Tawney Brunsch has committed more than 14 years to advancing the economic development of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Tawney is the executive director of Lakota Funds, a Native community development financial institution, or CDFI, that serves the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She led the organization in chartering the first Lakota Federal Credit Union, expanding their lending area to include the neighboring Rosebud reservation and launching the first Child Development Account program.

14+ Years
Working in Pine Ridge Reservation community
Creating the 1st
Native CDFI and Child Development Account Program

Tawney remains committed to the economic development of the Pine Ridge Reservation as the board chair of Lakota Federal Credit Union and board treasurer of a fellow CDFI focused on homeownership lending, Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial.

In the next 40 years, Tawney says the affordable housing and community development sector will grow to include thriving businesses that meet the needs of, and are primarily owned and serviced by, members of her community. In addition, community members will have the chance to rent or own beautiful, safe and affordable homes. The community will also fully utilize the Lakota Federal Credit Unions to have savings accounts to achieve their wealth building goals.

Illustration of multi-generational people of different races waiting at bus stop
I envision my community having a thriving business community, affordable homes, generational wealth and abundance.
Tawney Brunsch

Prior to joining Lakota Funds in 2008, Tawney worked as a branch manager at the Black Hills Federal Credit Union. She serves on several boards and advisory committees, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Advisory Council, the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, the Native CDFI Network’s Policy Committee and the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition.

Tawney received a bachelor's degree in commercial economics from South Dakota State University.

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