Harold Monteau: Tribes should do more for Indian business

"The Reservation Economic Summit, RES 2012, conference and trade show I recently attended experienced record attendance according to NCAIED (National Center for Indian Enterprise Development). It’s satisfying to see the Indian small business exhibitors and the tribally owned business exhibitors. There was an absence of Alaska Native Corporation exhibitors. Mystifying, when you consider the amount of money they make as Indian Preference and 8(a) preference contractors. NACA (Native American Contractors Association), their DC advocacy organization, was there. You would think the ANC’s would support NCAIED and the RES 2012 Indian/Tribal Business Trade Show. There were a few NACA members present, Laguna, Winnebago, Chugach to name three.

The RES Conference started out with the NCAIED Awards Reception. Walt Lamar of Lamar Associates, won Indian Business Person of The Year. Some may remember Walt from his FBI career. He now runs his own consulting and training business with an emphasis on tribal law enforcement, gang intervention, drug enforcement, gaming enforcement, surveillance and security and more. His business partner, Steve Juneau, is also a long-time Indian law enforcement veteran. Walt ended his acceptance speech by reminding Indian Tribes and Tribal Businesses, including casinos, they should be holding their managers accountable for buying services and goods from Indian owned businesses. (“If you’re not buying 50 percent of your goods and services from Indian owned business, SHAME ON YOU!”) There was a collective roar from the audience. Walt is Blackfeet/Wichita and Steve is Blackfeet. (I had a good meeting at their booth about Browning Indian basketball, an economic force in its own right.)"

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Harold Monteau: NCAIED and NIGA Partnership on the Right Track (Indian Country Today 3/14)

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