NAFSA Thanks former Senator Byron Dorgan for Continued Commitment to Indian Country

Jul 15, 2013, 10:16 ET from Native American Financial Services Association

North Dakota Lawmaker was Dedicated Advocate for Indian Issues during Congressional Service, Continues to Promote Solutions for Native Americans

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a recent New York Times column entitled "Broken Promises," former U.S. Senator from North Dakota Byron Dorgan highlights the ongoing issues facing Indian country and argues that Native American needs should be exempted from the budget sequestration sweeping the nation. In response, the Native American Financial Services Association thanks Sen. Dorgan for his service to the United States and his outstanding advocacy on matters pertinent to Native Americans.

"Even after Senator Byron Dorgan's retirement in 2011, Indian Country has continually relied on him as an unwavering alley and a staunch advocate," said Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA. "While it is painful to acknowledge the problems Indian country continues to face, we thank Senator Dorgan for his continued work on our behalf, his highlighting the challenges our tribal governments face to the rest of the country, and his focus on the importance of economic development to tribal nations."

"We look forward to working with his successor, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, on these critical issues and securing her support for the initiatives which will help our people prosper economically.

In the piece, Sen. Dorgan highlights the many hardships occurring in Indian country, which have dramatically worsened in an age of sequestration and deep budget cuts. While these nations see increased points of vulnerability, NAFSA provides vital financial services support necessary for many tribal governments to stay afloat. NAFSA understands, like Sen. Dorgan, that economic opportunity is the key to advancement, and without this valuable access to financial products, tribal nations would only continue on this downward spiral.

Senator Byron Dorgan retired in 2011 after serving three decades in Congress representing the state of North Dakota.  In the Senate, he was Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. Additionally, Sen. Dorgan established The Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute, which was dedicated to fighting the challenges facing all youth in Indian Country. He was succeeded in 2013 by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who also serves on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products.  Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country. More information on NAFSA is available at

SOURCE Native American Financial Services Association