NAFSA Member Tribes Meet with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger
On September 5, 2019, Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), held her first meeting with Tribal nations by sitting down with Tribal leaders from the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) at CFPB headquarters in Washington, D.C. The meeting covered a variety of topics such as the history of Tribal sovereignty and the importance of Tribal consultation.
Attending the meeting were NAFSA Tribal leaders and representatives from the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians (Oklahoma), the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Michigan), the Chippewa Cree Tribe (Montana), the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Wisconsin), the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians (California), the Mechoopda Indian Tribe (California), the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Wisconsin), and the Native Village of Minto (Alaska).
This meeting marked the first time during her tenure as Director of the CFPB that Ms. Kraninger has met with various Tribal leaders. During the meeting, participants discussed how Tribal consultation is a necessary component of the U.S. government’s trust obligations to Tribes. It was also mentioned that Tribes in the United States have had inherent sovereignty with the ability to govern themselves within U.S. borders since time immemorial. Of course, Tribal sovereignty predates the formation of the United States, is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and has been upheld by U.S. courts throughout American history.
Unfortunately, the CFPB (along with many other federal regulators) under its previous leadership has often overlooked Tribal governments when proposing or implementing rules and regulations that could impact Tribes. This negligence comes despite the CFPB (and other federal regulators) having an internal Tribal consultation policy that encourages federal officials to engage, “in meaningful government-to-government dialogue on proposed regulations, policies, and programs that would be expressly directed to Tribal governments or Tribal members or that would have direct implications for Indian Tribes.”
“We strongly believe that Director Kraninger demonstrated a sharp understanding of the importance of Tribal sovereignty and the necessity of meaningful government-to-government engagement and consultation. NAFSA is very optimistic that the future will provide ample opportunity for our member Tribes to build upon and strengthen their relationship with the CFPB.” stated Gary Davis, Executive Director of NAFSA.
NAFSA, which facilitated the meeting, is a Washington D.C. based trade association that represents the interests of Tribal governments and Tribally-owned or Tribally-serving businesses engaged in the financial services sector. NAFSA advocates for Tribal sovereignty and promotes responsible financial services.