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MARCH 2016 7.95 Gary Davis Tribal Leaders think Beyond Gaming THE 21ST-CENTURY VOICE FOR BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND PROFITABLE ECONOMIC MARCH 2016 1 OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN COUNTRY 1 9 0 0 A T T O R N E Y S 3 8 L O C A T I O N S W O R L D W I D E Greenberg Traurig s American Indian Law Practice Group is a multidisciplinary legal and governmental affairs team. We strive to provide wide-ranging legal representation for litigation transactional and public policy matters concerning Native Americans Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Our Proven Track Record The GT American Indian Law Practice Group is equipped to provide a wide range of legal services to our clients. We deliver targeted legal and public policy counsel to Tribal governments associated business enterprises and other entities and to companies governments and non-profit organizations working with Tribes or investing in related commercial opportunities. GT s practice encompasses the full diversity of Tribes as self-governing sovereigns engaged in wide-ranging business endeavors nationally and internationally embracing virtually the entire range of litigation and transactional matters. Jennifer H. Weddle (co-chair) 303.572.6565 weddlej Loretta A. Tuell 202.331.3141 tuelll Harriet McConnell 303.685.7486 mcconnellh Troy A. Eid (co-chair) 303.572.6521 eidt Heather Dawn Thompson 303.572.6500 thompsonhd Robert S. Thompson IV 303.572.6572 thompsonro Robert S. Thompson III 303.685.7448 thompsoniii Maranda S. Compton 303.685.7443 comptonm Laura E. Jones 303.685.7481 jonesla G R E E N B E R G T R A U R I G L L P A T T O R N E Y S A T L A W W W W . G T L A W . C O M Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig LLP and Greenberg Traurig P.A. 2015 Greenberg Traurig LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 26520 Photo Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Monument Valley Utah DISCOVER. EXPLORE. ENJOY. Experience the natural grandeur and charm of Monument Valley s National and Navajo Tribal Parks. Learn about Navajo culture in the region s museums and historic Navajo sites try traditional foods hike the region s most spectacular (and photogenic) trails and invest in art pieces and crafts by Navajo artisans. Photo Spider Rock Canyon de Chelly Navajo Tourism Department P.O. Box 663 Window Rock Arizona 86515 Phone 928.810.8501 TABLE OF CONTENTS 6 8 13 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 4 Publisher s Letter Editor s Letter Hemp Cannabis Tribal Economic Development and the Overreach of the Federal Government Asbestos-Laced Moccasins Criminalization of Tribal Innovation Data Holdings Uniqueness in a Data-Driven World Carbon Offsets Provide Cash Incentive in Forest Management to Tribe New Destination Website Connects Travelers to Indian Country Trickster Company Offers Tlingit Culture Through Art Closer Than You Think The Petroleum Industry in Indian Country Montana Leads the Way for Economic Development in Indian Country 44 46 52 56 58 64 I m a Veteran Where s My Contract Up Close with Gary Davis Doing Business with Tribal Government-Owned Corporations Communication is Not Optional In the News To Maintain Our Momentum Indian Country Must Stay Politically Engaged MARCH 2016 Who is NAFSA Tribal lenders provide financial solutions for the 63% of Americans who said they don t have the savings to cover a 500 car repair or a 1 000 medical bill. The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to protect and advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Today NAFSA works with more than 15 tribes to set best practices for these lending businesses forge positive working relationships with state and federal governments protect online installment loan borrowers and advance economic opportunities in Indian country for the benefit of tribal communities. NAFSA Facts All voting members of NAFSA are federally-recognized tribes and all NAFSA board members are elected tribal leaders. More than 8 federal lending laws are incorporated into NAFSA s minimum operating standards. Tribal Benefits Tribal governments have earned millions of dollars in revenue from e-commerce. Up to 75% of NAFSA tribal members revenue comes from online lending. Borrower Facts NAFSA members meet an essential need for over 17 million Americans who use the Internet to access short term credit. Nearly 93 million Americans are unbanked or underbanked. NATIVE AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION For more information please visit journal PUBLISHER S LETTER Publisher Sandy Lechner It is with great pride that we present the inaugural issue of Tribal Business Journal the 21st-century voice of economic development in Indian Country. TBJ gives birth to a new platform for communicating thought-provoking business and economic development information and news to tribal economic development business financial and technology leadership throughout Indian Country. TBJ will be sensitive to the strong and meaningful culture history and politics of Indian Country while providing insightful progressive powerful and sometimes provocative thought leadership in the areas of economic development finance technology tourism job creation and the overall growth and strength of Indian Country. Published monthly and direct-mailed to a Native leadership circulation TBJ will be a must-read for any leader in Indian Country and a primary ad buy for any organization currently doing business or seeking to do business in Indian Country. I would like to extend a special thank you to our charter advertisers for their trust faith and support of our efforts to bring TBJ to Indian Country leadership. Additionally I would like to thank all of the national Native Indian associations you see advertising in our publication as they have joined us in our effort to raise the level of economic development in Indian Country. These organizations will be assisting in getting our message out by offering additional circulation through their annual and regional conferences and conventions. A special thanks and congratulations to the TBJ publishing team for putting together a Dear Friends world-class publication. I thank all for your friendship and partnership Finally I would like to thank and acknowledge our advisory board members listed on page 10. They are some of the highest profile leaders in Indian Country and they volunteered to provide thought leadership and to assist in the development of TBJ. We hope you enjoy TBJ. I welcome your comments and suggestions at slechner With warm regards Publisher 6 MARCH 2016 As the longest running gaming trade show in history the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention delivers the insight and strategies you need to navigate