Opinion: California tribes working toward economic development

"In the past 15+ years, Northern California Tribes have emerged as significant political powers and economic contributors to the region. Several, including the Smith River Rancheria, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe, and Yurok Tribe are self-governance Tribes. They provide direct services to their citizens and are integrally involved in regional, state, and national decision-making bodies concerned with regulation and use of public lands, transportation, infrastructure, police services, healthcare, education, and/or natural resources.

The majority of Tribes make significant contributions to the broader community as well, often in the form of monetary contributions to non-profits, police, and emergency services; developing community infrastructure; providing healthcare and social services; and by leveraging Tribal dollars effectively. Tribes are also major employers in the region. Of the top 50 businesses in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties (by numbers employed) Tribally-owned and operated businesses comprise nearly 20 percent.

Despite these considerable strides in economic development and governance, there continues to be a significant need in Indian Country to ameliorate extremely high rates of unemployment and poverty. The 2005-2009 American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau demonstrate that it is the most remote rural communities that face the biggest economic challenges. It also is the remote communities of Del Norte, Humboldt, and Siskiyou Counties with the largest American Indian populations where poverty is the most pervasive"

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Megan Rocha: Considerations for successful tribal economic development (The Eureka Times Standard 7/22)

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