Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
LANSING, MICHIGAN A major task of any American Indian tribe is to build their tribal economies. Michigan Indian tribes are seeking ways to diversify their tribal economies beyond revenue obtained through casino earnings.
Kip Ritchie, Potawatomi Business
With that in mind, some 85 people, representing nine of the twelve American Indians tribes in Michigan, attended the third annual Tribal Economic Forum in Lansing, Michigan on Thursday and Friday at the Radisson Hotel.
“We are excited to be working with Michigan's Indian tribes to grow more and better jobs and retain our youth and talent in Michigan,”
commented Terri Fitzpatrick, Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa, vice president of Tribal Business Development for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Tribal leaders were exposed to an array of presenters who discussed ways to build tribal economies. Various segments of business development were presented from financing to securing governmental contracts and a cautionary presentation by Attorney R. Lance Boldrey, Dykema Gossett. Boldrey cautioned tribal officials to do their due diligence when looking to grow their financial portfolios.
Kip Ritchie, Potawatomi, executive of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation that is owned by the Forest County Potawatomi, based in Crandon, Wisconsin served as the keynote luncheon speaker on Thursday. He provided an overview of how the Forest County Potawatomi began diversifying its economy through purchasing existing companies.
“While our businesses have provided for opportunities for tribal members to obtain jobs, our main objective has been to maintain consistent returns on our investments, ”
Eric Traven, Anishnabe Development
“A job on the reservation is a job in the region,”
stated Eric Traven, President/Chief Executive Officer of Anishnabe Development, who encouraged tribal officials to plan for sustainable cooperative economies.
“Tribes need to look at the needs of the region beyond simply looking of the tribes,”
“We are developing jobs in our area,”
said Lisa McComb, executive director, Northern Shores Loan Fund, Inc, which is a Native American Community Development Financial Institution. Northern Shores Loan Fund was formed for charitable and educational purposes to promote economic and social development for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
Participants heard several presenters discuss the success of Native 8 (a) firms, a Small Business Administration program. Last year Native 8 (a) contractors sold $6.8 billion of goods and services to the federal government, according "A Report on the Economic, Social & Cultural Impacts of the Native 8(a) Program" released by the Native American Contractors Association two weeks ago.
“The federal government is the largest consumer of goods and purchases in the world,”
stated Dennis Worden, legislative director of the Native American Contractors Association.
Three tribal officials representing their tribes described businesses they have developed to diversify their tribal economies.
“One thing we do is work with each tribe on a one by one basis,”
said Fitzpatrick, who organized the economic forum on behalf of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.p>posted May 21, 2012 7:30 am edt
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.