LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Native tribes and U.S. collaborate on lending

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In reading your recent column highlighting the very serious need for emergency consumer-credit access through short-term lending, we think it is important to understand a few key points from the perspective of Indian tribal governments (“Obama’s end run,” Comment & Analysis, Aug. 23).

First, our member tribes are working diligently through the government-to-government consultation process with the administration and government agencies involved in decisions affecting short-term lending issues. Thus far, we have found the agencies receptive and helpful as we protect the sovereign rights that Indian tribes have enjoyed for centuries.

There is also a very important distinction between tribal online lending enterprises (which are owned, operated and regulated by tribal governments) and their competitors. All revenue from our businesses return to the tribal government to fund essential services, and these funds now make up a significant portion of our tribes’ governmental budgets.

We appreciate the willingness of agencies to work with us as partners in the spirit of our government-to-government relationship. It ensures that all of our collective goals can be met in a constructive way.

BARRY BRANDON

Executive director

Native American Financial Services Association

Washington

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