"Beyond Casinos: Understanding the Business Climate on Indian Lands"

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Joan Timeche presents "Beyond Casinos: Understanding the Business Climate on Indian Lands" at the free business journalism workshop, "Covering Business on Tribal Lands," hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Native American Journalists Association.

For more information about free training for business journalists, please visit businessjournalism.org.

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  • If I could remind you of the diversity of Native nations across the US – cite facts
  • Talk about: Who entrepreneurs are in IC the variation one finds and different scenarios --- Many reservations – 90-95% could be tribal enterprises (casino, C-store, etc.) Or, on OST, there would not be much of a tribal enterprise sector, etc., etc.
  • In 1992, 0.01 percent (102,271) of all US businesses were owned by American Indians. Due Asians and Pacific Islanders being lumped with Aleuts, Alaska Natives and American Indians, no data on # employed and revenues. By 1997, the number of Indian owned firms increased by 84 percent, to 197,300 (0.9%), employing 298,700 people and generating $34.3 billion in revenues (179 percent increase). In 2002, the number of Indian owned firms increase to 201,400 increasing by 98%, employing 191,300 people and generating $26.9 billion in business revenues. In 2007, American Indians and Alaska Natives owned 236,967 nonfarm U.S. businesses operating in the fifty states and the District of Columbia, an increase of 17.7 percent from 2002. These American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms accounted for 0.9 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States, employed 184,416 persons (0.2 percent of total employment) and generated $34.4 billion in receipts (0.1 percent of all receipts).
  • Why does there continue to be high unemployment and poverty rates and fewer businesses in Indian Country? Why is Indian Country not an economic powerhouse?
  • Tribal government Local government The citizens External entities
  • Definition of wealth--- relate my grandparents’ definition – good crops, large family, health, etc. versus cash; individualistic vs. communal Goal of the business – what should be the goal? Jobs or profit, etc. Land – if on rez, it usually is access to – small or large rez; must be cognizant of trust status (cannot be sold or encumbered) Capital – lack of, access, lending issues on rez (good = CDFIs) Business dev process --- largely undefined, oftentimes political process
  • Land for development - land is our most precious resource and often the most controversial. Uncertainties can be reduced by adopting:  a zoning ordinance  an efficient leasing process  a position on private sector development vs. tribal ownership
  • Other resources: NCAIED, NIBA, etc.
  • "Beyond Casinos: Understanding the Business Climate on Indian Lands"

