make the burritos at home and sell them at a stand. I have a big customer base, and I'm sure they'd patronize the restaurant." Read the full story.

South Dakota Indian Business Alliance Invests $100,000 to Support Native Entrepreneurship
June 25, 2013
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA) concluded its first year of operating the Native Entrepreneur Investment Fund, which deployed 11 loans totaling $100,000 to Native entrepreneurs throughout the state of South Dakota, created or retained approximately 30 jobs, and assisted nearly 50 individuals with various aspects of starting or expanding a business. Read the full story.
Read the article in the Capital Journal.
Read the article in the Rapid City Journal.
Listen to the story aired on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

USDA Officials Highlight StrikeForce at South Dakota Indian Business Alliance Conference
April 29, 2013
South Dakota USDA officials recently highlighted the StrikeForce initiative at the bi-annual South Dakota Indian Business Alliance Conference held in Rapid City. The conference with the theme of, "Building Opportunities in the New Native America," was a perfect opportunity to announce South Dakota USDA's focus on increasing partnerships and leveraging resources on South Dakota tribal lands. Read the full story.

Conference Focuses on Boosting Business on Reservations
April 14, 2013
It was 2004, and Frank Jamerson needed a business loan. Jamerson, then 31, was short on funds but big on ideas: He wanted to provide DJ services in Little Eagle on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Jamerson, who lives in Little Eagle, had a few hundred dollars worth of sound gear but he needed more capital. His problem? No bank would lend him the money. Read how this issue was addressed at the 2013 South Dakota Indian Business Conference.

Lakota Funds Releases Child Development Account Program Progress Report
March 1, 2013
In its first year of implementation, the Lakota Funds' Child Development Account (CDA) Program, a unique matched savings program for grade school children, saw excellent results. The program officially launched with funding from the Northwest Area Foundation in October 2011 and by November 2011, Lakota Funds had enrolled 2 children into the CDA Program. Enrollment numbers gradually increased until reaching its maximum program capacity of 25 participants in September 2012. Since that time, Lakota Funds has been able to maintain maximum capacity. Read more on the program.

Helping Small Business Owners and Home-Based Employees Claim the Home Office Tax Deduction
January 15, 2013
Today, many taxpayers who qualify for the home office tax deduction are not claiming it. The reasons often cited are that businesses and filers do not fully understand the provisions or find it too complicated to calculate the amount. That is about to change. Read the full story.

Tanya Fiddler Takes a Seat on Treasury's Community Development Advisory Board
December 27, 2012
Following an appointment by President Obama earlier this month, Tanya Fiddler (Cheyenne River Lakota Nation), was officially welcomed onto the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Advisory Board on December 17, 2012. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, a program of the U.S. Department of Treasury, on its activities and programs which are designed to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States. Read the full story.

Leasehold Mortgage Handbook Helps Tribal Members Navigate Towards Homeownership
June 25, 2012
With guidance from the Oglala Sioux Tribe Leasehold Mortgage Procedures handbook and assistance from Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, tribal member, Irving Provost, has been a homeowner for one month now. Provost who works for the Tribe’s Property & Supply Department says he began thinking of owning his own home about three years ago and he ended up hitting a dead end after exhausting other possible routes. Read the full story.

SDIBA Launches Educational Campaign in Support of Tribal ID Act
July 16, 2012
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA) launched an educational campaign to raise awareness among banking institutions and retailers regarding the passage of the Tribal ID Act by the South Dakota Legislature in March 2011, which enables identification cards issued by the state’s nine federally recognized tribes to be used for banking purposes, check cashing, and tobacco purchases. Read the full story.

SDIBA to Launch First-Ever Statewide Lending Program for Native Communities
May 17, 2011
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA) is launching an initiative that will utilize the successful model of Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to expand access to fair lending products into all nine of South Dakota’s reservation communities. The Expanding Native Entrepreneurship Initiative, funded by a $141,000 grant from the Citi Foundation, will assist forty aspiring Native entrepreneurs in developing a business, provide capital to start or expand fifteen businesses, and create or retain twenty-three jobs in its first year. Read the press release.