the gaming industry landscape to success. Meet the industry leaders access the cutting-edge trends and learn how to win in your market. MARCH 2016 7 EDITOR S LETTER Meet TBJ W elcome to the inaugural issue of Tribal Business Journal a new monthly publication by Tribal Media Holdings in partnership with LDF Business Development Corp. a wholly owned entity of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian tribe and Lifestyle Media Group a publisher based in Fort Lauderdale that produces 12 titles under the Life and Lifestyle names. Additionally Tribal Media Holdings now has Native News Online as part of its portfolio. TBJ is an economic development magazine that will feature articles about the best business practices in Indian Country from southeastern Florida to Alaska Native villages. Among the hundreds of tribes throughout Indian Country there are varying levels of sophistication when it comes to economic development. Some tribes have had economic development departments in place for decades while others have only recently embarked on the journey toward building their economies. Sovereign strength comes from strong tribal economies and TBJ wants to celebrate these economic stories and share how tribes have overcome major obstacles to achieve success. Hopefully these stories can help prevent one tribe from repeating the mistakes made by others. TBJ will be delivered each month to key decision-makers within tribal governments and economic development departments in order to share cutting-edge and informative articles that will help leaders grow their tribes and strengthen their economies so that their citizens can prosper and build better lives for today s and future generations. TBJ wants to assist in progress and prosperity in Indian Country. The TBJ leadership team has assembled a group of outstanding individuals to form its advisory board which will provide editorial direction and wisdom for the content found within the magazine. Collectively the advisory board members bring several decades of expertise in economic development in Indian Country. We thank them for their commitment and service. The TBJ leadership team also wants to thank its advertisers who provide revenue to this publication. Their commitment to reach Indian Country to provide economic development for tribal nations is commendable. I have the privilege and honor to serve as editor-in-chief of both Tribal Business Journal and Native News Online. I welcome your feedback. Please contact me at lrickert or 616.299.7542 with comments or to share your success stories. Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) 8 MARCH 2016 Focusing on Innovative Tribal Economic Development and Corporate Governance Creation of Long Lasting Corporate Structures and Entities Sound Business Acumen and Finance Expertise Proven Negotiation Skills that Emphasize and Respect Tribal Sovereignty Financial Services and Tribal Lending Creative Solutions to Complex Problems Successful Litigation Strategy Development 193 Blue Ravine Road Suite 255 Folsom CA 95630 (916) 353-1084 (916) 353-1085 ghash nstgermain 565 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite 212 Chandler AZ 85225 (480) 889-8990 (480) 889-8997 rosette 25344 Red Arrow Highway Suite B Mattawan MI 49071 (269) 283-5005 (517) 913-6443 kwichtman 1100 H St. N.W. Suite 400 Washington D.C. 20005 (202) 652-0579 (202 525- 5261 sbazzazieh TBJ TRIBAL BUSINESS JOURNAL PUBLISHER Sandy Lechner EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Levi Rickert slechner lrickert COPY EDITOR Sherri Balefsky Creative CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melanie Smit ART DIRECTOR Frank Papandrea Writers Clara Caufield (Northern Cheyenne) Rachel Cromer-Howard Robin Ladue (Cowlitz Indian Tribe) Katherine Spilde Heather Dawn Thompson (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) Brandon Thoms (Chippewa Cherokee) Adolfo Vasquez Monica Whitepigeon (Potawatomi) Rebecca Winkel Glenn Zaring (Cherokee) Photographers Downtown Photo Fort Lauderdale DreamFocus Photography Larry Wood Market Managers Kenneth Kandell kandell Harvey Rubinson hrubinson Jessi Lorenzo jlorenzo Editorial Advisory Board Barry Brandon (Muscogee Creek Nation) Executive Director NAFSA (Native American Financial Services Association) Federal Native American Law and Policy and Named of Counsel Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) Former U.S. Senator Devin Cohen Partner Tribal Media Holdings Gary Davis (Cherokee) President National Center for American Indian Economic Development Robert Joe (Navajo) Chief Operations Officer Office of the President and Vice President Navajo Nation Terri Fitzpatrick (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Chief Operating Officer Boji Group Brent McFarland Chief Operations Officer LDF Business Development Corp. a wholly owned entity of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Tribe Kip Ritchie (Forest County Potawatomi) CEO Greenfire Management Services LLC George Rivera (Pojoaque Pueblo) Artist and Former Governor of Pojoaque Pueblo Pamela Silas (Menominee) Executive Director National American Indian Housing Council Katherine Spilde Ph.D. San Diego State University Chair Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming Heather Dawn Thompson (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) Practice Group Attorney Greenberg Traurig LLP Ernie Stevens Jr. (Oneida) Chairman National Indian Gaming Association S. R. Tommie (Seminole Tribe of Florida) President Redline Media Group Karrie Wichtman (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) Managing Partner Rosette Law Chairman Gary Press gpress MARKETING MANAGER Adina Arhire aarhire TBJ Magazine 3511 W. COMMERCIAL BLVD. SUITE 200 FORT LAUDERDALE FLORIDA 33309 954.377.9470 FAX 954.617.9418 WWW.TRIBALBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM 2016 TBJ magazine is published by Tribal Media Holdings LLC all rights reserved. Tribal Business Journal is a publication of Tribal Media Holdings LLC which has teamed with LDF Business Development Corp. a wholly owned entity of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Tribe and Lifestyle Media Group. 10 MARCH 2016 WHETHER YOU ARE STARTING OR EVOLVING PARTNER WITH A PROVEN LEADER Innovative Loan Solutions for the Enterprise Lender Aggregate Compliance Tracking Payment and Banking Management Unmatched Portfolio Analysis Secure and Scalable Cloud based SaaS Solution Analysis Capability 1-877-305-EPIC reconnecting people to the land Strengthening Native Nations and Expanding Tribal Sovereignty Through Land Acquisition Indian Land Capital Company is a Native-owned certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing financing to Native nations for economic development and land acquisition. 