    1. 1. Beyond Casinos: Understanding the Business Climate on Indian Lands July 13, 2011 Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    2. 2. Village of Old Oraibi, Hopi Reservation, ~ 1980 ’s My daughter, Briana, in traditional Hopi dress. Hopi Buffalo dancers Long-Hair Katsina dancers, painting by Gilbert Timeche
    3. 3. Presentation Topics <ul><li>What is the status of business development in Indian Country? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the challenges of business development in Indian Country? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the business development process on Indian lands? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s working in Indian Country? </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1. What is the status of business development in Indian Country? <ul><li>564 federally recognized tribes in 32 states </li></ul><ul><li>> 1.5 million Native Americans (~1% of US population) </li></ul><ul><li>55.7 million acres of trust land across the U.S. </li></ul>Sources: Bureau of Indian Affairs and US Census 2000
    5. 5. 1. What is the status of business development in Indian Country?
    6. 6. 1. What is the status of business development in Indian Country? <ul><li>Who constitutes the tribal economy? </li></ul><ul><li>For illustrative purposes only. </li></ul><ul><li>There is great variation from Native nation to Native nation. </li></ul>
    7. 7. 1. What is the status of business development in Indian Country?
    8. 8. Survey of Minority Owned Enterprises – American Indian and Alaska Natives (2007 Economic Census)
    9. 9. Survey of Minority Owned Enterprises – American Indian and Alaska Natives (2007 Economic Census)
    10. 10. Survey of Minority Owned Enterprises – American Indian and Alaska Natives (2007 Economic Census)
    11. 11. Survey of Minority Owned Enterprises – American Indian and Alaska Natives (2007 Economic Census)
    12. 12. <ul><li>So, despite these increases, why are there not more businesses in Indian Country? </li></ul>
    13. 13. 2. What are the challenges of business development in Indian Country? <ul><li>TRIBAL GOVERNMENT POWERS: </li></ul><ul><li>Citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Governmental Form </li></ul><ul><li>Law Making and Enforcement* </li></ul><ul><li>Dispute Resolution (Court Systems)* </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Affairs (within limits) </li></ul><ul><li>Some Criminal Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Taxation </li></ul><ul><li>Lands and Natural Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Business Permitting and Regulation* </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural and Religious Affairs </li></ul>The business climate …
    14. 14. 2. What are the challenges of business development in Indian Country? <ul><li>Goal of the business </li></ul><ul><li>Land </li></ul><ul><li>The business development process </li></ul><ul><li>Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Etc., etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of wealth </li></ul>Jobs Profit
    15. 15. The Nation-Building Approach to Economic Development (Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and Native Nations Institute) <ul><li>1. Practical self-rule (the nation calls the shots) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Capable governing institutions (back up authority with competence) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Cultural match (governing institutions match community beliefs about how authority should be organized) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Strategic orientation (decisions are made with long-term priorities in mind) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Public-spirited leadership (instead of politics as boxing ring where factions fight to control the goodies) </li></ul>
    16. 16. What Might the Nation Do to Support Business Development? <ul><li>Sensible Regulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zoning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site leasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land/Env/Nat Res </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A commercial code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A corporation code </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Financing Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start-up loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lines of credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit counseling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Small Business Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing & other cooperatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water and Sewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telecommunications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roads </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Efficient and Effective Dispute Resolution (an independent tribal court) </li></ul>
    17. 17. 3. What is the Business Development Process? <ul><li>The following is a very basic and generic listing of steps. Note that these will vary from nation to nation thus may not be in sequential order. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct initial research and begin business planning </li></ul><ul><li>Contact tribal/ local government and all relevant entities for appropriate processes </li></ul><ul><li>Secure land (if applicable) and obtain all clearances (survey, NEPA, archeological , etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain any necessary licenses/ permits </li></ul><ul><li>Submit business plan (letter of intent or application may be required in advance) </li></ul><ul><li>Secure financing </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain approvals at local/ regional/ tribal levels </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain BIA lease approval (as applicable) </li></ul>
    18. 18. 3. What is the Business Development Process? <ul><ul><li>Plan, Plan, Plan (write a business plan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your company and formalize legal structure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obtain the land/site for your business, if applicable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your product or service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct an industry analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your target market, competitors, and marketing plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your operational/management plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define what you need to start your business, financial projections, and sources/uses of funds </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><ul><li>Who are the Principal Authorizing Agents who play a role in development of any business? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tribal Government (administration, Chairman/President, legislative committees, Tribal Council/Legislature) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local governing entities/individuals (as applicable) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clans/Religious Leaders and informal leaders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bureau of Indian Affairs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Health Service Office of Environmental Health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the Regulatory Environment (federal, tribal, state)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preferential Employment (TERO) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental protection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Business licensing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taxation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial system </li></ul></ul></ul>3. What is the Business Development Process?
    20. 20. 4. What’s Working in Indian Country? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>For successful sustained development to occur, the following are critical: </li></ul><ul><li>Common vision about the future of the community  a strategic plan for community & economic development </li></ul><ul><li>Informed consent on use of land  a land use plan or comprehensive plan for planned growth </li></ul><ul><li>Land for development - Uncertainties can be reduced by adopting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a zoning ordinance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>an efficient leasing process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a position on private sector development vs. tribal ownership </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>A commitment to economic development by the local/tribal decision-makers. This includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a willingness to learn about development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding that you must spend money to make money (authorizing the $$) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>understanding and practicing the separation of business and politics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional Infrastructure that can support development such as - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a regulatory system that addresses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rules of commerce (Uniform Commercial Code, preference laws, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>acceptable industries (policy statement) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>controls you want to impose (safety, health, and other integrity concerns) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>registration/licensing of business and collection of fees & taxes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a judicial system that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>can enforce regulations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is fair & consistent in resolving disputes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a business development process that is efficient and user friendly </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Resources to develop the physical infrastructure (water, sewer, electricity, roads, etc.) as most land is either under- or undeveloped </li></ul><ul><li>The financial resources or willingness to secure funds to support development </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering as much information as possible and seeking the necessary assistance to make informed decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Believe in yourself and in your people. We may not be as business savvy as the non-Indian world yet, but we have definitely made major strides. Look at all our accomplishments in exercising our sovereignty building our nations all while maintaining our cultural integrity!! </li></ul>
    23. 23. Some Examples . . . <ul><li>Kayenta Township </li></ul><ul><li>Ho-Chunk, Inc., Winnebago Tribe </li></ul><ul><li>Crow Nation </li></ul><ul><li>Ysleta del Sur Pueblo </li></ul><ul><li>Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Potawatomi Nation </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>Q & A </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve covered a lot --- what questions do you have or any items that need to be clarified? </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>For further information: </li></ul><ul><li>Visit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.nni.arizona.edu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.rebuildingnativenations.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.arizonanativenet.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.ksg.harvard.edu/hpaied / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obtain a copy of: </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>C ontact Information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joan Timeche, Executive Director </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Native Nations Institute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>803 E. First Street </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tucson, AZ 85719 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone: 520.626.0NNI (0664) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fax: 520.626.3NNI (3664) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Askwali! (Thank You!) </li></ul></ul>

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