A New Paradigm: The Indian Country Economy A PowerPoint presentation by Alan Parker, faculty for Native Law & Policy The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA June 19, 2006
The Indian Country Economy:A New Paradigm • Webster’s defines an economy as:” …a system of producing, distributing and consuming wealth.” • Each Tribal Nation is responsible for designing its own tribal economy based on its own economic policies and strategies. • Tribal economies have much in common.
What is the “Indian Country Economy”? • Indian Country Economy (ICE) = the collective resource base, production capabilities and service capacity in all of “Indian Country”. • Tribal sovereignty is used to give competitive advantage to tribal enterprises in the marketplace . • “Produced in Indian Country” is a brand label for some Indian Country products. • “Strategic Geographic Location” is a valuable asset and an economic resource of the ICE.
The “Tribal Gaming” Example • Tribal Gaming is common to many tribal economies. • Tribal sovereignty creates the opportunity for tribal gaming. • Federal law requires tribal gaming enterprises be owned by the tribe. • Class III tribal gaming requires a state-tribal compact. Pawnee Nation Plans $100 Million Casino Resort
Dakota Dunes opens in 2006 What other elements are common to the Indian Country Economy? • Tribal ownership means all tribal members have a stake in tribal economy. • “Natural” and “environment friendly” is associated with Native American products. • Tribal economic success = tribal political strength in the local and state “political economy.”
Besides Gaming what common resources make up the ICE? • Indian Country regions = a distinctive mix of natural resources. • Pacific NW tribes have fisheries and timber. • Fossil fuel energy, wind and hydro are abundant in the Rockies. • Indian Agriculture base in mid-west = livestock and crops. • Southwest tribes location = broadband telecom. opportunities. • Tribal contracting preferences for government procurement.
Are there common economic strategies among tribes? • Most sectors of ICE have created an intertribal support organization. (e.g., timber, agriculture, gaming, etc.) • The highest priority has been “job creation” • The next highest is diversification locally • Tribal independence is a strong tradition and there are few examples of tribal joint ventures. • Buy-Indian is not widely practiced by tribes
Examples of joint business deals • Four Fires, LLC and Three Fires, LLC • Mohegan, Pequot, etc., intertribal investment in gaming. • Native American National Bank. • Alaska Native Regional Corporations. • More?
WHAT IS THE NEW PARADIGM? • “A rising tide lifts all boats!”: Economically and politically. • Tribes with capital systematically invest in The Indian Country Economy (syndicates, mutual funds and Indian investment vehicles) • These investments offer competitive options for risk and reward. • Intertribal trade and investment puts tribal sovereignty to work
The New Paradigm: continued • Tribes with common resources join together to access new markets. • Marketing cooperatives serve common sectors of ICE: access higher end markets • Tribal suppliers with strong management and quality control serve tribal retailers (casino-based food service enterprises, etc.)
What steps lead to the ICE vision? • Indian supplier – Indian buyer models - tribal buy-Indian policies. • Business research proves feasibility and multiplier effects • Business schools conduct “due diligence” and document economic values for each sector of the ICE • Financial instruments, programs and institutions need Indian expertise to serve tribal investors and enterprises • Tribal investment needed for research programs
“The Indian Country Economy” A Powerful vision An emergent Reality A realistic game plan for today and tomorrow! Return to: http://www.indigenousnationstreaty.org/index_files/Page325.htm