Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial (“Mazaska”) is a Native Community Development Financial Instution (“CDFI”) certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Mazaska offers affordable housings loans as well as home buyer training & financial education to Oglala Sioux Tribal members living on or near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In the summer of 2015, leadership decided to undergo a strategic planning process to:
- Prepare for upcoming market & funding opportunities;
- Revisit the mission statement;
- Create a strategy for long-term sustainability for organization;
- Establish clear and measurable goals & objectives for the next 3 years or operations.
The planning process took place int he late summer & early fall of 2015. Lisa Wagner of Bluestem Consulting was hired to facilitate the strategic planning process. in preparation for a one-day planning session, the following activities took place:
- Interviews were conducted with all Board members & staff to identify organization strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, & threats.
- Several key partners & clients were interviewed to obtain their feedback & input on Mazaska’s performance & opportunities for growth.
- Bluestem Consulting prepared a financial & lending peer analysis to allow Mazaska to compare its performance to others in the field.
on October 20, 2015, Mazaska’s Board of Directors & staff met in Rapid City for a one-day planning session to set strategic goals & objectives for the next 3 years. the agenda outlining the day’s activities is attached as Appendex B. Mazaska’s Board of Directors have approved the final strategic plan. the results of the planning process are presented in this document.
II. Organization Description
Mazaska was created in 2003 as an affiliate of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housings (“OSTPH”) to focus on providing housing lending to tribal members. In 2004 Mazaska hired its first employee, the current Executive Director, Colleen Steele, & was certified as a Native CDFI by the U.S. Department of Treasury. By 2008, Mazaska had formally separated form OSTPH. Between 2008 & 2014, Mazaska’s loan Portfolio more that tripled , growing from $550,000 to 1.7 million. Other milestones are noted below.
Mazaska Currently offers four loan products including a home purchase loan, home rehabilitation loan, home construction loan, & a credit builder loan. Development services include pre- and post- purchase housings assistance and training, financial literacy training, and home buyer education classes. The target market for loan products & development services are Oglala Sioux Tribe members & their spouses who wish to buy or build a home on or near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (near is defined as communities within a 50-mile radius of the Reservation).
at the tiem of the strategic planning, Mazaska ha a five=member Board of Directors with a majority of enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, & a staff of 3 including the Executive Director, a Loan Officer and a Home Buyer Coordinator.