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How North America Indigenous Can Move to Tribal Globalization Economies

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How North America Indigenous Can Move to Tribal Globalization Economies

By

Terrance H. Booth, Sr. – Nishwilgun – Tsimshian

In both Canada and United States of America it is readily noted the intense aggression of both governments toward Alaska Native, First Nations and Native Americans creating detrimental policies that does not come near to bring any realistic solutions to the economic, social and living conditions of all North America’s Indigenous People. In the President Johnson administration the supposed War of Poverty was implemented under his tenure as president. [1] Forty-nine years later poverty of the Alaska Native and Native Americans is high as 39% living in poverty. [2]

Poverty has not been eliminated among Alaska Native or Native Americans. In today’s 2013 setting and we have not heard about it in MSNBC, CBS, FOX about how the current GOP Sequestration has disgracefully impact the Alaska Native and Native American Tribes much deeper and harder than the Blacks or Hispanic population.

“The extremely high rates of poverty among American Indian and Alaska Native, or AI/AN, communities were at the forefront of President Barack Obama’s mind as he addressed the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference earlier this month. Referencing the deep and chronic nature of the problem, the president put it in stark terms: “That’s more than a statistic, that’s a moral call to action. We’ve got to do better.” According to the most recent Census Bureau estimates, nearly one in three AI/AN people—29.1 percent—lived below the federal poverty line in 2012, which stood at $23,492 for a family of four. For AI/AN peoples living on a reservation, the rate is a far-higher 38.6 percent. This compares to the overall U.S. poverty rate of 15.9 percent.” [3]

The GOP Sequestration has an adverse impact upon Indian Country, USA with major cuts in several Native Programs. “The federal government has a unique obligation to improve these outcomes and create a sustainable path to prosperity for AI/AN peoples, but it has instead chosen to continue a disappointing legacy of seriously underfunding critical programs. The Indian Health Service, for instance, is currently only funded to meet about 56 percent of its need, despite being the primary provider of health care for many tribal communities. Most AI/AN children go to public schools, but many of these schools do not have a reliable tax base and disproportionately rely on Impact Aid funding, which makes up for the lack of funding on and near reservations and military bases. The Impact Aid program has not been fully funded since 1960.

On top of this past underfunding, health, education, and other areas of service are subject to sequestration. By allowing reckless across-the-board cuts to go into effect for fiscal year 2013, Congress is unfairly putting deficit reduction on the backs of the approximately 115,000 AI/AN students affected by Impact Aid education cuts; the 25,000 AI/AN children hurt by Head Start cuts; the 1.7 million AI/AN peoples hurt by the $119 million removed from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or BIA, budget; the 88,000 AI/AN students in tribal colleges losing programs and courses; and the 2.1 million people affected by the $220 million cut to the Indian Health Service. These FY 2013 cuts will be exacerbated if Congress does not cancel or replace sequestration in FY 2014.” [4] The Alaska Native and Native American hardest hit under current GOP controlled US House of Representatives yet it is not heard in the major news media only in Indian Country, USA news media. So the do nothing GOP has not responded to the will of the American Peoples making hostile actions against all the poor of this country.

Our Canadian Tribal Relatives under their current Prime Minister, Stephan Harper, First Nations tribes face the elimination of their tribal status and termination of them being Native.

“On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:
1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;
2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations. “ [5]

So both in Canada and USA Governments lot of aggressive legislation toward the Indigenous of North America even with treaty rights being weaken by both governments and rapidly becoming the disappearing race with not even the major media happening; however, they are going strong with other races of America but the First People being a major part of this country seemingly have no voice in what happens at the executive branch of government and some of the agencies move on without any consultation with the First People of North America.

In book titled, Great Documents in American Indian History, edited by Wayne Moquin with Charles Van Doren, in the introduction these words are said about American Indians, “the condition of the American Indians in the United States is therefore a measure of national failure amidst many successes, (writer says some successes) and therefore a continuing impetus to the attainment of our own pretentions. But Indians are not just symbols; they are also people-an inherently diverse group with a culture, heritage, humor, self-consciousness and outlook that will not be dissipated by evanescent notions of a melting pot. They will rightfully insist on maintaining their own identity as a contribution to vital cultural pluralism.” [6]

With the governments of Canada and United States of America are insensitive to the social and economic needs of the Indigenous of North America. Former President, Jefferson Keel, of National Congress of American Indians stated in his speech the “State of Indian Nations Address 2013,” “Congress is considering ways to address the remaining FY 2013 spending bills, sequestration, and the FY 2014 budget, and NCAI urges policymakers to protect investments for tribal nations while Congress looks to reduce the deficit. The approach to deficit reduction has so far been unbalanced. Discretionary programs have contributed $1.5 trillion in spending cuts from the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution, the bipartisan Budget Control Act,
and the bipartisan American Taxpayer Relief Act, while revenues have contributed just $600 billion. Additional cuts in discretionary programs would put the health, education, safety, and security of all Americans at risk.” [7] Mr. Keel further remarks, “This is the task at hand, to move together toward a more perfect union. To strengthen our trust relationship with the United States….Tribal nations have worked with the United States to uphold this promise. That trust, ultimately, is the principle that must guide us—all of us—as we go forward and do right by all of our children and grandchildren. And when we do, we’ll always be able to say, the State of Indian Nations is strong, and the future prosperity of America is secure.” [8]