12 DECEMBER 2015 TRIBAL BUSINESS TRENDS HEMP CANNABIS TRIBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND the Overreach of the Federal Government S BY ROBIN LADUE everal federally recognized tribes have begun to use hemp and cannabis as a means toward addressing badly needed economic development and self-sufficiency. These tribes have attempted to build on the enormous success of the states of Washington and Colorado in their cannabis sales. It is estimated that since the passing of Colorado Amendment 64 in 2012 the state of Colorado has seen an increase in tax revenues from 44 million in 2014 to a huge windfall of 125 million in 2015. DECEMBER 2015 13 TRIBAL BUSINESS TRENDS GIVEN THE LONG-STANDING RACISM BREACHING OF TREATIES AND TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY IT IS NOT A STRETCH TO WONDER IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SIMPLY WORKING TO ERADICATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRIBES THROUGH CANNABIS AND HEMP. Washington has experienced similar results since marijuana sales were made legal in 2014. In the first year since legalization 70 million in revenue was generated. As much as a billion dollars may be generated in revenue from marijuana sales in 2015 and 2016 for the state of Washington. The federal government and the Department of Justice have ignored the sale of and now the transportation of marijuana from one state to another. For example it is now legal to fly through Portland International Airport with marijuana in state as long as fliers are carrying the legal amount approximately 1 ounce or less. It should be noted that using marijuana in public in Washington is still a civil violation and people may face a fine. Enforcement of this statute however appears to be highly limited and at the discretion of individual law enforcement officers. Given the significant changes in the laws regarding hemp and cannabis in the United States outside of Indian Country one has to question why the federal government in the form of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the FBI has so vigorously pursued the total destruction of cannabis and hemp on sovereign tribal lands. Sadly it is not news in Indian Country that a double standard exists with actions by states supporting private businesses using cannabis for their own economic gain versus what is allowed on tribal land. A significant and salient example of this double standard is what the DEA and FBI did when the Menominee tribe planted approximately 30 000 marijuana plants on its 360-acre reservation. According to tribal officials the crop was planted in full compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill which allows for the growing of industrial hemp in some circumstances. Menominee Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw stated the tribe in conjunction with the College of Menominee Nation legalized growing low THC nonpsychotropic hemp to study and cultivate such crops. In October 2015 however the DEA and the FBI choose to ignore the sovereignty of the Menominee tribe and its apparent compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill and executed a raid on the reservation. Agents of the DEA destroyed the estimated 30 000 plants weighing tons and the FBI agents were carrying assault rifles and clothed in tactical gear. This action was in spite of both the tribe s approved referendum to legalize marijuana for recreation use. In late 2014 the Department of Justice released a memorandum that discourages federal authorities from pursuing legal claims and prosecuting tribes for growing cannabis on their sovereign lands. In spite of this memorandum federal authorities are not willing to extend the same rights to the tribes as they have to private growers in the states of Washington and Colorado. The armed federal raid by the FBI and the DEA raises many concerns in terms of sovereign rights tribal economic development the apparent overreach of federal authorities and the right of tribal people to be safe on their own lands. The DEA released a statement on Oct. 25 2015 addressing and justifying the inappropriate raid that included the following 1) People other than Menominee tribal members had planted and were tending to the marijuana plants on the reservation specifically people from Colorado and 2) the amount of THC contained in the plants was higher than what would have been found in industrial-strength hemp and thus was in violation of the 2014 Farm Bill. Besaw vigorously denied these allegations noting accurately as mentioned above that there appears to be a double standard between nonNative and Native cultivation of hemp and cannabis. In response to this raid the Menominee tribe has filed suit against federal authorities for the armed raid and the subsequent destruction of the hemp crop on the reservation. The basis of the lawsuit is that the tribe has the right to grow industrial hemp on sovereign lands. Tribes that are considering cultivating hemp and cannabis for economic growth are taking steps to avoid such government overreach on their sovereign lands. The Oregon Warm Springs tribe approved a plan to build a facility to grow marijuana on its reservation. The tribe s vote of approval came a year after the Department of Justice wrote the memo that was cited as part of the basis giving the Menominee tribe the legal right to grow hemp on its lands. While the Warm Springs tribe has stated it will work with state agencies to adhere with all laws and regulations it is not known if the government will again overreach its authority and destroy crops grown on the reservation in central Oregon. According to the Associated Press other tribes are now exploring the options of cannabis and hemp growth and sales on their sovereign lands. For example the Squaxin tribe in the Puget Sound ROBIN A. LADUE PH.D. IS A RETIRED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST AND IS AN ENROLLED TRIBAL CITIZEN OF THE COWLITZ INDIAN TRIBE BASED IN WESTERN WASHINGTON. 