Matt Remle and Last Real Indians generously allowed me to join in a previous piece regarding divesting from banks that support the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). That is crucial. We absolutely should not be investing in companies that hurt Native communities the way that Wells Fargo, Bank of America, TD Bank, Bank of America, and Chase do. You can pretty much assume that any humongo national bank has dirty hands and is helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and a bunch of other horrible things. So don’t bank with them.
But where should we bank? We have to put our money someplace, right? We can’t just stash our cash under a pile of Pendleton and Pendleton-ish blankets, can we?
A 1913 F ‘Liberty’ Indian Head Nickle
No. Fortunately, there’s a lot of good options. Local options. Humane options. Local credit unions. And then, on top of all those amazing options, there’s something that is even better than those options. You can bank Native.
That’s right. There are several Native owned banks where you can put your ikt-ookpoomope or your mazaska. Not only will you be hurting banks that hurt Native communities (all those huge banks, listed above), but you will also be helping a Native community’s economy.
This list isn’t exhaustive. Please contact me or ICMN if you know of other Native-owned banks. But this is what I’ve come up with so far.
F&M BANK Edmond, Oklahoma
LUMBEE GUARANTY BANK Pembroke, North Carolina
FIRSTBANK Antlers, Oklahoma
FIRST NATIONAL BANK&TRUST CO Shawnee, Oklahoma
PINNACLE BANK Marshalltown, Iowa
WOODLANDS NATIONAL BANK Hinckley, Minnesota
PEOPLES BANK OF SENECA Seneca, Missouri
OKLAHOMA STATE BANK Vinita, Oklahoma
BANK 2 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
BANK OF CHEROKEE COUNTY Hulbert, Oklahoma
BANK OF COMMERCE Stillwell, Oklahoma
NATIVE AMERICAN BANK NA Denver, Colorado
FORT GIBSON STATE BANK Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
EAGLE BANK Polson, Montana
ALLNATIONS BANK Calumet, Oklahoma
PEOPLES BANK Westville, Oklahoma
TURTLE MOUNTAIN STATE BANK Belcourt, North Dakota
Utilize these banks. As nations but also individually. In this age of internet banking, it’s just as easy to bank with one of these as any other bank PLUS these banks are doing some good. This is #DefundDAPL 2.0. This is US supporting those who support US and distancing ourselves from those who hurt our communities.
Wesley Roach, Skan Photography
Gyasi Ross, “Thing About Skins,” Editor at Large