Earthstream Media Documentary on Tribal Online Lending and the Consumers That Benefit Premieres in Washington launched, featuring full documentary and bonus materials

WASHINGTON, DC (June 18, 2015) – A new documentary by Earthstream Media that explores the unique intersection of Native American economic development through online installment lending and underserved consumers nationwide premiered in Washington, DC last night. The premiere, hosted by the Cato Institute, brought together policy leaders and influencers from Congress, the Administration, think tanks, industry, academia and more.

“This film tells a complicated story of Tribal sovereignty, self-determination and internet e-commerce, and how all of that interconnects with the millions of Americans who are cut off or underserved by today’s financial services system,” said Chuck Banner, Executive Producer of An Unlikely Solution and Co-Founder of Earthstream Media. “As always, we are honored to work with Tribes to be able to provide the public with this glimpse into Native America, and the struggle for economic development in Indian Country.  We hope it sparks a constructive dialogue on this important issue.”

The premiere was held at the Cato Institute’s Washington headquarters, and also featured a panel discussion following the screening. The panel was moderated by Mark A. Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute, who was joined by Bill Isaac, Former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Gary Davis, President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED).

“Native American tribes located on remote reservations have historically struggled to identify economic development opportunities, which in turn limits the basic services and resources they can provide for their people,” said Gary Davis, President and CEO of NCAIED. “The rise of e-commerce could be the answer to providing long term economic sustainability to tribes and their members who have long faced economic challenges.”

The documentary also tells the story of the customers who are seeking out these tribally-owned businesses to help them address urgent financial needs. The FDIC’s most recent national survey found that 27.7 percent of U.S. households, representing 93 million Americans, had limited or no participation in the banking system. A separate recent Federal Reserve study found that 47 percent of Americans could not handle a $400 emergency expense using cash on hand or a credit card they would pay in full on their next statement; that figure rises to 69 percent among Americans with household incomes under $40,000.

“Alternative financial services like those created by Native American Tribes provide an essential service for underbanked consumers across the country whose needs are not being met by anyone else,” said Bill Isaac, Former Chairman of the FDIC. “The marketplace is ready for innovative solutions for those families without adequate access to the traditional banking system and Tribally-owned businesses are stepping in to help fill the gap.”

The film’s website,, was also launched as part of the premiere, and features free online access to the full documentary, as well as additional educational materials on the tribes, their businesses, and the consumers who use them.

*Event images are available for download at

About Earthstream Media

Earthstream Media is a specialty media company dedicated to social and environmental consciousness through cutting-edge digital media production. Earthstream Media strives to create connection in a global exchange by offering individuals and communities an opportunity to be heard. Through entertainment, information, branding, and high-quality media production, we aim to make the world a better place for future generations – our most valuable natural resource. In all these ways we are dedicated to taking purposeful media from the Earthstream to the mainstream.

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