Asset Builder Champion Profile: Tanya Fiddler

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Tanya Fiddler is a nationally recognized leader in small business development and community investment, specifically through Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs. CDFIs seek investments from larger institutions, individuals, and banks in order to re-lend those dollars in places that need them most.

CDFI’s typically target small business creation, homeownership opportunities, and job growth. By leveraging outside sources alongside intimate knowledge of a specific community, a CDFI can have a large-scale impact even with limited funding.

Tanya Fiddler is the Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund, one such CDFI that focuses on entrepreneurship and economic stability among the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation population. Since 2002, Tanya has helped grow the organization from its initial start-up phase into a nationally recognized and award-winning body that has greatly improved the lives of thousands with services ranging from financial literacy courses to loan acquisition guidance. Tanya has received several prestigious awards throughout her career including the 2008 Bureau of Indian Affairs “Entrepreneur Advocate of the Year,” the 2007 Small Business Administration “Minority Small Business Champion for South Dakota and Region VIII,” and the 2007 “Visionary Leader Award for Outstanding Achievement.” Tanya is also Co-Chair of the Native CDFI Network, Chair of the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, Board Member for Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, and Board Member for the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

Tanya’s successes in these roles are numerous, but one particular project that has received attention recently is the cultural tourism marketing campaign that has been promoting the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation as a destination for travelers interested in Native American culture. Securing a $200,000 grant, Tanya has been working tirelessly to improve the economic conditions while simultaneously celebrating the people’s art and culture. It is for this reason and many more that Tanya is being awarded the title of Asset Builder Champion and we look forward to many more years and successes from Ms. Tanya Fiddler and the Four Bands CDFI!

Written by Alex Bannon

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