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Prosperity within Reach for Alaska Native and Native American Tribes

Prosperity within Reach for Alaska Native and Native American Tribes
Terrance H. Booth, Sr. – (Nishwilgun) Tsimshian Nation
Under 44 presidents of the USA several Alaska Native and Native American Tribes still remain in poverty at the 28% level. Poverty among the national media is not fully know one example of the silence of the news media MSNBC at the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty only Blacks and White people were mention. Yet the current president acknowledged the poverty rate of Indian Country, USA. With the Federal Government with its availability of federal funding we Natives still remain in poverty, under educated, no jobs on Indian Reservations, American Corporations would rather outsource than look close at home the policies and regulations giving Indian Country way wide variety of Tax Incentives for businesses or corporation to locate their businesses on tribal lands. The tax incentives:
Other Tax Incentives:
Federal Indian Investment and Employment Tax Incentives
Accelerated Depreciation of Property on Indian Reservations:
Section 168(j) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that certain “qualified Indian reservation property” (excluding gaming property) is eligible for accelerated depreciation. For example:
– 22 year recovery period for non–residential real property (such as a new building), normally depreciable over a 39–year period of off-reservation businesses,
– 4 year recovery period for certain machinery, normally depreciable over a seven year period for off-reservation businesses.
Indian Employment Credit
Section 45A of the Internal Revenue Code provides that employers of Native American “qualified employees” (whose annual wages fall below $30,000) are eligible for a federal tax credit of 20 percent for up to $20,000 of the employee’s wages and health insurance costs. [1]
What do Tribes of Indian Country USA have in place already to prosper? Themselves! Look at the buying power of Native Americans: “Native Americans’ buying power has increased from $19.6 billion in 1990 to $87.3 billion in 2010, and is projected to climb to $147.7 billion in 2017.” [2] To put it in simple words by buying from our own Alaska Native or Native American Companies or Corporations we will begin to prosper ourselves as Native Communities. What does buying form our own Native Companies or Corporations do? If the Company or Corporation is located on or near a Indian Reservation setting we not only prosper the Native Company or Corporation we will have direct contribution of revenue distributed within tribal lands and we will begin to see our tribal economies start to prosper.
Look at the economic contribution of Indian Gaming for 2012;
in 2012, U.S. commercial casinos:
• employed 332,075 people
• Paid wages of $13.2 billion
• Contributed $8.60 billion in direct gaming taxes
• earned $37.34 billion in gross gaming revenue [3]
This writer truly believes that buying local from their own tribal or Native businesses by the Native American Casinos the can even become a greater economic force for we not only keep revenues among ourselves as Natives and spending local means within 100 mile radius of our reservation settings and we as Natives have several Native Businesses that would readily desire to become Native Vendors for any Native Casino. A huge portion of the $37.34 Billion dollars can stay within our Native Settings not only bring increased revenues to existing Native Casinos but will readily grow our Indian Reservation Settings. This same process can be replicated by tribal governments who spend revenues for goods and services, office supplies, contractors, tribal entities spend much just to support their services to their tribal members. Again, tribal governments buying local will readily see their local economies begin to prosper. Dollars spent with non-Native companies the dollars spent leaves the reservation setting and we prosper non-Native companies and not our own Native Companies. Let us reverse this and buy from our own Native Companies and with the buying power of Natives will be $147 Billion we can virtually rid ourselves of poverty and become major contributors to greater society.
Prospering as Tribes is very possible look at the Mississippi Choctaw Tribe: Beginning in 1979, the tribal council worked on a variety of economic development initiatives, first geared toward attracting industry to the reservation. They had many people available to work, natural resources and no taxes. Industries have included automotive parts, greeting cards, direct mail and printing, and plastic-molding. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is one of the state's largest employers, running 19 businesses and employing 7,800 people. [4] This tribe when from poverty to becoming one of the largest employers in their state.
Where are some of the tribal lands open for business for commercial or industrial development:
Listing of Tribes with Industrial or Commercial Parks:
1. Coyote Business Park, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, Washington State [5]
2. Tulalip Tribe, Quil Ceda Village, Tulalip, Washington [6]
3. Pima Center, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community [7]
4. Mahnomen Industrial Park, White Earth Reservation [8]
5. Gila River Indian Community Industrial Parks [9]
Conclusion: “In his book, titled Tribes, Joel Kotkin talks about the strong prevalence of tribalism on the 21st century. In the book, the author starts with defining what he means by the word “tribalism”. The author then picks up 5 globally distributed ethnic tribal groups namely the Jews, British, Japanese, Chinese and the Indians and goes on to analyze each of these groups, in terms of evolution of the tribes, the prominent characteristics of each tribe, how they became more prominent in the modern world with the end of cold war and with the national boundaries getting more permeable. The author finally makes and attempt to predict how these ethnic groups will evolve and which of these groups will dominate the world going forward. The author believes that ethnicity will be the defining factor in evolution of global economy.” [10]
Conversely, Alaska Native and Native American can become the emerging economic powerhouse by joining forces and collectively work together to specifically develop a new tribal economies for all of Indian Country, USA. Fully supporting tribal or Native owned business, establish a nationwide Native Network to see what is working for all Natives and keep updated on educational innovations that can tailor prosperous Tribes. Re-directing Native giving of the Native Casinos to advance all of Indian Country, USA to establish 100% tribal employment for all tribal entities including Native Casinos. Focus on developing Native professionals in every field of tribal government and its tribal entities to advance and promote tribal expertise and professionalism in all Native entities to make further advances in the development and elimination of poverty in all of Indian Country, USA. Prosperity is within our reach it is re-directing and buying from our own tribal people who have established successful Native Companies. Let’s do this for the future generation of our Tribal Peoples.
2. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, the Multicultural Economy 2012 (Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, 2012)

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