Lloyd Omdahl: Indian Country needs a strong economic system

A sign on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Photo by Jimmy Emerson

Lloyd Omdahl, a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota who has questioned the way tribes handle their own affairs and criticized federal oversight of Indian Country, calls for a major rebuilding effort on reservations in order to spur economic development and other opportunities:
A Marshall Plan for reservations would be a great benefit for Native Americans but it would also be good for all of North Dakota to have vibrant economies and societies on reservations.

We have kept Native Americans dependent at a cost that has been staggering for both Native Americans and taxpayers. It will continue to be a chronic tax burden until we start thinking of economic development on reservations as investments rather than expenses.

Europe was a good investment for American taxpayers. Reservations could be a good investment if we would quit offering temporary solutions that prolong dependency instead of funding long-term solutions that would result in self-reliance.

Before a visionary Marshall Plan will work, we all need to overlook the grievances of the past and focus on the future. There is plenty of justification for a victimhood complex but it is time for a new mindset.

Get the Story:
LLOYD OMDAHL: Time for a 'Marshall Plan' for North Dakota reservations (The Grand Forks Herald 7/18)

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