14 MARCH 2016 area has a marijuana dispensary on its reservation. The leaders of the Omaha tribe in Nebraska are determining whether a plot of land in western Iowa would be appropriate for marijuana cultivation. Other tribes however being highly aware of the consequences experienced by the Menominee tribe have taken it upon themselves to destroy their own crops. The Flandreau Santee Sioux in South Dakota destroyed their crop as both medical and recreational marijuana are illegal in the state. The summer of 2015 saw tribal lands of the Alturas and Pit River Indian Rancherias in Northern California invaded by agents. The justification for this raid was given by the regional attorney s office claiming that two neighboring tribes planned to distribute marijuana off the reservation with the large-scale operations being operated by a third party as in the Menominee tribal case. However in the California case it was alleged that the third party was from a foreign country. While there appears to be a great deal of legal irregularities and confusion regarding the cultivation of hemp and cannabis on tribal lands the underlying point is that tribes are sovereign entities. One cannot help but recall the neverending fight over Indian gaming which continues to this day. An example of this problem is the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde s current lawsuit against the Cowlitz tribe s acquisition of reservation land and the right to proceed with the building of a casino and tribal shopping area. It is upsetting enough that nonNative entities fight tribal economic development but it is important that all tribal entities work together to come up with a viable plan to address hemp and cannabis cultivation on their lands. Such plans could include the following The development of a binding memorandum of agreement between the federal state and local governments that would address the requirements of the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2014 memorandum put out by the Department of Justice. A ruling from the Department of Justice that would supersede both municipal county and state regulations and establish a national plan for tribal cultivation of hemp and cannabis. The rights of the tribes to decide on their own who would and would not be allowed to direct support finance and cultivate such crops on tribal lands. A final federal regulation that would disallow any raids by federal agencies and the destruction of hemp and cannabis crops on tribal lands. As Besaw noted in the lawsuit of the tribe against the federal agencies the point of the cultivation of hemp on sovereign land was to help improve the financial and economic status of the tribe and its people. The irony of the raids on tribal lands and the destruction of crops by the Flandreau Sioux people are not easy to miss. Despite the existence of treaty rights and Department of Justice memos there is still an awareness that sovereign tribal nations are essentially at the mercy of federal agents and their illegal activities against the tribes at any time. Federally recognized tribes despite the continuing inappropriate interventions of federal agents need to press ahead to use hemp and cannabis as means to economic growth and stability. Given the long-standing racism breaching of treaties and tribal sovereignty it is not a stretch to wonder if the federal government is simply working to eradicate economic development of the tribes through cannabis and hemp. The federal government has taken no similar actions against non-Native growers and sellers such a conclusion is not outside the realm of possibility. MARCH 2016 15 A SBE STOS- L AC ED MOC C A SINS Criminalization of BY KATHERINE SPILDE KATHERINE SPILDE PH.D. HAS WORKED ON TRIBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR OVER 20 YEARS. SHE IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY (SDSU) WHERE SHE ALSO SERVES AS ENDOWED CHAIR OF THE SYCUAN INSTITUTE ON TRIBAL GAMING. SHE CAN BE REACHED AT KSPILDE MAIL.SDSU.EDU. I n his landmark book The Innovator s Dilemma Clayton Christensen describes the ways in which successful firms errantly cling to sustaining innovations. Despite doing all of the important things right (i.e. making products and services better moving upmarket) incumbents desire to preserve the status quo can ultimately lead these companies to fail. Christensen s keen insights capture the paradox of great companies that have failed because They kept doing better at the things that made them great. His description of innovation and disruption has been borne out repeatedly in open markets where disruptors can gain profit and market share. However his pioneering work does not clearly distinguish between environments that require only that the activity is legal from regulated and licensed environments. This distinction is not only critical for tribal e-commerce but also for technology innovation in the United States where there has been a tendency among government regulators to redefine a product or service that is not subject to an existing directly applicable regulatory scheme as either unregulated or criminal. A handful of tribal governments in the United States have started to rethink their heavy reliance FINANCIAL Tribal Innovation FINANCIAL UNFORTUNATELY FOR TRIBES SOME STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATORS HAVE TARGETED DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION IN E-COMMERCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN WAYS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO REGULATE TRIBES OUT OF EXISTENCE. on land-based investments such as casinos and are instead orienting economic development action toward e-commerce. Unlike traditional technology innovators tribal governments are also empowered to serve as regulators of e-commerce including for certain forms of online gaming and financial services. This dual role provides an opportunity to innovate while also highlighting the need for extensive due diligence and research before moving into a licensed environment (or new value network). In many cases states gaming and financial services regulators have defined disruptive products and services as unregulated asserting that if they are not compliant with existing regulations operators must be committing a crime. Several nontribal disruptors in e-commerce such as FanDuel DraftKings Uber and Airbnb have all come under fire for doing business that is self-regulated (or at least not contemplated in existing state laws) and have thus been characterized as illegal by some aggressive regulators. These companies compete with incumbents who face barriers to innovation due to their incumbent status and want to preserve the status quo. Tribes unique position as sovereign nations means that they must regulate their businesses and are therefore among the government regulators not just the regulated. Their right to pursue gaming and e-commerce (while serving as the primary or sole regulator under federal law) has been a competitive advantage in the gaming industry and financial services especially in states with heavy state oversight for nontribal actors in the same state. Unfortunately for tribes some state and federal regulators have targeted disruptive innovation in e-commerce and technology in ways that are designed to regulate tribes out of existence. Just as state and federal regulators often consider unregulated activity to be illegal they also tend to interpret tribally regulated commerce as unregulated and hence illegal. Limits on tribal government innovation in licensed environments result in an uneven playing field for another reason Opponents of tribal enterprise and economic development perpetuate stereotypes