"Rolling Rez Bus" Rolls Banking Services Across Pine Ridge Reservation
The Pine Ridge Reservation has a new banking service that operates on 4 wheels. The “Rolling Rez Bus” brings the Lakota Federal Credit Union to tribal members living in remote areas of Pine Ridge saving them time, gas and money.
Beginning this week and once-a-week from now on, tribal members in the village of Pine Ridge, Oglala or even the remote Red Shirt Table will have access to a bank with the arrival of the “Rolling Rez Bus”.
The Lakota Federal Credit Union and the Lakota Funds community development organization are located in Kyle at the heart of the reservation. As a result, says spokesperson Tawney Brunsch, serving tribal members across a 3500-square mile tribal land area can be a problem.
“What we’re finding is that’s too far for people to come here to utilize our products and services,” explains Brunsch. “ And so this Rolling Rez unit allows us to go to them. And that’s really the beauty of it…is not only can they open a savings account at the credit union…they can also apply for a loan. We can disperse a loan even. We’ll have full cash transactions available on this Rolling Rex unit through the credit union.”
Lakota Funds will also use the bus to offer services such as financial literacy or business planning classes or to meet with their business loan clients.
The Lakota Federal Credit Union currently has 2500 members with an average 30 more joining their ranks each month. Brunsch says those numbers are a positive. But, she says, most members are from Kyle and the surrounding vicinity.
With the Rolling Rez Bus in service, Brunsch hopes to include people living in remote areas of the reservation so that someday every tribal member will have the opportunity to visit the bank.