Blackfeet Mini-Bank Presentation
The goal of the Blackfeet Mini-Bank Associationis to bring financial education to the youth across the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. A PowerPoint version of this information can be found here.
What is the “Mini Bank”?
In 1996 the Blackfeet Mini Bank Association was established at the Browning Middle School. Introduction of the banking experience in the schools was to encourage children to save. Students open a savings account with their Social Security card and $3.00. They have sole ownership of the account and are responsible for its maintenance. The Mini Bank Coordinator acts as a direct liaison between the students and the Native American Bank by accepting and recording deposit transactions and ensuring proper transfer of the funds to the bank.
Each school has its own “mini bank” and a student board. There are two students selected to serve as board members from each grade, and they are responsible for the operations of the mini bank in their school. After a student is selected to serve on the board, they participate in an orientation and serve until they graduate from high school. Every week the students rotate working days and positions. The “mini-bank” program’s uniqueness and effectiveness is that students develop their own policies and procedures under which their bank operates.
Where is the Mini Bank?
The Mini Bank Association has expanded to six reservations spread out across three different states including Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. To date the Mini Bank program has 670 accounts with a total of $40,000.00 in their savings accounts.
- Today the Blackfeet Mini Bank Association has expanded to five different schools on the Blackfeet Reservation.
- These schools include the Napi Elementary, Browning Middle School, Browning High School, Nizi Puh Wah Sin Language School and the De La Salle Catholic School.
- The Mini Bank program expanded to the Fort Hall Reservation located in Idaho in 2006.
- The Fort Hall the Mini Bank program has been implemented in the Shoshone-Bannock Jr. High/High School, the Lillian Valley School, Fort Hall Elementary, and the Tyhee Elementary school.
- Mini Bank program expanded to the Fort Belknap Reservation in 2010.
- The Fort Belknap Mini Bank program is in service at the White Clay Immersion School, Hays/Lodgepole Elementary School, and the St. Paul’s Mission School
- Mini Bank program expanded to the Fort Peck reservation in 2008.
- The Fort Peck Mini Bank program is currently in service at the Opportunity Learning Center
- The Mini Bank program expanded to the Rocky Boy reservation in 2010.
- The Rocky Boy Mini Bank program provides banking services to the students at the Box Elder School, and the Rocky Boy School
- The Mini Bank program opened its first Mini Bank in Colorado on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation in 2008.
- The Ute Mountain Ute Mini Bank program provides banking services at the Kemper Elementary, Manaugh Elementary, and the Mesa Elementary Schools
The Mini Bank program plans to expand to the Red Lakes Reservation located in Minnesota around the beginning of 2012.
A Brief Timeline of the Mini-Bank
- February, 1996: Browning Middle School chooses mini bank board members.
- April, 1996: BMS Mini Bank opens for business
- January 1998: Napi Elementary chooses mini bank board members
- January 1998: Napi Elementary opens first Mini Bank branch & Nizi Puh Wah Sin Utilizes BMS Mini Bank
- December 2000: Browning High School chooses board members & Native American Youth Bank opens doors
- 2002: Nizi Puh Wah Sin Mini Bank establishes branch at their school
- October, 2003: Mini Bank expands to the De La Salle Blackfeet School
- February, 2005: Nizi Puh Wah Sin School opens accounts for 100% of their students
- Student will need their Social Security number and $3.00 to start savings account.
- Maintain a minimum balance…
- $3.00 minimum balance for all students.
- All transactions must be made through the Mini Bank on the scheduled Bank Day
(exceptions: summer vacation- students may utilize Native American Bank)
- Students who close their accounts must wait six weeks before they can open another account
- Mini Bank Board Members rotate working Bank Days
- All Mini Bank Board Members alternate banking positions:
- Customer Information Representative
- New Accounts Representative
Customer Information Representative
- Assist customer in locating their account number
- Understand and be able to explain how to fill out a savings deposit slip
- Help set up and clean up designated Bank Day area
New Account Representative
- Help customers open new savings accounts
- Explain the benefits of having a savings account
- Complete initial deposit
- Distribute program and Mini Bank information
- Record new account information
- Greet customers
- Examine deposit slip and account number
- Accept deposit slip and/or check account for any withdrawal amount
- Records transactions and fills out deposit/withdrawal receipts
- Works with Advisor to verify deposits
- Distribute any educational or promotional incentives
Ideas for today and tomorrow
Expansion of Mini Bank program to all reservation schools
- Expand Mini Bank Program to all Blackfeet Reservation schools; such as Heart Butte, Babb, and East Glacier schools
- Savings account preparation classes beginning at the third grade level
Financial education to all reservation schools
- Money Management
- All taught to improve and enhance our children
Checking accounts and a loan program
- Offered at the Browning High School
- Co-signer required to open an account
- Require checking account applicant and co-signer to attend a finance/money management course
- Possible loan program at Browning High School.
Mini Bank Bankers Association
- Importance of building a strong economic community through youth participation
- Students understand their role in contributing to our local and regional economies
- Networking with other Communities
- It is important to recognize, facilitate, empower, and build leadership.
- We will be successful in any desired career
- We will be leaders in our tribal, federal, state, or county governments
- We will excel throughout our reservation communities