Chapters in the Story of a First Na2ons Renaissance
University of Arizona and Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development IPAC, Victoria, 29 August 2011
In the next 40 minutes or so… 1. A First NaGons renaissance in your country and mine 2. What’s behind it? 3. What are the policy choices now, and what’s the evidence for them? 4. What are the implicaGons/lessons for First NaGons, for Government, for Public AdministraGon?
A Common Percep2on of North America’s Indigenous Peoples • The news is grim: persistent poverty, ill health, social dysfuncGon on reserves • The federal policy history—in both countries —is a history of failure • Indigenous peoples are a burden on taxpayers • Not much works
Ci2zen Potawatomi Na2on
Ci2zen Potawatomi Na2on Tribal headquarters, 1971 Tribal Assets: this trailer, a few acres of land, $550 in the bank
Tribal headquarters, 2007 Tribal Assets: c. $500 million
Yukaana Development CorporaGon Louden Tribal Council Galena, Alaska
• First tribally owned corporaGon chartered under laws of State of Alaska. • Does environmental remediaGon services, asbestos removal, demoliGon, military base operaGons
West Wind Avia,on
Charter air service with 17 aircra[, oﬃces in Regina, Saskatoon, La Ronge. Owned by: • Meadow Lake Tribal Council (25.5%) • Prince Albert Grand Council (25.5%) • West Wind EquiGes (49%)
Prince Albert Grand Council
…the only Aboriginal-‐ owned insurance broker in AtlanGc Canada
…using advanced imaging technologies to turn data into visual representaGons
The Whitecap Dakota First Nation has a record of vigorous, successful economic development.
Dakota Dunes Golf Links Dakota Dunes Hotel Whitecap Trail Business Park Whitecap Trail Gas Bar Tatanka Ranch
Managing: • Forestry • Fisheries • Wildlife • Environment
In short: The last three decades have seen signs of signiﬁcant, posiGve change in the economic condiGons of First NaGons across North America.
Is the change only economic? No.
It’s happening in culture… Osoyoos Indian Band Desert Cultural Center Cherokee Language Immersion
Siksika NaGon Warrior SocieGes
The Sensisyusten House of Learning is a Group 1 Independent School with the BC Ministry of Education, offering kindergarten to grade five education with strong culture and language components.
In health care…
Jemez Pueblo Health Care
Mississippi Choctaw Health Clinic
A CiGzen Potawatomi DenGst
In family welfare… The Chickasaw Nation’s Chuka Chukmasi Home Ownership Program makes home loans to any enrolled Chickasaw anywhere in the US. But to get a loan, you have to pass the nation’s own courses on home buying, credit and budgets, home maintenance, and responsible borrowing.
In the provision of jusGce…
Mohawk Council of Akwesasne After years of conflict, the MCA and the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs are working together. Among other things, they have built a justice system that both asserts their jurisdiction and provides justice for their people and others on their lands.
So what’s behind it? • Gekng government grants? • Having a great locaGon? • Having educated people? • Natural resource endowments? • Picking the right projects? • Partnering with Big Business? • Community support? • Luck?
