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Nespelem firm gains national award


The Northwest Native Development Fund was given the Circle of Honor Award in Philadelphia Oct. 23 at a national conference on economic development in Native American communities.

The award is given to recognize a community development financial institution that is successfully increasing access to capital and financial resources in Native communities by developing innovative loan products, promoting community development and overcoming challenges.

Chief Executive Officer Ted Piccolo accepted the award at a ceremony that capped off the 10th Annual Native Convening in conjunction with the 29th Annual Opportunity Finance Network Conference where Native economic development practitioners and tribal representatives from across the country joined hundreds of other opportunity finance experts to share and learn about new ideas, strategies for change, and innovations from the field, a press release said.

NNDF, the release stated, was created by a group of tribal members who recognized that in order to build a healthy, culturally-rooted community with opportunity and hope, it must first build financial strength and provide economic empowerment of all people.  The rural and rugged nature of the Colville, Spokane and Kalispell Reservations lends the community great beauty but also great poverty. In 2010 the organization began providing access to reasonably priced capital as well as training and technical assistance to help community members build a strong financial base.

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