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Rooted Relative Fund Manager

Rooted Relative Fund

The Rooted Relative Fund (RRF) is a joint initiative of RCAC and Roanhorse Consulting, LLC (RCLLC). Core elements of the initiative were co-created with The Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC). The Rooted Relative Fund seeks to center Indigenous wisdom by co-creating a cultural relations based lending program with Indigenous leaders and practitioners to deploy equitable and patient capital to Indigenous entrepreneurs and small business founders. The fund will invest in long-term capacity and infrastructure that is led by Indigenous people for Indigenous economies.

The fund will be piloted to Indigenous entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria: 

  • Own businesses located: in New Mexico and Arizona to include all the Navajo Nation geography, (tribal, rural, suburban & urban areas)
  • With a business operating history of 24 months
  • Who are rooted in community
  • Who demonstrate a direct impact/benefit to Indigenous people and their communities
  • Have an existing relationship with and actively engaged with approved RRF partner organizations 
  • Demonstrate a need for capital and the ability to repay it 
  • Loans will range in size from $30,000 to $250,000 and will be approved by selected partner organizations. The interest rate will be 3%. The repayment deferral period will be three to six months, and the maximum terms will be 96 months or eight years.

Position Description

The intent of the Rooted Relative Fund (RRF) Manager position is to establish, support and nurture Rooted Relative Fund's relationships with local partner organizations to implement the initiative. RCAC is a partner and funder in this initiative and the RRF Liaison position will be housed within RCAC, serving as a connector between borrowers, local partner organizations, RCLLC and RCAC. The position will also establish and nurture relationships with Indigenous Peoples, Tribes, both Federally recognized and non-Federally recognized, Native-led grassroots organizations, nonprofit organizations, state agencies and Community Development Financial Institutions that work in New Mexico and Arizona on behalf of RRF, while strengthening RCAC's understanding of the complex challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples and Native and Tribal communities and to help RCAC create internal lending protocols that mitigate these challenges. The RRF Manager will represent RRF in the field to create the necessary relationships for program success. The Liaison will use a collaborative approach to organize and facilitate peer to peer learning convenings to increase shared learning amongst RRF partner organizations and ensure culturally appropriate service and provision of capital to Indigenous Entrepreneurs. The RRF Liaison will also be the primary point of contact between local partner organizations and all other parts of RCAC that provide support for implementation of RRF, including Loan Fund, Finance and Operations Departments. The RRF Liaison will have an ongoing direct relationship with RCLLC, ensuring the RRF honors the values codesigned with the IAC. 

Specific job goals, objectives and tasks are established for each employee as part of the annual evaluation process. Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Act as contract manager for RCAC funding to participant organizations.
  • Identify technical support needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs and the capacity of local partner organizations to meet the needs and, as necessary, identify other ways to provide needed support through RCAC staff and resources and other third-party providers.
  • Maintain regular communications with local participant organizations and facilitate peer to peer sharing and training convenings, while managing the elements of the RRF communication plan.
  • Advocate for borrowers and local partner organizations and advise RCAC leadership and internal support departments on RRF policies, as well as integration and implementation challenges and opportunities.
  • Represent RRF at gatherings and trainings related to housing, infrastructure, economic and community development in New Mexico and Arizona Indian Country and build collaborations with other potential partners and/or lenders in those states.
  • Create and identify opportunities to engage philanthropic, government, and financial institutions and other agencies in dialogues that increase access to resources for RRF investment in New Mexico, Arizona, and Navajo Nation's Indian Country.
  • Build relationships with community service providers, community and business leaders, government, and other political leaders through professional knowledge sharing, and collaboration.
  • Cultivate a deep advocacy and policy understanding through policy review, analysis, development, and implementation in partnership with Indigenous, Native, and Tribal-led organizations.
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 

Skills and Qualifications

  • Knowledge, appreciation, and competent understanding of New Mexico and Arizona Indigenous Peoples and Native, Tribal, and rural culture, governance, community dynamics and traditions.
  • Experience working with Indigenous Peoples, Tribes, both Federally recognized and non-Federally recognized, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and native Hawaiian communities, multi- and inter-Tribal relationships, Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs), Native-led grassroots organizations,   Community Development Financial Institutions, agencies, and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Knowledge of lending, Community Development Financial Institutions and small business technical assistance is desired.
  • Experience in community development program management is also desired.
  • Be community oriented with the ability to work with a diverse population and varying cultural beliefs and traditions and demonstrate sensitivity and discretion in all aspects of work.
  • Ability to build trust with Indigenous Peoples, Native and Tribal residents, and communities.
  • Ability to troubleshoot, innovate, and problem-solve by identifying solutions and resources needed for Indigenous Peoples, Native and Tribal communities.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and meeting platforms including Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
  • Ability to complete timely administrative and reporting requirements related to work responsibilities.
  • Ability to facilitate group discussions and convene group gatherings.
  • Strong ability to listen effectively and communicate, verbally and in writing, to include grant applications and reporting, as well as presenting to diverse audiences.
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision and effectively prioritize multiple tasks.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team environments.

Physical Job Requirements:

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Work performed in an office requires the ability to operate computers and various pieces of office equipment, including the telephone. Use may be moderate (average two hours per day) to heavy (four or more hours per day).
  •  While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to stand and/or sit for prolonged periods of time; walk; talk; hear; use hand to manipulate; handle; feel or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.
  • The employee may occasionally lift and or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
  • This position also requires moderate (up to five days per month) to heavy (up to 15 days per month) automobile and airline travel, including overnight travel.

Preferred Education and Experience:

  • While RCAC values formal education, we do not require a degree for this position. A combination of professional and lived experience is a critical component of this position. An ideal combination of experience would include:
  • Relevant and or related lived and professional experience 
  • We seek an individual who is entrepreneurial and has an understanding of lending
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented project management experience required
  • Deep experience working in community with Indigenous Peoples, Native, Tribal, and rural communities
  • Program manager and/or relationship development experience desired
  • Indigenous preferred position, with consideration of all applicants with deep experience within Indigenous New Mexico, Arizona, and Navajo Nation communities

Special Requirements:

Possession of a valid driver's license and proof of insurance that meets the minimum requirements ($100,000/$300,000) of RCAC corporate liability policy may be required when traveling for business purposes.


RCAC is an equal opportunity employer and considers all employees and job applicants without regard to race, religion, color, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status, or any other status protected by law. RCAC strives to reflect the diverse constituencies that the organization serves.


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