This course presents the five critical keys to successful nation building, and begins to explore why these each of these keys is so important to sustainable economic and community development. It examines the challenges that Native nations face in building diversified, sustainable economies and the ways some nations have overcome those challenges. It explores what a nation needs to create an environment that fosters successful nation-owned and citizen-owned businesses.
By the end of this course, students will understand:
Native Nation Building
The basic political and socioeconomic challenges facing Native nations today
Why the Standard Approach is a failed recipe for successful Native nation building
The five components of the Nation-Building Approach and why Native nations who choose this approach are better able to achieve their development goals
The evolution of economic development in Indian country
The goal of economic development for Native nations
What a "thick" economy looks like, and why it is necessary
The differences between a dependent economy and a productive economy
The key building blocks of a productive economy
The importance of insulating business from politics
The separated model versus the council-run model: Which works better?
The role of transparency in successful nation-owned enterprises
Appropriate roles of councils, boards and CEOs
The key foundations of good corporate governance
The many economic, social, cultural and political benefits of small businesses
The fundamental challenges starting and growing a business on Native nation lands
The cultural and historical roots of those challenges
The critical role that a Native nation's governance environment plays in small business development
The ways Native nation governments either intentionally or inadvertently discourage small business development
Proven strategies Native nations can employ to foster businesses owned by their citizens
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Native Nation Building
What is nation building?
What explains the success that some Native nations have had in building sustainable, self-determined economies?
What are the fundamental differences between the Standard Approach and the Nation-Building Approach, and why does one work so much better than the other?
Why are capable governing institutions so critical to successful nation building?
What role does and should culture play in rebuilding Native nations?
What type of economy (dependent or productive) does your nation currently have?
Has/how has your nation's economy evolved?
What types of nation-owned and citizen- owned enterprises currently exist on nation lands? Beyond the nation's lands?
What is the top priority of the enterprises that your nation owns and operates?
Do your nation's nation-owned enterprises more closely resemble the council-run model or the separated model?
With respect to your nation's nation-owned enterprises, are the roles of your nation's elected officials, enterprise CEO, enterprise board of directors, and enterprise managers clear?
How many citizen-owned businesses currently exist on your nation? What kinds of businesses are they?
Do the nation's citizens currently have opportunities to purchase needed goods and services on the nation? Or do they need to leave the nation to obtain them?
Does the culture of your nation support value individual success? Is the entrepreneurial spirit viewed positively by community members?
Does your nation currently charge a tax on goods and services sold by small businesses on the reservation? How is that tax structured?
If a citizen of your nation wanted to start a business on nation land, what formal process would they have to follow? How long does that process typically take?
What is the state of your nation's physical infrastructure? Is it adequate to support citizen-owned businesses?
Does your nation's government provide any sort of financial or technical support for citizens who own their own business or who are thinking about starting one? Or are there other organizations working locally that provide that support?
The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI), housed at
The University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, serves as a self-determination, governance, and development resource for Indigenous nations in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.
NNI was founded in 2001 by the Morris K. Udall Foundation (now Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation) and The University of Arizona.
Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI)
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
The University of Arizona
803 East First Street, Tucson, AZ 85719-4831
phone: 520.626.0664 | fax: 520.626.3664 | e-mail: email@example.com