Discussion Delves Into Tribal Economies
March 20, 2012
A tribal listening session near the Capitol on Monday homed in on tourism as part of a larger discussion about economic development. But conversation also branched into topics ranging from family life to tribal history in a session that united experienced leaders with young tribal members just beginning their work. SDIBA participated to share new data on Native entrepreneurship as well as policy recommendations. Read the full story. Download the policy recommendations.

The Private Sector More than a Job Creator
March 15, 2012
SDIBA Chair, Tanya Fiddler, reflects on the benefits of building private sector business in Indian Country and offers insight into a sustainable economic development model. Read the full story.

Native Americans Strive for Homemade Businesses on – or Near – the Reservations
February 16, 2012
An article published in the Capital Journal takes a look at the barriers to starting a business on a reservation through the real experiences of Native entrepreneur, Charlotte Almanza.
Read the article.

What Lies Beneath South Dakota's "A"?
January 31, 2012
South Dakota has earned an "A" in Financial Assets and Income in the 2012 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard released today by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, in partnership with Lakota Funds. Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of the Kyle, South Dakota-based Lakota Funds says this high ranking is misleading.
Read the full story.

SDIBA's Native Entrepreneurship Report Raises Awareness of Barriers to Business Development in Indian Country
December 12, 2011
As aired on South Dakota Public Radio, the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance is helping to overcome the challenges Native entrepreneurs face in starting businesses.
Read the Native Biz wrap.

December 28, 2011
Lakota Country Times sited SDIBA's "Native Entrepreneurship in South Dakota's Nine Reservations" as a vehicle to incite change in the state's reservation economies.
Read the article.

Native American Entrepreneurship in South Dakota's Nine Reservations
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance commissioned an in-depth market analysis of South Dakota's nine Indian Reservations. This research reveals although the Reservations face grave economic conditions, there are opportunities for economic growth and entrepreneurial development.
Read the report highlights.
Read the full report.

Indian Business Alliance Conference Deemed a Success
August 4, 2011
USDA Blog entry posted by South Dakota Rural Development Coordinator, Christine Sorensen, provides an insightful summary on the 2011 South Dakota Indian Business Alliance Conference.
Read the full story.

Tanya Fiddler is the Voice for Rural and Native America at the Clinton Global Initiative America Meeting
July 7, 2011
Tanya Fiddler, Executive Director, shared innovative economic development strategies being implemented on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation on a panel titled, "American Success Stories," at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting on June 30, 2011.
Watch the video.
Read the article in Indian Country Today.

Tanya Fiddler Talks Economic Development at Clinton Global Initiative
July 7, 2011
Tanya Fiddler (Cheyenne Sioux), executive director of Four Bands Community Fund, a native community development financial institution (CDFI) in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, shared innovations in economic development with leaders from the federal government and private sector at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting on June 30 in Chicago, Illinois. Read the full story.

South Dakota Indian Business Alliance and CFED Partner to Deliver the Native Entrepreneurship Investment Research Project with Funding by Citi Foundation
May 17, 2011
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA) has formed a partnership with CFED, a national non-profit organization that works to create economic opportunity, to execute the Native Entrepreneurship Investment Research Project through a $50,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Grant from Citi Foundation. The Native Entrepreneurship Investment Research Project will conduct an in-depth market analysis of the small business development environment on South Dakota's nine Indian reservations, and use the results to create an investment strategy with Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and tribal loan funds to address Native entrepreneur financing and capacity building needs. Read the press release.

South Dakota Names First-Ever Secretary of Tribal Relations
March 2, 2011
JR LaPlante, member of the SDIBA Leadership Committee, was named as the first-ever Secretary of Tribal Relations for South Dakota. This cabinet-level position will serve to emphasize the importance of Native American issues and foster a better relationship between the state and South Dakota's nine tribes. Read the full article.

SDIBA Launches Website
March 15, 2010
The South Dakota Indian Business Alliance (SDIBA) is proud to announce the launch of their new website. In addition to general information on the organization, the website features several resources for aspiring entrepreneurs and tribal government. Included on the site are economic statistics and a Native business directory for all nine reservations throughout the state as well as a plethora of resources to help develop business in Indian Country.