Russell Begaye: Tribes face obstacles to economic development

Tribal leaders, Indian entrepreneurs and federal officials are meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week for the National RES Reservation Economic Summit. Photo from National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development / Facebook

With the National RES Reservation Economic Summit kicking off this week, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye offers four ways to boost economic development in Indian Country:
This week, many tribes from across the country will gather in Las Vegas for the Res 2016 convention, to celebrate business successes, seek out new business opportunities and find innovative ways to get around common barriers many of us face. Some will look for economic development opportunities in Indian Country, such as energy and e-commerce, and others will seek out networking opportunities, teaming prospects and attend business development sessions.

Many tribes across Indian country face the same barriers we do: cumbersome bureaucratic barriers that undermine our capacity to develop a sustainable economy on tribal land. The federal government can do four things to alleviate the burden.

First, it could alleviate the burdens of regulation that hinder economic development.

Second, infrastructure and economic development go hand-in-hand with housing, education and health care facilities construction. Such infrastructure must be fully funded, rather than funding them over several years, which drives up costs.

Third, Congress can eliminate dual taxation by eliminating state taxation on tribal lands. Fourth, a sustainable economy requires a highly educated work force.

Get the Story:
Russell Begaye: Navajo Nation making huge economic strides (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 3/20)

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