Rodeo is much more than a sport – it’s also a business. That’s the thinking behind a timely workshop First Nations Development Institute and partners recently offered at the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many Native youth rodeo contestants earn large cash prizes while competing throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition, managing livestock and participating in family farm operations requires a lot of financial savvy.
“Rodeo Bucks 101” is a workshop that makes financial education fun and simple. The workshop teaches the basics of money management from a rodeo athlete’s perspective. Featured topics include record keeping, money management, independent living, and fraud awareness. All of these topics are covered in an interactive training environment that encourages young people and their families to make the most of their rodeo and financial success.
On November 9, 2016, approximately 100 teenage cowboys and cowgirls gathered in the South Point Hotel and Equestrian Center, which was the venue for the 2016 Indian National Finals Rodeo. A lively 90-minute workshop was conducted by a team of financial literacy specialists from Chief Dull Knife College and People’s Partner for Community Development (both based in Lame Deer, Montana). First Nations Development Institute helped coordinate the event and provided facilitation.
“I’m highly pleased with the participation we had for the Rodeo Bucks 101 workshop,” said Sharon Small, Executive Director of People’s Partner for Community Development. “This training was a first at the Indian National Finals Rodeo and we’re extremely grateful to the Indian National Finals Rodeo commissioners for their support of youth financial empowerment.”
Native youth from more than a dozen states and several Canadian provinces spent the morning learning how to budget for rodeo expenses like entrance fees, gear and travel costs. This was reinforced with meaningful discussions about taxes, compound interest and credit. There were drawings for valuable door prizes, including a laptop from a local sponsor and gift cards.
According to Chief Dull Knife College Extension Service Director Henry Thompson, the plan is to scale up the Rodeo Bucks workshop, possibly in partnership with tribal colleges and high schools.
“We proved there’s a need and demand for a rodeo-focused financial skills workshop,” explained Thompson. “If all goes well, the next step is to formalize a curriculum and hit the road training!”
For more information contact:
People’s Partner for Community Development
(406) 477-6215 ext 190
By Shawn Spruce, First Nations Financial Education Consultant