through an offensive and false narrative that equates Indianness with lawlessness. Now that some tribal governments are entering e-commerce tribal entrepreneurship in e-commerce is being characterized as lawless or worse. Like the stereotype of casinos as dens for mafia corruption some early bad actors in e-commerce (i.e. Silk Road) have been used to support the claim that Internet commerce is difficult or impossible to police. Like the early days of land-based gaming outside regulators and incumbents state licensees often find it useful to disparage tribal government regulatory authority as shoddy or nonexistent. In a recent tribal lending case in New York a judge raised the specter of a tribe selling poisoned moccasins online that could potentially harm customers in New York. He speculates Whatever your position might be about the tribal store... it is possible conceptually to distinguish between a tribal store which has a website and I can give them my credit card information and they will send me a pair of moccasins and a tribal bank which creates a financial product that... travels. Is that [bank] more in New York than just having a website that lets me place orders for products No but the harmful effects would be true of the products too if the moccasins had asbestos in them [emphasis added] (and)... caused a problem in New York. You d have the same argument would you not that we can regulate the sale of products from the reservation via e-commerce into New York because of harmful effects In most of the economic world success comes from adding value to an economic process and then being rewarded for adding value for making the sum of economic activities larger than it otherwise would have been. Joseph Schumpeter the great Austrian economist called the process of adding value being an entrepreneur. Michael Porter has called it recognizing and implementing comparative advantage. In the best of all possible worlds the thing supplied is also something that adds social value it leaves people better off than they were before. By definition tribal government economic development is entrepreneurial since it adds social value. Unlike the majority of their business competitors tribes generate governmental revenues not simply business profits. Tribal investments support social programs ranging from schools to housing to scholarships to health care. Tribal regulators are protecting tribal assets not seeking to punish economic actors in other jurisdictions. As tribes continue to pursue and regulate e-commerce and advance technologically it becomes more critical to demonstrate that they welcome innovation and can move quickly to adapt their regulations to new ideas. While regulators and incumbents focus on preserving the status quo tribal governments understand that the best regulatory agencies adapt allowing disruptors to improve the markets in which they operate rather than demanding that new products and services comply with old rules. 18 MARCH 2016 NATIVE NEWS ONLINE THE NATIONS LEADING SOURCE FOR NEWS AND INFORMATION ON INDIAN COUNTRY. FOR INFORMATION ON ADVERTISING AND SUBSCRIBING CALL 954-377-9691 OR EMAIL SLECHNER TRIBALBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM MARCH 2016 19 TECHNOLOGY Data Holdings Uniqueness Driven World BY MONICA WHITEPIGEON in a Data I n an unassuming neighborhood in part of the historical district of Milwaukee Wisconsin sits an equally unassuming two-story brick building deceptively large inside surrounded by a tall black fence. Close to the downtown headquarters for the Forest County Potawatomi Community the facility does not require many people to operate however there is 24 7 assistance and a high level of security and safety for clients. MARCH 2016 21 TECHNOLOGY THIS ALLIANCE IS OPEN TO DIFFERENT TRIBES COMMERCIAL COMPANIES AND BUSINESSES Located near Milwaukee s downtown Data Holdings maintains high security to protect all stored data. This is Data Holdings a purpose-built greenfield data facility and a subsidiary of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation (PBDC). Data centers are part of a steadily growing market and are much more necessary than people realize. As of 2014 there were 3 million data centers in the United States. Data Holdings is the first of them to be sovereign. Data centers are part of a steadily growing market and much are more necessary than most people realize. Data centers allow the ability to back up files store records such as medical files host emails and even access social media sites. Essentially Data Holdings serves as a hotel for data hubs and can provide service to thousands of clients while easily connecting to other data centers in various locations through fiber. Being a Tier III enhanced data center which allows for critical systems to be sustained during normal operations also adds to the uniqueness of Data Holdings as there are not many of them in the country. Data centers are the cars of the 21st century says Ryan Barbera CFO of Data Holdings. He says that the abilities to trade travel or check social media or for parents to check on their kids grades are all a part of data centers and that s what makes them so important. Built in 2013 by Greenfire a construction company of PBDC the Data Holdings building manages a yearly LEED Gold Certification status. The surrounding fauna and foliage are indigenous plants to Wisconsin and are nonintrusive. The facility requires an extensive amount of electricity and megawatts so when constructing it was critical that the neighborhood would not be affected and that there would be efficient cooling mechanisms. Using recycled air from the outside the cooling system filters out impurities and is circulated throughout the securely caged retail space for data storage. To further ensure the safety of the space Data Holdings uses a two-end redundancy with a backup generator that guarantees an allotted amount of recovery time. In foresight PBDC secured a nearby lot should the occasion arise to increase capacity. As of now the center has multiple tenants that service the surrounding states and major cities such as Green 22 MARCH 2016 THAT PROVIDE SERVICES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO TRIBES THAT ARE NOT USUALLY AVAILABLE. Data Holdings the only tribal data holding facility in Indian Country has capacity for growth. Bay Madison and Chicago with 5 million annual revenue. Being a neutral carrier and the first sovereignly owned data center Data Holdings is able to leverage optimal prices and services for tribes and other businesses. Data Holdings can comfortably provide service to thousands of side clients hundreds of thousands of servers and millions of gigabytes in bandwidth. PBDC services the Forest County Potawatomi Community and focuses on economic development business diversification and investment