Each November, Native American Heritage Month pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. The SMI family is truly grateful for our relationships with each Tribal Nation, and we are thrilled to celebrate their individuality and significance this year, and every year.
For over a decade, SMI has been proud to partner with Tribal Nations in the United States to deliver critical funds to families and children. Through these respected partnerships, SMI has been afforded the distinct honor of serving 13 Tribes where the smiONE™️ Visa®️ Prepaid Card is distributed. And for us, service starts with relationships.
SMI’s relationships with Tribal Nations are rooted in our commitment to meeting each Tribe’s individual needs by providing customized program solutions. By learning, recognizing, and embracing the uniqueness of each nation, SMI has been able to establish long-standing, trusted partnerships within Tribal communities.
In 2011, with encouragement from then Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Commissioner David Ross to get involved with the Tribal program, a bond quickly formed between SMI CEO Joe Stone and Jerry Sweet, then IV-D Director of the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma. The Modoc Tribe became the first Tribe in the U.S. to adopt the smiONE Card.
Excited about their initial success together, Jerry and Joe continued their conversations at the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) and Western Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council (WICSEC) conferences, which led to SMI presenting the smiONE Card at the 2012 National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA) conference in Bar Harbor, Maine. Shortly after, the Winnebago Tribe began using the smiONE Card.
SMI’s Tribal program has only continued to grow from there, most recently with the adoption of the smiONE Card by Minnesota’s White Earth Nation. Today, SMI’s partnerships with Tribal Nations extend across the country—from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York to the Klamath Tribes in Oregon and sister Tribes scattered from North Carolina throughout the heartland. SMI proudly serves each distinctive nation with deep respect and a shared passion for family and community.