Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in Press Release | 0 comments

Native American Financial Services Association Applauds South Dakota Senator’s Congressional Service, Attention to Indian Issues

WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2013) – Following yesterday’s formal announcement that Sen. Tim Johnson will retire in 2014, the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) recognized Sen. Johnson’s service to his country, especially on issues important to the Native American community. Sen. Johnson has served in Congress for more than 25 years, serving three terms in the U.S. Senate after five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“With Senator Johnson’s retirement, Indian Country has lost a steadfast friend and a fierce advocate,” said Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA. “For more than a quarter century, Sen. Johnson has fought tirelessly to represent the interests of tribes in his home state of South Dakota and across the nation. His voice on our behalf will be sorely missed as the Senate continues to take action on issues which affect us.”

Through his positions on the Indian Affairs Committee, Appropriations Committee, and as Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Sen. Johnson fought for projects and programs that provided better access to economic development, health care, housing, and education. Nine American Indian Tribes are located in South Dakota, including the Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux, and Yankton Sioux.

As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Johnson invited Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan  to South Dakota to witness the housing challenges in Indian Country and has held hearings about how federal agencies can work together to better solve the housing problems that plague Indian Country. He also was a cosponsor of the Native Culture, Language, and Access to Success in Schools (CLASS) Act, which emphasized culture in the Native education system.

Sen. Johnson is expected to serve the rest of his term before retiring after the 2014 election.

The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products.  Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

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