Congratulations to the 2020 Native CDFI Award Recipients

2020 Awardees

Cook Inlet Lending Center

2020 Native CDFI Catalyst Award Recipient

Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) serves low- to moderate-income households that lack access to affordable financial products and services in the Cook Inlet region of Alaska. For Anchorage small businesses impacted by COVID-19, CILC has developed a business stabilization strategy — Survive-Adapt-Thrive — to help the businesses ride out the current recession. An innovative combination of flexible financial products and supportive services, Survive-Adapt-Thrive responds to the moment by providing access to affordable capital that small businesses need immediately and long term. The approach is designed for struggling small businesses that have the potential to recover and flourish and are owned by people of color, women, and Alaska Natives. CILC will use its Native Catalyst Award grant to build the staff capacity required to successfully implement its strategy.

Black Hills Community Loan Fund

2020 Native CDFI Seed Capital Award Recipient

Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) creates financial opportunities for economically disadvantaged families who aim to strengthen their financial future in the Black Hills Region. BHCLF will use its Native CDFI Seed Capital Award to support Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota artists during this unprecedented time. Due to the pandemic, tribal artists are unable to sell their products through the usual venues like art festivals, pow-wows, and museums. BHCLF is collaborating with Native Pop, a local nonprofit Native arts market and cultural celebration, to help Black Hills artists modify their business plans to meet today’s needs for social distance. With its grant, BHCLF will purchase equipment and consulting services to assist artists in redeveloping their marketing plans and building new websites.

2019 Awardees

Four directions Development Corporation

Four Directions Development Corporation

2019 Native CDFI Catalyst Award Recipient

Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) received a $100,000 grant to help scale its new Community Development program.



Lummi CDFI

2019 Native CDFI Seed Capital Award Recipient

Lummi CDFI in Bellingham, Washington is culturally rooted in the indigenous values and principles of the first peoples of the Pacific Northwest. By providing access to education, financing, and asset growth, the Native CDFI offers a trusted, safe place for Native individuals considering entrepreneurship, building a business and/or strengthening credit.

Since its founding in 2006, the CDFI has seen a growing need for technical assistance as its client base expands and entrepreneurs request help with accounting, record keeping, marketing, and more. Lummi received the Seed Capital Award to help develop a new peer-to-peer technical assistance program, which will help build the capacity and skills-set of Native-owned businesses. Learn more about Lummi CDFI.

Native CDFI Borrower Stories

Michael and Charlotte, Homeowners, Anchorage, Alaska

Michael and Charlotte Mulcahy utilized Cook Inlet Lending Center’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program, combined with the Native American Homeownership Initiative (NAHI) program for down payment assistance and a HUD184 mortgage to open the door to their dream of homeownership. These programs not only provide capital, they set clients up for successful homeownership with budgeting tools and homeownership education classes.

Darla Takes The Knife, Rapid City, South Dakota

Darla Takes The Knife (Cheyenne River Lakota) is a skilled seamstress and worked as a tailor for several local military bases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she pivoted her cut and sew shop to meet the needs of personal protection equipment (PPE) and began taking orders for masks. The demand was so great that she sews full-time to fulfill her ever growing contracts.

Devyn Valandra, Youth Entrepreneur, Rapid City, South Dakota

Devyn Valandra (Oglala Lakota) was a high school senior in Rapid City when he developed a coffee product infused with sage. He worked closely with Black Hills Community Loan Fund to create his business plan, build relationships with potential clients, develop a marketing plan, and ultimately become an entrepreneur.

Monique and Delaney, Homeowners, Rapid City, South Dakota

Monique and Delaney were the recipients of Black Hills Community Loan Fund’s first down payment loan. Members of the Yankton Sioux and Oglala Sioux Tribe who work and reside in Rapid City, they purchased their new four-bedroom home in 2019.


Calvin Francis, Homeowner, Indian Island, Maine

Artist Calvin Francis, a member of the Penobscot Nation, is a longtime Four Directions client. When revered Penobscot elder Charles Shay, a WWII hero, moved to France, Charles asked Calvin to purchase and steward his home and preserve its history. Honored to be chosen, Calvin turned to Four Directions for help financing the purchase.

Awendela Dana

Awendela Dana, Homeowner, Indian Island, Maine

After graduating from the University of Maine, Awendela Dana was eager to buy a home in her Penobscot community on the Indian Island Reservation but wasn’t aware of any loan programs for buying on-reservation. Then she met Four Directions. In 2004, she received a Four Directions loan to purchase her single-family home. Since then, she has refinanced the mortgage and financed a roof repair with the CDFI’s help.

George & Cycy Guerrero, Owners, Our Place Café, Ferndale, Washington

George & Cycy Guerrero, Owners, Our Place Café, Ferndale, Washington

Owning a café was George and Cycy Guerrero’s dream. Lummi CDFI supported the couple from the earliest stages of starting a food truck and brick-and-mortar business, providing them with technical assistance and a loan.

Bruce Pierre, Artist, Lummi, Washington

Bruce Pierre, Artist, Lummi, Washington

Lummi CDFI helped Lummi-artist Bruce Pierre, a longtime client, open Salish Peoples Arts, a tribal business that sells Bruce’s personal designs. Over more than 10 years, the CDFI has offered him loans, coaching, and education and enabled Bruce to build his credit.