Native CDFI convenes Wabanaki Nations behind ‘transformative’ economic development consortium

In a recent article from Tribal Business News, Four Directions Development Corporation is leading a new effort that aims to facilitate collaboration among the Wabanaki Nations in Maine “to better engage their collective economic engine.”

Even though the Passamaquody, Prenobscot, Maliseet and Mi’kmaq tribes have worked together before regarding sovereignty and water protection, a holistic inter-tribal approach to economic development is breaking new ground for them and Four Directions.

Four Directions, a certified Native community development financial institution (CDFI), will be serving as the convener behind the Wabanaki Consortium.

Because of ongoing discussion with the Tribes about consortium, not much is known about how it will operate or what its goals are. However, Four Directions has doubled its staff in the last year and has been seeking funding to support the consortium’s creation.

The nonprofit has also been awarded a $425,000 multi-year grant by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to help with creating the consortium.

Developing the consortium has taken shape as the tribes continue in their efforts for greater sovereignty in the state, despite gaining federal recognition in the 1980s. The tribes being under state control has prevented them from receiving certain federal funding and limited their authority in other areas.

However, with the development of the consortium, it could offer the tribes a path toward more control over their own destiny.

You can read the full article here.

Source: Joe Boomgaard. Tribal Business News. June 13, 2022