opportunities for sustainability for tribal members. The corporation has nine business operations including Redhawk Network Security Solutions Advancia Aeronautics Potawatomi Federal Solutions and Greenfire Management Services LLC to name a few. Even the surrounding Milwaukee community has benefited from the addition of the Data Holdings center. By attracting other businesses and companies the neighborhood has felt a change for the better. Barbera recalls an incident where he was getting his car serviced by a local mechanic who expressed great gratitude for the center and claimed Data Holdings is the gem [of the neighborhood]. In an effort to work with other tribes PBDC is also a part of the Tribal Economic Alliance (TEA) which collaborates with different economic development engines to expand an economy of scales and reduce expenses. TEA offers solutions in technology fiber cyber life cycle cloud sharing colocation and disaster recovery. This alliance is open to different tribes commercial companies and businesses that provide services and opportunities to tribes that are not usually available. Currently there are five partners associated with TEA about a third of their end-of-the-year goal. Interested tribes and other companies are able to join through the Data Holdings website and are encouraged to take advantage of these unique opportunities. Data is the future of technology data centers combine real estate and diversified investments that could ultimately benefit tribes by creating new jobs and financial growth for future generations. MARCH 2016 23 A carbon offset program will prolong the environmental serenity of the forest on the Passamaquoddy Tribe s reservation for generations. 24 DECEMBER 2015 CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY PARTNERS BY LEVI RICKERT S ince time immemorial American Indians have been taught to respect all living things from fellow human beings to animals to plants on Mother Earth. Part of that respect is protecting the rich forests across the continent that historically have provided tree barks used for medicinal purpose places to hunt for food and gathering spaces for ceremonial purposes. Carbon Provide Cash Incentive in Forest Management to Tribe MARCH 2016 25 CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY PARTNERS signed a feasibility study was conducted as part of a due diligence process to determine if the project would make sense for the tribe environmentally and economically. The due diligence process was found to be beneficial to the tribe says Ernie Neptune the tribe s forestry supervisor and a tribal member who has worked in the forestry department for four years. The tribal land where our forests sit is jointly owned by tribal members who we see as landowners. So we conducted three public hearings at each of two tribal communities. We listened to the concerns of the members before we moved forward. The tribe s forestry department played a major role in the early part of the process by determining what acres of forest should be included in the project. We carved out areas of land that were too sensitive to tribal members who actively cut wood there says Neptune. Those lands are not included in the project. Another aspect of the due diligence process involved selecting a partner. We looked at other companies but Finite Carbon won says Neptune. We were impressed with the technology they brought to our reservations and their forester. Once the feasibility study was done tribal leadership and tribal attorneys took over the process to develop an agreement. Part of the agreement contains language that makes the tribe commit to the project for 100 years and stipulates that the tribe cannot clear our more than 40 contiguous acres or cut more than the tribe s natural sustainable growth in accordance with its forest inventory analysis. The 98 000 acres of land set aside within the project qualify for 3.9 million credits. The tribe currently has one bid from a large company willing to pay 11.50 per credit. When the deal is accepted by the tribal council the tribe will make over 40 million. The funds received from the Passamaquoddy Tribe Improved Forest Management Project will be the second-highest monetary award in the tribe s history according to Neptune. The highest was the land claims settlement that occurred in 1980. The funds are much needed on the Passamaquoddy reservations which have an over 70 percent unemployment rate. The funds will allow for more services to tribal members and further other economic development projects the tribe is exploring such a spring water bottling company which would bring in 70 to 80 jobs that will pay 15 per hour. The funds will also be used to grow an already existing organic maple syrup business that was opened by the tribe three years ago. We are happy with the agreement says Neptune. The project does not hinder our forest management program. And the best part we really don t have to do anything new. SCS Global Services verifier Francis Eaton ensures carbon offset program compliance FINITE CARBON IS ACTIVELY SEEKING OTHER TRIBES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CALIFORNIA FOREST CARBON OFFSET PROGRAM. Today American Indian tribes or individuals are overseers of approximately 52 million acres of land held in trust by the United States. Many tribes have tribal forestry departments that manage timber habitat on which much wildlife and natural resources depend. Efforts to curb global climate change have brought a renewed awareness to the value of living and growing forests. A small number of tribes are now developing plans to get paid to protect their forests in a way that increases the amount of carbon dioxide the trees remove from the atmosphere. Payments come from a method that is referred to as a carbon offset which occurs when a landowner commits to voluntarily develop a methodology that results in the prevention of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. In 2013 California launched its forest carbon offset program through a cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases credits that can be earned when landowners practice sustainable forestry and maintain above-average regional carbon stocking levels in their forests. The program can be used throughout the Lower 48 states. In essence the forest carbon offset program pays landowners to preserve forest acres. The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine is one such tribe that is participating in the program. The tribe s carbon offset project sets aside 98 000 acres that span its two major reservations in Indian Township and the coastal community of Pleasant Point. The tribe partnered with Finite Carbon for what is called the Passamaquoddy Tribe Improved Forest Management Project. Before the agreement was Why should you advertise in TBJ At last there s a journal that focuses solely on economic development and business opportunities in Indian Country. Finite Carbon values the Tribal Business Journal as an indispensable channel to inform a key constituency about our project development services. Dylan Jenkins VP Portfolio Development Finite Carbon Connecting Forestry & Carbon Finance TRIBAL COMMUNITIES ARE GENERATING SIGNIFICANT REVENUE FROM THEIR FORESTS WITH AMERICA S LEADING DEVELOPER OF FOREST CARBON PROJECTS. Tribal leaders are looking for new ways to provide future generations with a strong economic foundation while preserving tribal values. Many are turning to their forest for answers... By developing a carbon finance program tribes are making a commitment to forest conservation and making money doing it--up to 50 million or more in the first year. Tribes can still harvest their forests every year--as long as it s not more than the annual growth. This new opportunity is largely due to new trends in climate change legislation starting in California with 2 billion available to landowners who practice sustainable forestry and help companies reduce their green-house gas emissions. Unique in the tribal carbon industry Finite Carbon s team includes tribal leaders who understand that each federally recognized Indian tribe is a sovereign nation with its own history customs laws and practices. Finite Carbon respects tribal sovereignty and works with each tribe to help determine whether a carbon finance program is right for their community. Finite Carbon didn t just deliver a successful project. They built a strong relationship with the entire tribal community and took the time to understand our culture and values. For that the Passamaquoddy is proud to call them friends as well as partners. FOREST SUPERVISOR ERNIE NEPTUNE PASSAMAQUODDY TRIBE Finite Carbon is developing 300 million in offsets on over 1.6 million acres of US forest land. From education and evaluation to marketing and sales our team of professional foresters and tribal leaders is Indian Country s premier tribal carbon partner. Connect with the Finite Carbon team to learn more about this exciting new opportunity. Contact Dylan Jenkins at 570.321.9090 or visit us online at & reconnecting people to the land Strengthening Native Nations and Expanding Tribal Sovereignty Through Land Acquisition Indian Land Capital Company is a Native-owned certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing financing to Native nations for economic development and land acquisition. ILCC chose to advertise in the Tribal Business Journal because we knew the publication would reach Indian leaders on a national basis. We have been a driver of economic development in Indian Country and we plan to increase our lending to Native Nations Tribal Business Journal is an excellent way for us to increase our exposure thereby increasing our ability to help build Indian country. Rjay J. Brunkow C.E.O. Indian Land Capital Company For information on advertising and subscribing call 954-377-9691 or email slechner MARCH 2016 27 BY RACHEL CROMER-HOWARD New Destination Website Connects 28 28 DECEMBER MARCH TOURISM Travelers to Indian Country Hawaii dancers ins et Southern Plains Indians DECEMBER 2015 29 TOURISM TOURISM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO EXPAND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL AREAS CREATE JOBS ENCOURAGE EDUCATION AND TRAINING AND ULTIMATELY LEAD TO INCREASED CAPACITY BUILDING. CAMILLE FERGUSON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AIANTA A FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL REGISTRATION NATIVEAMERICATRAVEL.COM OR CALL THE AIANTA OFFICE AT 505.724.3592. Rocky Mountains Indian sculpture s cultural and experiential tourism continue to gain popularity Indian Country tourism and economic development go even more hand in hand. Translating this travel trend into economic growth is now much easier for tribes thanks to the recent launch of a website founded by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA). represents American Indian Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism across the United States and connects tribes directly to travelers through inspiring historical cultural and outdoor narratives and high-impact photographs inviting them to explore Indian Country. Travel and tourism is one of the nation s largest industries with 927.9 billion spent directly by domestic and international travelers in 2014. According to Brand USA international travel grew 3.7 percent in 2014 with 6.7 percent growth in spending. Moreover the number international travelers visiting Native American sites has increased over the past five years setting records in the past three. These overseas visitors to Native American communities are also making a stronger impact on the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) international visitors to Native American communities typically spend 12 more days in the United States than those not visiting Indian Country and 67 percent of those visitors are leisure travelers spending more money than other travelers. To help tribes and tribal businesses break into this huge industry and to give all 567 federally recognized tribes an opportunity to represent themselves in their own words AIANTA is offering each a dedicated page to tell visitors about their history culture and attractions. The kind of destination promotion AIANTA is offering with this website is expanding community development on broader economic issues not just bringing the traveler to the endpoint says Camille Ferguson executive director of AIANTA. Tourism has the potential to expand business 30 DECEMBER 2015 opportunities in rural areas create jobs encourage education and training and ultimately lead to increased capacity building. AIANTA is currently accepting new content for to inspire travelers to visit Indian Country to inform them about tribes and the various Native destinations and to offer an entry point for them to begin planning their trip. Tourism presents an opportunity for economic diversification especially in rural and tribal communities Ferguson says. Tourists tend to be drawn to remote areas that are rich in culture and natural beauty. Tourism represents an opportunity for income generation through cultural preservation and education. Tribes and Native-owned tourism businesses listed on the site will be able to reach a wider audience and control their own content at all times. Site visitors are directed to destinations and partners through live links and contact information for future trip planning so all business opportunities are linked back to the Native-owned businesses and partners. At this time tribal listings are free of charge. The Experiences section of the website offers exciting and authentic trip ideas unique to Indian Country. An