MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (5/1/08)--The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has submitted an application for the proposed Chippewa Eagle FCU to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This will be the first newly chartered credit union in Michigan in the past 21 years, according to Greg Carroll, project manager for the credit union. The field of membership for Chippewa Eagle FCU includes tribal members, their families and descendants, as well as employees of the tribe and their families. The tribe’s application for the proposed credit union is now being reviewed by an NCUA economic development specialist, Carroll told News Now. An initial letter from NUCA should be received in 30 days, and the charter should take effect 60 days after that, NCUA told Carroll. “We should be opening the credit union by the end of summer,” Carroll said. The credit union building has already been built on a strip of land next to the tribe’s casino in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., he added. The project was first discussed by the tribe in the 1980s, but started in earnest the past two years, Carroll explained. Funding for the credit union was provided in October, and Carroll has been working full-time on the project since December. The Michigan Credit Union League helped with the project, Carroll said. Why did the tribe decide to form a credit union? “It always interested the tribal members to have a financial institution on their land that was theirs--and of course their members’,” Carroll explained. “Tribal members are one of the most discriminated-against population segments with other financial institutions--which take advantage of them because of their relatively low incomes.” The tribe--which employs about 5,000 people--operates the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, and the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in Standish, Mich.