July 11, 2011 15:30 ET

The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition Cites the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSAA) With Sovereignty Interference and Discrimination

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jul 11, 2011) - The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC), a representative organization comprised of like-minded tribes and tribal members that are committed to protecting the sovereign rights -- well settled in U.S. law -- of Native Americans to pursue business and economic opportunities for their tribes nationwide, has cited the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSAA) for discriminatory behavior and impeding Native Americans from lawfully exercising the rights of Native Americans to the same economic opportunities available to member companies of the CFSAA. The NAFCC also takes issue with the CFSAA for prohibiting opportunities within the burgeoning area of online commerce, specifically related to consumer financial services.

In a recent statement, the CFSAA claims that Native Americans involved in online short-term lending are "solely a practice of a group of internet-based lenders who choose not to license themselves in the states in which they operate." Furthermore, CFSAA's claim that "those that peddle loans online make it difficult for states to regulate them," appears to actually apply to many of the CFSAA members and appears to be contrary to their position related to online lending. According to the NAFCC, the reality is, Native American tribal enterprises follow Federal regulations and are engaged in best practices and maintain the highest levels of responsibility and ethical standards.

"The CFSAA's admonition to its members to avoid Native American tribal involvement in online short-term lending is discriminatory and violates the cross-generational, hard-fought gains achieved by Native Americans to maintain tribal identity and culture and protect their economic development," said NAFCC Executive Director Darold Stagner. "Sovereign immunity, tribal economic development and technology opportunities combine to form the core mandate of our organization. The Community Financial Services Association of America, with its constant attacks on the expanding presence of Native Americans in online lending, is causing harm to all three areas of our mission."

Added Stagner: "The net result of the CFSAA's words spells economic disaster for Native Americans. We will not stand idly by while the CFSAA's dictates continue to cause serious harm to tribes nationwide."

Statement by the Native American Fair Commerce Coalition

The NAFCC acknowledges the many contributions made by US companies to engage with Native American tribes resulting in the establishment of numerous business and employment opportunities for our tribal members.

Citizens of our country and the United States Government have long recognized the fact that Native American tribes are free to engage in commerce unhindered by bias or discrimination. We believe that those seeking to deny Native Americans of their business development and entrepreneurial rights are on the wrong side of this issue, and on the wrong side of history.

The NAFCC is therefore committed to the protection of Native American Sovereign immunity and view any campaign to single out Native American-owned businesses that operate under the laws of the United States to be nothing short of discriminatory.

We remain hopeful that the government, regulators and the electorate will join with us to help safeguard the solemn right of Native American people to protect our culture and livelihood and join with us to pursue any actions that will impede Native Americans from protecting our rights to the fullest extent of the law.

Contact Information

    SSA Public Relations
    Elliott Chang
    Email Contact
    (818) 907-0500