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(June 2020 – Dowagiac, MI & Shawnee, OK)

Carl Layher, a Citizen Potawatomi Nation citizen, needed help with an auto loan. As a member of a Potawatomi Tribe the answer seemed simple: call Chi Ishobak. The only challenge, auto loans to nonPokagon Band citizens are currently outside Chi Ishobak’s policy.  But as Executive Director Sean Winters is always willing to go the extra mile to help out a fellow citizen, he had an idea on how to get him some assistance. “I contacted a good friend of mine, Cindy Logsdon.  She is the CFO/CCO for Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation in Shawnee, OK. We were able to do a participation loan in coordination with CPCDC in order to ensure a fellow Potawatomi Tribal citizen received the assistance to maintain employment.” 

CPCDC is a Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI).  It lends to all Native Americans living in the State of Oklahoma, and Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) tribal members nationwide. When contacted, Cindy relayed “one strategy of growth for our organization is to partner with other NCDFI’s in order to make a deal (loan) happen-getting capital into the hands of Native Americans who otherwise may be turned down elsewhere.  This may be due to no or a low credit score, lack of down payment or the capacity/lending limits of the other NCDFI.  In the case of our partnership with Chi Ishobak, Mr. Layher is a CPN tribal member living in their jurisdiction.  Chi Ishobak does not lend to our tribal members-not their target market, but we were able to partner to get a fellow Potawatomi into a car.”

Carl resides in Mishawaka, IN and is an Assistant Golf Professional.  This opportunity will allow him to ability to maintain new employment and build personal financial capacity.  “This is truly an example of Indian Country coming together and taking care of their own.  This is why we (Native CDFI’s) do what we do.”  Winters added, “This strengthens our communities, empowers tribal citizens, and creates change within Indian Country.”

About Chi-Ishobak

Chi Ishobak is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 2009 promote the improvement of the financial capacity of all Tribal members by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to make informed judgments and to make effective decisions with respect to their current and future personal and household circumstances. Chi Ishobak provides tribal citizens with the tools and opportunities needed for meaningful lives and self-sufficiency, whether through employment, self-employment, or traditional life-ways.

By building capacity for Tribal Citizens, Chi Ishobak is helping rebuild the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi as well as Indian Country into supportive and nurturing communities, strong in language and culture. 

For more information:

About Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation

The Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation finances tribal enterprises and lends to Native-owned businesses across Oklahoma and the United States. It is our mission to finance, promote, educate, and inspire the entrepreneurial growth, economic opportunity, and financial well-being of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Community and other under-served Native populations through Financial Education, Access to Capital, Business Development Services, Innovative Capacity Building Practices, and Community Development Initiatives.

At Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, we are Planting Seeds for a Brighter Future. Give us a call at (405) 878-4697 or visit us online at to see how we can help your Native business today.

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