Court Ruling Reinforces Viability of Tribal Lending

Nov 8, 2016Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 7, 2016) On November 3, 2016, The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma dismissed a lawsuit brought against an economic arm of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, in a significant ruling validating tribal sovereignty and Indian country economic development.

The Tribe argued successfully that their Great Plains Lending business is wholly-owned by the tribal government and was enacted to “…aid addressing issues of public safety, health and welfare.”  The plaintiff’s baseless “rent-a-tribe” argument was dismissed, just as similar untrue assertions have been dismissed in the past.  Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange found that the Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Native American Financial Services (NAFSA) executive director Gary Davis commended the Court for a ruling based on hundreds of years of precedent with respect to tribal sovereignty.

“The Court’s ruling reinforces the viability of Tribal financial services as a means of economic development and specifically the tribes use of technology and ecommerce to create opportunities,” Davis said.  “This is not just a win for the Native American financial services industry, it is another win for Tribal sovereignty as a whole.”

Mr. Davis joined NAFSA last month after four successful years with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, the largest national Indian specific business organization in America.

This Court’s ruling adds to the volume of legal precedent supporting tribal sovereignty and economic development.

The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) was formed to protect and advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible financial services.

For more information regarding the Native American Financial Services Association, please contact Blake Trueblood at

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