There has been a lot of news lately about payday loan firms that have sprung up throughout Native American tribal communities. Critics have alleged the payday loan stores are online entities who have opted to run their service through tribal communities in order to avoid state licensing regulations.

Now the Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC) is taking offense to these critics. NAFCC is an advocacy group comprising "like-minded tribes and tribal members that are committed to protecting the sovereign rights of Native Americans to pursue business and economic opportunities for their tribes nationwide."

NAFCC issued a statement that responds to the Community Financial Services Association of America's (CFSAA) claims that Native American payday operations are "a group of Internet-based lenders who choose not to license themselves in the states in which they operate." NAFCC alleged the CFSAA's comments are discriminatory and they are "impeding Native Americans from lawfully exercising the rights of Native Americans to the same economic opportunities available to members companies of the CFSAA."

The NAFCC statement noted: "The CFSAA's admonition to its members to avoid Native American tribal involvement in online short-term lending is discriminatory and violates the cross-generational, hard-fought gains achieved by Native Americans to maintain tribal identity and culture and protect their economic development," NAFCC Executive Director Darold Stagner said in a statement provided to TheStreet. "The CFSAA, with its constant attacks on the expanding presence of Native Americans in online lending, is causing harm to all three areas of our mission."

The NAFCC defended short-term lenders, saying they "fill a need for consumers and provide revenue vital to the welfare of the tribes" and that profits from payday lending are used to fund "tribal law enforcement, poverty assistance, housing, nutrition, preschool, elder care programs, school supplies and scholarships."

"Native American sovereignty, recognized by the United States Congress, aims to protect those rights that Native American tribes never bargained away since before the inception of America," says Charles Moncooyea of the Otoe-Missouri Tribe in Red Rock, Okla. "This right is designed to provide the economic benefits and opportunities general society has that are simply not available to Native American tribes. Those seeking to further victimize our tribes by singling out Native American-owned businesses are on the wrong side of the issue and on the wrong side of history. Just as retail and service business sectors are migrating to the Internet, the continuing growth of online short-term lending is inevitable. Native Americans have a sovereign right to engage in online short-term lending in order to pursue economic opportunities and equality in commerce for the betterment of our tribes and our families."