|Todd Theringer urges tribes to explore economic development opportunities across the world:
The Turkish Ambassador, Namik Tan, on November 12, 2013, presented the very first development assistance grant given by the Turkish Agency for Cooperation and Collaboration (TIKA) to an American Indian tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.
The Turkish Ambassador talked about the kinship the Turkish people feel they have with American Indians based on an ancient connection in Central Asia. The Warm Springs Chief, Joseph Moses, thanked the Turkish Government for giving $200,000 to the tribe to pay for a water tank at a new elementary school that the tribe has been asking the Bureau of Indian Education/Bureau of Indian Affairs to build for the past 20 years. He talked about children spending 80 minutes a day on a school bus to be able to attend elementary school. This new school will reduce the need for long commutes and help the parents in the local community to participate in the education of their children.
This small grant from a foreign country is a sign that tribes should seek out international development assistance. If the tribes are truly sovereign nations, then there is no reason that they cannot accept foreign economic assistance. Venezuela’s CITGO has been providing free heating oil for the past 9 years to over 60 American Indian tribes. There is no reason for the tribes to wait around for Washington to help meet the needs of their citizens. The Bureau of Indian Affairs budget has remained about the same as during the Bush Administration as under the Obama Administration, despite Obama’s willingness to consult with the tribes.
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Indian Nations are Eligible for Foreign Development Assistance
(Native News Online 12/17)
In the Loop: Turkey donates $200K to Warm Springs Tribes (11/12)