Wells Fargo ranked No. 29 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.
Wells Fargo has made a $20 million investment to provide more opportunities and advance equity for Native American communities.
The commitment, called the Invest Native initiative, will work with native-led organizations to address disparities in housing, small business, financial health and sustainability among Native American communities. The initiative will focus on populations in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
“Invest Native is the latest chapter in Wells Fargo’s long-standing commitment to indigenous communities,” Otis Rolley, President of the Wells Fargo Foundation, said in a statement. “We are looking to build on relationships cultivated over many years and to strengthen the capacity of Native-led organizations so they can serve more people. We heard from many Native leaders that growing operational infrastructure was just as important as expanding essential programs that build economic stability and independence.”
The Invest Native initiative has provided grants to three non-profit organizations, each receiving $500,000:
- Lakota Funds and South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition: Improving and preserving housing access to Native American communities across South Dakota, especially to bolster Native homeownership
- Native Community Capital and New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition: Improving homeownership levels of Native American communities in New Mexico, providing access to education around model mortgage lending and homeownership responsibilities in tribal trust lands
- Four Bands Community Fund and Mountain Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition: Supporting Native-owned small business growth and Native entrepreneurs
“In the past few years, I have witnessed Wells Fargo invest in fostering a more informed strategy about the racial wealth gap in Indian Country,” said Lakota Vogel, Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund in a statement. “The investments from Wells Fargo have amplified indigenous stories about our own experiences of wealth and our understanding for wealth building.”
Over the next two years, Invest Native plans to launch the construction of more single- and multi-family homes in Native American communities, strengthening the infrastructure of Native-led organizations and investing in education, training and research to increase awareness of the needs of Native communities.