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Radio: Economic development at Cheyenne River

"STEVE TRIPOLI: Let's start with a quick lesson in the Lakota Sioux language from tribe member Tanya Fiddler.

TANYA FIDDLER: "Icahya woecun. The place to grow."

On the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Icahya woecun stands for a multi-faceted approach to launching businesses.

The philosophy is that startup loans aren't enough. You have to grow business through training, follow-up support, incubators and more.

And it's working. Forty-five new Native-owned businesses have been launched here in recent years.

GILBERT: This is my vanity, this is where I cut hair, do perms . . .

In a run-down trailer park in the reservation town of Eagle Butte Eva Gilbert has a hair and nail salon going.

The business is new. A local program called Four Bands Community Fund gave her a startup loan. That was only the start.

GILBERT: They provided a lot of technical assistance, like when I was settin' up my computer. We're working on setting up a virtual hair-styling thing on my computer to where people can come in and see themselves in a hairdo before they get it.""

Get the Story:
Native Americans get business smart (American Public Media 12/20)

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