Duane Champagne: BIA's economic development challenges

"Maybe you’ve heard: The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs has a deputy for policy and economic development. In recent years, that office has played an increasingly significant part in tribal government planning and goals.

A good thing, too. Because if reservation communities can’t continue to enter into the marketplace and create wealth and income for tribal members, they will remain impoverished and at the mercy of the federal government.

Just consider the numbers. According to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate for reservation Indians in 2010 was 28.4 percent, while the poverty rate for all Americans was 15.3 percent. Poverty rates on some reservations, like the San Carlos and Pine Ridge, can be more than 50 percent."

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Duane Champagne: Ramping Up Economic Development Policy for Tribes (Indian Country Today 2/15)

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