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  • The proposed Lakota Federal Credit Union seeks to provide financial services coupled with technical assistance for low and moderate income households on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The credit union's sponsor is Lakota Funds, a 23 year old non-profit, 501c 3, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) located in Kyle, South Dakota.

    In the process of organizing the proposed credit union, organizers conducted a pledge and survey campaign not only to gather pledges but to inform the reservation population of the benefits of credit union membership and the importance of the cred union being located on the reservation where currenly no financial institution exists. Of the pledges gathered the results show approximentally 85% of those surveyed currently have no credit union account. Studies indicate that in fact 58% of the Pine Ridge Reservation residents have no bank account at all.

    In 1980 South Dakota became one of five states to eliminate usury laws in an attempt to attract more banks and credit card companies to the state. Unfortunately our reservation population has paid the price, being much of the reason South Dakota is now second in the nation in payday lenders per capita.

    The credit union plans to offer basic services the first two years, placing a large emphesis on financial literacy and membership education; and add additional products and services in the third year. By year three (2013), Lakota Federal Credit Union will have 4 staff and have a membership of 2000 with over $2 million in assets.
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