State MOA’s, Tribal UCC’s Aim To End Snags In Tribal Lending

Sep 23, 2015

Efforts to improve tribal state relations and new economic development in Indian Country are continuing in South Dakota.  
 
The Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is reaching out to tribes and forming new memorandum of agreements that help tribal governments maintain commercial codes that are a foundation for economic development.
 
Tribal business leaders say they welcome the efforts but add that much more work is needed to boost tribal sovereignty, smooth state relations, and pave the way for improved economic development.

Say you’re a lender or a bank and you want to know if a mortgage application you’re considering regarding a property has another outstanding loan.   This is one area where a Uniform Commercial Code or UCC comes in.  For years tribes didn’t have commercial codes, this made starting a tribal business or getting a home loan much more difficult.   This is something the Secretary of State Shantel Krebs wants to remedy.
 

SD Secretary of State Shantel Krebs
Credit SD Secretary of State

“One of my goals and missions in in the Secretary of States office is to continue building relationships with our tribes across South Dakota to provide the Uniform Commercial Code filing service. We are wanting to provide that service for tribes across South Dakota at no charge,” says Krebs.  
 
Krebs is working out memorandum of agreements or MOAs with each tribal government in the state to help implement UCC’s.   Tanya Fiddler is with the Four Bands Community Fund she is a leader in Indian Country economic development.   Fiddler says the Secretary of State’s office is taking a positive step.   She adds that more work is needed to increase the power of tribal courts that can ensure uniform commercial codes are kept.

Tanya Fiddler with Four Bands Community Fund
Credit Courtesy Four Bands Community Fund

“If we want to be successful developers it’s worth tribes investing in their courts development once they enter into these agreements like a UCC,” says Fiddler.  “So not only is this first effort for developing an MOA so UCC’s come into place but it will be interesting to see what the state can so for resource and support in building out the capacity of the tribal court system.”   
 
Fiddler says that the state and tribal economic development task force that was created last year, is also a positive move forward.  She says while challenges remain there is large potential for new tribal economic development across the board.