Indigenous Business and Economic Development in the US

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By Miriam Jorgensen

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Indigenous Business and Economic Development in the US

  1. 1. Wise Practices in Indigenous Community Development Symposium Aboriginal Leadership and Management Program The Banff Centre September 15, 2012Indigenous Business andEconomic Development inthe USMiriam JorgensenResearch DirectorHPAIED, NNI at UA
  2. 2. American Indian nationprivate sector development © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  3. 3. Two Approaches to EconomicDevelopment in Indian Country  The Standard Approach (pretty much what we’ve had for years)  The Nation-Building Approach (invented by Indigenous nations) How do these approaches differ, and why does one work so much better than the other? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  4. 4. The Standard Approach toDevelopment 1. Short-term, non-strategic 2. Views economic development as an economic problem 3. Instead of building an economy step-by- step, looks for the big hits 4. Lets others (usually other governments) set the development agenda 5. Views Indigenous cultures as obstacles to development © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  5. 5. In short, the standard approach produces a poorfoundation for sustainable development… External controls © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  6. 6. What is thealternative?The nation-buildingapproach to (economic)development © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  7. 7. The Nation-Building Approach to Development1. Practical self-rule(the nation calls the shots) © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  8. 8. The Nation-BuildingApproach to Development2. Capable governing institutions(back up authority withcompetence) © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  9. 9. 1.0 PREAMBLEWE are the Gitanyow peoples. We have a long-standing and rich oral tradition whichspeaks to all aspects of our lives.This written Constitution must be interpreted and understood in the context of our oralhistory and oral traditions.The Gitanyow peoples are known collectively as the Gitanyow Nation. The GitanyowNation comprises two pdeek, the Lax Gibuu and the Lax Ganeda, organized into eightWilp. These are the Wilp Lax Gibuu of Gwass Hlaam, Wii‟litsxw, Malii, and Haizimsqueand the Wilp Lax Ganeda of Gamlaxyeltxw, Gwinuu, Luuxhon and Watakhayetsxw.The Lax’yip of each Wilp is embedded in the Git’mgan and is rooted in GitanyowAdawaak and Ayuuks. Each Wilp owns and has authority over its respective Lax’yip. TheGitanyow Nation Lax’yip are collectively known as the Gitanyow Territory, and are locatedprimarily in the Nass Watershed. A map of the Gitanyow Territory is attached as Schedule1.The Nation-Building Approach to Development3. Cultural match(governing institutions match community beliefsabout how authority should be organized) © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  10. 10. The Nation-BuildingApproach to Development4. Strategic orientation(decisions are made with long-term priorities in mind) © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  11. 11. The Nation-Building Approach to Development5. Public-spirited leadership(instead of politics as boxing ring where factionsfight to control the goodies) © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  12. 12. Results of theNation-BuildingApproachMore effective access toand use of resourcesIncreased chances ofsustained and self-determined economicdevelopmentA more effective defenseof sovereigntyCommunities – not justeconomies – that work © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  13. 13. None of the characteristics of the Nation-Buildingapproach is something we usually describe as―economic.‖They are all political. In the nation-building approach,development is first and foremost a political problem.Once the political problem is solved, then economicassets begin to pay off. © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  14. 14. In short, the nation building approach provides amore solid foundation for sustainable development… Sustainable Development Leadership Strategic orientation Cultural match—legitimate governing institutions Capable governing institutions Jurisdiction—being in the driver’s seat © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  15. 15. The Nation-Building Approachto Economic Development1. Practical self-rule Then = circa 19922. Capable governing institutions3. Cultural match/legitimate institutions What about now?4. Strategic orientation5. Public-spirited leadership © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  16. 16. The Nation-Building Approachto Economic Development1. Practical self-rule2. Capable governing institutions3. Cultural match/legitimate institutions What are the4. Strategic orientation contemporary concerns that make5. Public-spirited these principles leadership difficult to implement? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  17. 17. Four contemporary tensions inNative nation building 1. Does exercising“practical self-rule” meanall or nothing sovereignty? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  18. 18. Four contemporary tensions inNative nation building 2. Can’t a tribe havecapable institutions while still allowing electedofficials to make businessmanagement decisions? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  19. 19. Four contemporary tensions inNative nation building3. How can a Native nationpursue cultural match in its institutions and practices? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  20. 20. Four contemporary tensions inNative nation building4. How can Native nations stay on a strategic path that looks to the 7th generation? © HPAIED & NNI, 2012
  21. 21. Nation building… Native nation and First Nation business development depends on it Native nation and First nation economic development depends on it Positive social development outcomes depend on it And its intimately tied to Native nation and First nation cultural strength …it’s about building nations and communities that work.

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