So we see political action that hinders prosperity, lessens opportunities for economic growth, increases joblessness, and continues to keep Natives in a state of poverty for all of Indian Country, USA. It is up to us the Indigenous of North America to come forth with utilizing our tribal strengths, our cultures, our tribal heritages, our Indigenous ways of cultural survival and create a new tribal economic paradigm with globalization that puts us Natives in touch with the other prosperous Indigenous of the globe. How can this happen?

If we did an economic analysis of our tribal casinos what will be revealed? All tribal casinos have restaurants and this means purchasing of several food and meat items. How many tribal casinos work with their own tribes in agriculture for fresh vegetables? The new Navajo tribal casino gives us a revenue earning example: ‘The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) in conjunction with Labatt Food Service and Navajo Nation Leadership are celebrating the successful first year of the Navajo Beef Program. The program features local Navajo ranchers raising high quality beef, Labatt Food Service distributing it and NNGE purchasing it to serve in its resort, casinos and restaurants. Since its launch last November, the program has generated half a million dollars for Navajo ranchers and their communities.” [9] Training should take place to give all tribal members meaningful job opportunities.

As it is some casino employees are on limited hours and on part-time status and this writer notices high turn-over taking place. If casinos are on the high end of creating billions of dollars why does it not filter down to the workers who are working part time status or have a share in the tribal casino profits it is the workers who make or break the business of operating a Native casino would it not be wise to provide an incentive or even recognition of the work being accomplished by the casino workers.? If one studies the workings of a casino one would see several non-Native companies prospering off of the tribal casinos like in electronics of a casino, maintenance of a tribal casino, in the up keep of a tribal casino, in the landscaping of a casino, the Chefs, Cooks and Cook assistance not 100% Native Workers means the revenues earned by non-Native worker the dollars flows off the reservation and prospering their neighbors. Goods and services of a Native Casino is not all done by Native Companies and again means dollars flow into near-by communities prospering non-Native communities instead of prospering the Native Communities. Yes, job opportunities are there at Native casinos and the Native casinos should make it their goal to strive toward 100% Native workers and 100% Native companies providing goods and supplies to the Native Casino. This not only increases revenues of the casino but creates a better economy for the reservation setting because more Native People will be put to work.

Among the Tsimshian Nation during the expansion of the population of British Columbia this particular tribe prospered and was in the very center of commerce. In fact, one Tsimshian Hereditary Chief had nine monopolies and had command of the area and even negotiated terms and conditions for the seafood canneries of the area for the Tsimshian workers did lot of salmon cannery work.

Since governments of Canada and USA are failing us it is time we Native People join forces and see how we can built a tribal economy utilizing our own wisdom, tribal strengths, tribal knowledge and academia join forces with North America’s Indigenous seeking out by regions how to prosper each region of North America.

Our relatives in Canada among the First Nations Peoples now have gone on two trade missions to China and came away with millions of dollars, joint ventures and established working partners where by the Chinese Companies and First Nations are now both prospering and some companies in Vancouver, British Columbia had a Round Table Discussion on how further steps can be taken to create international trade and create economic opportunities in the development and discussion on the trade needs of China.

We have successes across Indian Country, USA and with the buying power of Alaska Native and Native American Peoples according to the Selig Center: “The Selig Center projects that the nation’s Native American buying power will rise from $19.6 billion in 1990, to $40 billion in 2000, to $67.7 billion in 2010, and to $90.37 billion in 2015. Native American buying power in 2010 will be 69 percent greater than in 2000.” [10] Some Native Companies have full realized the buying power of Native People and are prospering. It’s time for us to prosper Indian Country, USA for we see non-responsive governments both in Canada and USA.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Poverty
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_social_statistics_of_Native_Americans
3. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/news/2013/11/26/80056/seq...
4. Ibid
5. http://intercontinentalcry.org/harper-launches-major-first-nations-termi...
6. Great Documents in American Indian History, edited by Wayne Moquin with Charles Van Doren, Introduction, page xvi
7. http://www.ncai.org/Securing_Our_Futures_Final.pdf
8. Ibid
9. http://new.pitchengine.com/pitches/4779e174-2c31-43be-9c72-8aadb423dfde
10. http://www.theshelbyreport.com/2011/10/28/native-american-buying-power/

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