May 15: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

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Photo of the Week: NAFOA board members VaRene Martin, 1st Vice President, and newly-elected Treasurer Amy Minniear spent a beautiful and informative week at Harvard Business School for the 2023 Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities (LPIBSC) program.

1. FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: AMERICA’S SEED FUND WEEK FEATURING STARTUP EXPO KICKS OFF MAY 15TH!

From May 15 – 18, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host America’s Seed Fund Week, a free and virtual opportunity for small businesses to learn about non-dilutive funding available through America’s Seed Fund that awards $4 billion annually for R&D.

This year will kick off America’s Seed Fund Week on May 15th with the 2nd Annual Startup Expo– showcasing innovative small business startups developing cutting edge technologies critical for our nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and national security. With 43 qualifying applicants, this year’s Expo will showcase 9 winning startups as the highlight of the program.

Why attend America’s Seed Fund Week?

  • Hear from successful America’s Seed Fund-supported businesses at Startup Expo 2023
  • Learn America’s Seed Fund basics
  • Gain comprehensive understanding of evaluation processes
  • Engage with federal agencies during open house conversations
  • Leave with specific ways on how to start your America’s Seed Fund journey

All Are Welcome
The SBA is committed to building an inclusive innovation ecosystem and America’s Seed Fund Week 2023 will set the stage for a learning experience, welcoming attendees to deepen their understanding of the program and its competitive funding opportunities. 


2. MUST READ: HALIWA-SAPONI WOMAN ADVOCATES FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

In March, Fatima Abbas was named director of the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The office is the first of its kind and has been established as a permanent fixture within the department. Abbas is the first person — and the first Indigenous woman — to serve in this inaugural role.

She is a citizen of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, an eastern woodlands tribal nation headquartered in Hollister. She grew up in Philadelphia, with activist parents who instilled a strong sense of belonging to both her mother’s Indigenous lineage and her father’s Pakistani heritage. Her mother, Abigail Abbas, was a passionate civil rights activist and advocate for tribal rights. She cultivated in Fatima a connectedness to their tribal community despite the distance. Fatima’s maternal grandparents were Haliwa-Saponi citizens Attie Marie Harris and Horace Earl Lynch, and she recalls visiting them and attending the Haliwa-Saponi powwow during the five years her family lived in Clayton.

By Amber Richardson for The Daily Herald


3. FROM THE NAFOA NAVIGATOR: MINORS TRUSTS: A BETTER TOMORROW STARTS TODAY

Children represent the future of society, and many Tribes have made substantial investments in their youth that are designed to have a positive impact. A growing number of Native American youths recieve large sums of money from the proceeds of a Minors Trust that Tribes have developed to invest in their future. For many this is the largest lump sum of income they will receive in their lifetime. Intentions to invest this money often competes with the urge to splurge and the threats from predatory individuals and industries are ever present.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which provided Tribes with the ability to establish Revenue Allocation Plans (RAP) to share Tribes’ gambling profits with their citizens, including minors and legally incompetent adults. RAP money for minors are often placed into a Minors Trust and these trusts usually begin for a child at birth and can be accessed as early as age 18, either in lump sums (sometimes as much as several hundred thousand dollars) or in installment payments. Occasionally, without proper financial guidance, big money can cause big trouble.

By Key Bank


4. FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS: THE ACADEMY AT BANK OF AMERICA VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

The Academy is Bank of America’s training and professional development organization dedicated to the growth and success of our local communities and teammates. The Academy helps our teammates be successful through world-class onboarding experiences, training opportunities, and an intense focus on career development. The Academy also provides educational resources to enhance skills and boost confidence for our community members. The Academy invests in you so you can succeed in your role and develop a dynamic, successful career. No matter where you are in your career or what experience you bring, there’s a path for you.

Join the 2023 Building Professional Skills workshops. These workshops will help to develop your professional skills and prepare you for today’s job market. See the latest schedule and register for a session.


5. JOBS: SAN MANUEL BAND OF MISSION INDIANS IS SEEKING MANAGING ATTORNEY

Under the direction of the Deputy General Counsel, the Managing Attorney – Corporate/Finance/Complex Transactions will assure best practices by providing (i) strategic legal direction on legal services rendered by department attorneys and outside legal counsel, and (ii) effective development, training, and oversight of staff attorneys in delivering legal advisory services on emerging issues related to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ (SMBMI) government and its business enterprises.

The Managing Attorney’s responsibilities will include providing recommendations to minimize legal and financial exposure to the Tribe and overseeing the delivery of strategic legal support in the areas of contracting and procurement-related activities, finance, investments, corporate development, corporate governance, taxation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, information technology, and other transactions-related areas.

This position requires a self-motivated, driven, team-oriented individual comfortable working in a dynamic and entrepreneurial tribal government environment engaged in a diverse growth strategy.


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NAFOA Announces Former Yurok Tribal Leader Susan Masten As Interim Executive Director

NAFOA, founded as the Native American Finance Officers Association, names former Yurok Tribal Leader Susan Masten as its interim executive director effective today, June 1, 2023. She was appointed to the position by the NAFOA Board of Directors. As interim executive director, Masten will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, as well as leading its strategic direction.

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