Doors of Tribal Economic Opportunities are Now Open
By Terrance H. Booth, Sr. (Nishwilgun) Tsimshian Nation
We Natives see on a daily bases all the turmoil taking place with America’s economy, much economic and political insecurities, lot of doubts generated by the elected of Washington, DC, seeing reduction of much needed programs for Alaska Native and Native American, and our advocacy Native Organizations keeping very vigilant at the Nation’s Capital on the progress of Indian Affairs legislation that have direct impact upon our very lives and existence.
But across Indian Country, USA we see Natives hard at work making a difference for the good of their tribal peoples. We have many successes taking place across Indian Country, USA with Native Companies or Companies being listed among Fortune 500 to 5000 companies. 
Recently in the news noted 57 California Tribes joining forces to create biofuel. This effort has to be a first for Indian Country, USA where tribes taking steps to improve their tribal economies. What does this mean for the 57 Tribes of California? “Native American tribal lands have “enormous potential for renewable energy,” according to a study by Global Energy Network Institute. Enter the Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), a group of 57 Native American tribes, and its recently announced agreement with BioJet and Tartoosh Environmental to develop bioenergy and biofuels projects on tribal lands in California. The agreement is for 10 to 15 years and would provide up to $3 billion in funding. Called the “Thunderbird” project, a press release by BioJet describes it as a “multifeedstock, multi-technology set of projects.” The announcement also states that Thunderbird is “seen to create significant economic activity, jobs, and capital investment opportunities in the field of renewables.” CERT, BioJet and Tartoosh have each agreed to donate 10 percent of their net profits to the CERT TRIBES Education Program.  This particular opportunity can work into the creation of Tribal Energy Parks where the tribes create alternative energy to sell to utility companies. For by year 2016 all of America will need 70% electricity. After all every tribe in Indian Country, USA has biomass, solar, water, and wind that can be converted into alternative energy. Already through the Department of Energy several tribes have done energy feasibility studies to see what will work for their particular reservation setting. With America dragging its feet on implementing alternative energy projects tribes can take the lead and become the alternative energy czars.
In his book, Dr. Roy McAlister, writes, “Our current economy drains natural resources and pollutes the environment It can be restructured to provide prosperity without pollution by replacing fossil fuels with energy from renewable sources. Hydrogen is the safest most convenient and cost-effective way to deliver renewable energy. Hydrogen runs the stars, provides energy for the tiniest to the largest forms of life on Earth, and it can help Civilization become much more friendly and willing to make the appropriate investments need to achieve future prosperity. 
"We also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history."  With the President giving positive steps to develop and implement economic development opportunities for Indian Country, USA this is an opportunity to advance our economic development projects.
Across Indian Country, USA we are beginning to see tribal collaboration take place between tribes on specific goals and objectives to prosper their tribe and resolve their social and economic status. Tribes are in a very unique to advance economically for over several years Alaska Native companies and corporations have been making their mark moving up among the Fortune 500 to 5000 level. New Federal regulations make an even more attractive opportunity with tribes having the ability to purchase non-tribal lands and convert these purchased lands into tribal trust lands. They can partnership with near-by cities and towns bordering the reservation settings and upon request to the Secretary of the Interior request that the lands purchased becomes Tribal Trust Lands. With these purchased lands comes the tax incentives that any business or corporation would greatly benefit as well as the Tribes finally meeting their social and economic plights with creation of new businesses and job creation. Information on Native Tax Incentives, from Internal Revenue Service, Department of Treasury. 
“In June 2011, the President launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies and skills that will support a dynamic domestic advanced manufacturing sector that creates high quality jobs and encourages companies to invest in the United States.”  In collaboration with the Alaska Native and Native American Tribes Corporate America can work with Tribes to develop a working partnership for several tribes have set aside lands for commercial or industrial development? These lands set aside for commercial or industrial development come with the tax incentives. Or in partnership with Tribes Corporate American can purchase lands and have them designate these lands tribal trust lands. These purchased lands once designated tribal trust lands will come with tax incentives. Tribes can request lands purchase be declared Enterprise Zones that bring even more tax incentives. Collaborating with Tribes of Indian Country, USA will not only provide economic solutions for America but will bring improved economies for the tribes. The doors of tribal economic opportunity have been opened and it is time for Tribes to prosper.
3. McAlister, Roy, The Solar Hydrogen Civilization, Chapter two, page 18, 2003
4. President Barrack Obama commenting on Native Americans