All these things help. But more than twenty years of research point to four factors that maler more: • JurisdicGon (real decision-‐making power) • Capable governance… • …that reﬂects Indigenous ideas of how authority should be organized and exercised (cultural match) • Leadership
Osoyoos Â Indian Â Band Â
OIB s businesses bring in more than 7 times as much money each year as OIB receives from the Canadian government
What s the key? Among other things: in the mid-1990s they put in place bullet-proof and rigorously enforced financial practices and policies. In short: governance
What has been the key to the Whitecap Dakota First Nation’s development success? Governance – legislation, laws, policies – and their rigorous enforcement Constitution Land Code Business Licensing Bylaw
Careful use of taxing power Responsible partnerships
The Policy Choice • AssimilaGon – Promote the integraGon of Indigenous people into the mainstream, as individuals. “We’re all Canadians” (or Australians, or Americans) • Self-‐determinaGon – Give NaGve naGons the substanGve power to determine their own paths
Three countries, Three policies Australia
The federal policy of collecGve self-‐ determinaGon—of empowering NaGve naGons to make decisions for themselves— which has been in place since the late 1970s, is the only policy in more than a century to produce sustained improvement in socio-‐ economic condiGons on American Indian lands
For exampleâ€Ś Percent Change in Real Median Household Income: 1990-2000 Outside Oklahoma Statistical Areas 40 36%
10 4% 0
Gaming Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000
Total U.S. - All Races
For exampleâ€Ś Child Poverty Rate All Indian Areas (including statistical areas) 60 55% 47% 44% 40
Gaming Source: U.S. Census 1990, 2000
Total U.S. - All Races
The Coeur dâ€™Alene Tribe (Idaho) has partnered with the off-reserve city of Coeur dâ€™Alene to jointly build and manage a medical and wellness center that has improved the quality of health services available to both populations.
Owned and operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Salish Kootenai College today draws students from more than 100 Indian naGons—and alracts non-‐NaGves as well
In the 2000â€™s the Red Lake Band of Chippewa partnered with federal and state entities to bring the walleye back to its Native waters from the brink of collapse
White Mountain Apache Tribe
Partnered with McDonnellDouglas to produce parts for the Apache helicopter for the US Dept of Defence
Bethel Acres, Oklahoma
The community asked the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to provide it with legal and judicial services
Implica2ons/Lessons • For First NaGons • For Government • For Public AdministraGon
For First Na2ons • Push the jurisdicGonal envelope: “Just do it” • But only if you can back it up with capable governing insGtuGons. The challenge is to govern well. • Leadership is important. But it’s the insGtuGons—and the tradiGons behind them —that last over Gme.
For Government • Get out of the way. Recognize the opportunity costs of the Indian Act • Give First NaGons real power • But invest in First NaGons’ insGtuGonal capacity • Abandon one-‐size-‐ﬁts-‐all fantasies about how First NaGons should govern
Laguna Pueblo There are six villages, each with representation on a central council. Laguna citizens describe these councilors as “elected officials.” But there are no contested, western-style elections at the Pueblo. Each village gathers and, in its wisdom and by processes not written down, chooses who it wants to serve. As one councilor says, “When you become a councilor, you’re not given power. You’re given responsibility.”
Six officers are chosen by the senior spiritual leader each year.
• The Governor has secular responsibiliGes, the War Captain has spiritual responsibiliGes • Anyone appointed to one of the six posiGons is a member of the legislature—the Council of Principales—for life • To the outside, the Governor looks like the most important person, but inside, the War Captain is. The Governor’s job is to protect the sacred core of Pueblo life from the outside This way of governing—partly ancient, partly an adjustment —allows Cochiti to deal effectively with the outside world but still maintain its own ways, “to protect the things we cherish”
Navajo NaGon The Navajo Nation has no written constitution. But it has created an innovative court system that relies on both Navajo and western methods • Trial courts, peacemaker forums, appeals courts • Reliance in all courts on Navajo customary law The Nation is now working to apply lessons from this plural court system to other branches of government. The system addresses the needs and culture of Navajos but (thanks to documentation) is increasingly easy for nonNavajos to accept and understand.
Gitanyow Gitanyow First Nation governance is split, taking advantage of two very different kinds of leadership Traditional territory, land management, resource stewardship, culture
Council of Hereditary Chiefs
Elected Chief & Council
Administration of social programs, dealings with Indian and Northern Affairs
For Public Administra2on • SGck to best principles (e.g., the rule of law, which is an Indigenous tradiGon) but recognize that best pracGces may be situaGonally diverse • Invest in understanding what works in First NaGons sekngs, with First NaGons cultures, and in providing professional preparaGon for those—especially First NaGons ciGzens—who want to work in those sekngs
A First Nations Renaissance
Presentation Copyright 2011 Board of Regents, University of Arizona