Overcoming Challenges to Business and Economic Development in Indian Country

Research Report

Overcoming Challenges to Business and Economic Development in Indian Country

Abstract

American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages have embraced the goals, objectives, and programs associated with welfare reform, but the lack of jobs threatens the success of tribal programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Welfare-to-Work (WtW). Recognizing the scope and importance of this problem, the federal government has promoted business and economic development (BD/ED) in Indian country. This report describes (1) examples of BD/ED activities and the federal programs and initiatives utilized by a convenience sample of eight tribes and two Alaska Native corporations; (2) the legal, historical, and cultural context of tribal BD/ED; and (3) the challenges tribes/Native corporations face in pursuing BD/ED, as well as the promising approaches they are developing to minimize or overcome them.

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