From Southeast Alaska - For Southeast Alaska
Headquartered in Juneau, Alaska, Spruce Root was founded by Haa Aaní, LLC in February 2012 under the name Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. with the goal of improving access to capital for entrepreneurs in Southeast Alaska. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we spent our infancy learning about CDFI best practices and raising capital to lend. By 2016, we had 8 loans in our portfolio and $3M in lending capital. In early 2017, we underwent a name change and re-branded as Spruce Root, Inc. This signified our own transformation from an emerging CDFI to an established organization with the governance, staffing, and resources necessary to operate as an autonomous entity. To date, we have approved 13 loans with 10 unique companies.
The story of Aas Khwáan, Tree People, was told by the late Clarence Jackson of the Tsaagweidi, Eagle/Killerwhale clan from Kake, Alaska. He told the story in Kake in 2012. With permission, it was then interpreted and retold by Kingeistí, David Katzeek, who gave us permission to share it here.