sought for Yurok Tribe settlement funds
December 18, 2007
by Nicholas Grube, Triplicate
KLAMATH — Now that Yurok Tribal members will receive
the bulk of a $92 million settlement fund, a grassroots
movement has formed to help those people invest that
On Wednesday, the Yurok Alliance for Northern
California Housing will host an investment seminar in
Klamath in an effort to provide different options and
strategies for tribal members who wish to invest their
share of the Hoopa-Yurok Settlement Fund, which is
approximately $15,500 each.
Executive Director of the Yurok Alliance, Jan Wortman,
said this instant influx of money, if spent wisely, gives
tribal members the opportunity to dramatically change
"This money, even though it's not a large sum, could be
the basis for someone to have a strong financial future,"
Representatives from New York Life and Chetco Federal
Credit Union will be on hand to inform people of various
investment options and personal finance options. Financial
literacy materials will also be available.
"I think if you have the information," Wortman said of
these financial resources, "you're going to make better,
more informed decisions."
She said tribal members will also have the chance to
learn about investing in the Yurok Alliance, which is an
independent community development financial institute that
is not a part of the tribal government. By investing in
the community development financial institute, Wortman
said, tribal members could pool their money together in a
capital fund that would generate even more money.
"One of the exciting things is that because we are a
non-profit ... we have the capacity to go out and get
grants and matching funds," Wortman said. "If we had half
a million dollars (from tribal members), then we could
turn that into $4 million."
Ideas for how to use this money, Wortman said, include
buying a business, in which everyone who invested owns a
share and makes money off the profits. Another option
could be creating a tribal lending institution, similar to
a credit union, in that people combine their money and
provide low interest loans to other tribal members.
Planning for these options, though, are still in the
preliminary stages, Wortman said, and she hopes to get a
better sense of what people want during the seminar.
But most importantly, she said she hopes people realize
how important this money can be if even a portion is
"You can have it all. You can do it all," she said.
"Even though it is not a large amount of money ... you
really can change your life with it."
Reach Nicholas Grube at email@example.com.
If You Go
•What: Yurok Alliance investment seminar and pot luck.
Any member of the public is invited.
•When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.
•Where: Yurok Tribal Office, Klamath.