Brenda Golden: Giving thanks to Indian givers
"Last week news sources reported that tribes in Oklahoma had given $105 Million to the State from casino revenues. This represented a 23% increase from that given in the previous year. In a time of financial woes, companies closing, layoffs, and furloughs, this is great news for the state government. But in reality, this just scratches the surface of what Oklahoma tribes contribute and have contributed to the world.

Casinos are but one resource of tribal revenues and most tribal nations donate to their local communities in a number of ways. Not only do tribal nations provide employment to residents of every color and nationality, those employed spend their pay in their local community and in the state. Add in the taxes that those residents pay that is even more income for the city, county and state. It is safe to assume that up to 75% of every dollar earned in the local community is spent in the same community and then re-spent and re-spent, adding to the base economy as a multiplier. There are some casinos and tribal enterprises that are in rural locations that are that base in a place that otherwise would have little to no economic base.

Tribal Nations may or may not give out a per capita payment from the revenues of tribal enterprises to their tribal citizens. Some choose to re-invest those revenues in to more capital, land, ventures and economic development. Many have Social Services programs that provide school supplies, clothing, letter jackets, senior trips, and other special expenditures for children and youth in schools. They contribute vehicles, books, supplies, buildings, improvements, and equipment to local schools, churches, fire departments and police departments. Roads and bridges are another area that tribal nations may improve, repair or build to the benefit of a community as a whole. Community developments, land development, economic development, are all areas that tribal governments are striving to make gains for the purpose of making a solid base for the future. There are many areas that tribal nations give and serve not only their own citizens but all citizens of the state.

American Indians have always been a giving people. Following is a compilation of data found on the internet by searching for contributions made by Native Americans/American Indians"

Get the Story:
Brenda Golden: Why We Should Give Thanks to the Indian Givers Everyday (The Native American Community Examiner 7/17)

Related Stories:
Golden: Slow progress for Oklahoma Indians (6/17)
Brenda Golden: What change means to an Indian person (4/25)