The Lakota Federal Credit Union has its “official” opening today in the Pine Ridge Reservation village of Kyle. But the reservation’s first savings institution is already having a profound impact on the Lakota people.
Since opening its doors for business last Fall, 608 people have set-up accounts at the Lakota Federal Credit Union.
Spokesperson Tawney Brunsch says although it may be perceived as a contradiction in locations, a Credit Union is just what’s needed in a poor area like the Pine Ridge Reservation.
“The people who live here haven’t had access to savings accounts to start saving money,” explains Brunsch. “They haven’t had the chance to start their direct deposit. They haven’t had access to consumer loans. And, so, it is because of this credit union now, and easier access, and the fact that they own this. As a member-owned institution, every one of those 608 members is a part owner.”
Tawney Brunsch says it’s for all these reasons a credit union was needed and will now serve to improve the community.
The Lakota Federal Credit Union follows the guidelines of the National Credit Union Administration, which is federally regulated. Members’ accounts are insured for up to $250,000.
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