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Creating Indigenous Economies and Sustainable Communities
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Creating Indigenous Economies and Sustainable Communities

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By Robert Miller

By Robert Miller

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  • 1. CREATING INDIGENOUS ECONOMIES AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIESProfessor Robert MillerLewis & Clark Law SchoolPortland, Oregon 1
  • 2. Traditional American Indian property regimes & rights• Successfully supported for centuries with agriculture & hunting & fishing• Private & community property rights• Trade networks & economic systems• Intellectual property rights• Self-sufficiency is self-determination 2
  • 3. Euro-American impacts• Land dispossession• Dependency theory• U.S. legal claims –Discovery Doctrine• U.S. constitution, laws, treaties• Removal, Reservation, Allotment, Termination eras 3
  • 4. BUSINESS OWNERSHIP PER CAPITA BUSINESSES PER THOUSAND POPULATION STATE OF OREGON 90 81.8 80 70 56.96 WHITE 60 50 BLACK 40 HISPANIC 28.37 30 ASIAN/PI 27.86 14.3 20 NATIVE 10 AMERICAN 0 RATE/1,000Source: 1992 Census of Business© ONABEN 1997
  • 5. COMMUNITY EFFECTS• Poverty-related education, economic, social & health issues• Community cohesion• Family stability• Long term perspective• Self-Determination
  • 6. Community Benefits• EARNED INCOME• CONTAINING “LEAKAGE”• EMPLOYMENT and TRAINING• INFLUENCE
  • 7. Onaben’s conclusions• Small business ownership is a critical element in community stability• Small business ownership is unequally distributed• Everyone benefits from equality of ownership• Creating business ownership depends on thoughtful adaptations of prevailing models 7
  • 8. Self-Determination and effective governance creates environments in which individuals (tribal citizens &others) will invest time, energy, ideas, & money.
  • 9. What does effective governance involve?Stability in the rules & lawsSeparation of politics from business managementEffective and non-politicized dispute resolutionA bureaucracy that can get things done
  • 10. Economic development obstacles• Attracting investments $$, time and laws• Rural areas• Land in “trust” & federal approvals• Credit & potential• Tribal courts & U.S. & tribal bureaucracies• Sovereign immunity• Political instability• Economic education & experience 10
  • 11. Potential• Poverty is not an Indian cultural trait• Improved education & health levels• Tribal gov’ts – to assist & be clients – “Buy Indian Acts”• Onaben, 4 Bands Comm. Fund, Lakota Fund• U.S. government – Buy Indian Act (1910).• Multiplier effect & stop “leakage” (Montana tribal study) 11
  • 12. U.S. “Buy Indian” Act – 25 USC 47• 1910- “That so far as may be practicable Indian labor shall be employed, and purchases of the products of Indian industry may be made in the open market in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior.” 12
  • 13. Contact• Rmiller@lclark.edu• Onaben.org• My papers -http://ssrn.com/author=354803 14