Native American Bancorp is betting that its new approach - which includes shelving its plans to open a new bank and buying a 14-year-old bank on a Montana reservation instead - will get more tribes to invest in the Denver company.

The bank holding company, formed in 1998 by more than a dozen tribes to bring more banking services to Native Americans nationwide, is acquiring $18.1 million-asset Blackfeet National Bank, in Browning, Mont., for an undisclosed sum. Blackfeet National, owned by the Blackfeet tribe, was the first start-up bank established by a tribe on a reservation.

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