interactive map helps users identify Native experiences by region and type of attraction or accommodation. To assist travelers in planning their visit the site also details various American Indian Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian attractions activities and lodging information spanning from rural horseback-riding adventures to cosmopolitan galleries featuring Native arts. Tourism can serve as a powerful tool for tribes and communities to share their own stories in the way that they want them to be shared says Sandra Anderson project lead. This is a way to truly perpetuate the traditions that are still thriving today. By welcoming and educating visitors tribes are able to share stories that they want others to know while still maintaining the privacy and sanctity of certain aspects of their traditions. To register your tribe or Native-owned tourism business for the new site please visit and scroll down to the bottom of the page for three links Manage Your Tribe Page Add an Accommodation Add an Attraction Northeast Indian sales Wupatki National Monument MARCH 2016 31 Trickster Company Offers Tlingit Culture Through Art BY MONICA WHITEPIGEON 32 MARCH 2016 ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILES Trickster Company s talented artists use traditional art for a variety of products. I n the course of eight years a small Juneau business has been able to extend its products across the entire state of Alaska. Rico Lan at Worl 31 and Crystal Worl 27 are of Tlingit and Athabascan descent and cofounders of Trickster Company which specializes in apparel accessories sporting equipment prints jewelry and more. From a home-based business to online exclusives to gift shops this brother-and-sister-owned company was able to successfully contemporize Alaskan Native art for everyday household items. When he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor s in anthropology Rico returned to Alaska to pursue his artistic talents. Starting off as a favor to a family member he began designing skateboards using formline art a distinctive Northwest Coast design style featuring curving lines that tend to swell and diminish. As time went on more and more family members and friends requested his custom skateboards. To meet the demands for more products Rico began to collaborate with his sister Crystal who received her BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts where she studied printmaking jewelry MARCH 2016 33 ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT PROFILES WE CAN TRANSFORM BETWEEN WHOLESALE RETAIL AND WEB-ORDER MARKETING Right Trickster playing cards Below Trickster bracelet metalsmithing and kiln-cast glass. The Raven holds great meaning for the Tlingit people so it s no surprise that the pair chose Trickster as the name of their company and incorporated the image of the raven their logo. Raven can transform challenge the status quo teach and represent Tlingit society all of which are characteristics that help motivate their small business. We like to keep that in mind as a business that explores design and can design products such as playing cards to high-end handmade skis says Rico. We can transform between wholesale retail and Web-order marketing. We can transform from working on selling our products to working with companies like Perseverance Theatre on set and costume design. Even with Alaska s high percentage of tribal members and 14 regional corporations Natives are 34 MARCH 2016 still marginalized while the billion-dollar tourism market continues to sell unauthentic native art. Trickster is combating this disproportion that is seen in many gift shops. Rico and Crystal believe this is their way of reclaiming indigenous designs and having them stay with Native people. They have accomplished this through collaborations with local Native multimedia artists such as Alison (Tlingit) and Jerrod Galanin (Tlingit Unangan. They have also partnered with the Sealaska Heritage Institute a cultural nonprofit branch of Sealaska Corporation by donating a deck of Tlingit language edition playing cards to the institute whenever an exclusive edition of playing cards is sold. The diversity of Trickster s products such as skateboards basketballs T-shirts and jewelry are accessible to non-Natives as well. They also serve as a way to educate others about Tlingit culture and art through appreciation not appropriation. Rico and Crystal were able to expand their reach through featured articles in local newspapers and online press as well as through a successful Kickstarter campaign that funded the development of their customized playing cards one of their most successful items. Many retail stores expressed interest in selling their fresh authentic designs which can now be found throughout Alaskan shops. The company moved to its own retail location in the summer of 2014 to meet the escalating demands for the products. The scale is much larger than online says Rico. And we ve been dedicated to providing a great retail space. As challenging as it has been we are on the right path for success. Depending on the product Trickster attempts to keep its manufacturing with local companies or it partners with national companies such as the United States Playing Card Company. Others though are harder to produce and must come from overseas. Both Rico and Crystal hold onto their strong ties with their heritage and community which is often reflected in their business practices. They owe much of their work ethic and inspiration to their grandmother Rosita Worl president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute their mother and their aunt. Currently Crystal says her favorite products on which to implement her designs are basketballs. I have never applied my design to a spherical form before and it surprises me every time I hold one of our basketballs she says. The most exciting part of designing a product is seeing it worn or being put to use by the youth. The youth inspire a lot of our creative process and production. Keeping true to the Tlingit people Rico says The products that are the most fun to design are the ones we know are important for our community. Trickster Company provides innovative art and designs rooted in Native culture. MARCH 2016 35 36 DECEMBER 2015 CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY PARTNERS Closer Than You Think THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY IN INDIAN COUNTRY BY REBECCA WINKEL Oil rig in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota I REBECCA WINKEL IS AN ECONOMIC ADVISOR FOR THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE (API). SHE DIRECTS ALL RESEARCH ON STEM EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT FOR API WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON PROMOTING THE INDUSTRY S WORK WITH NONTRADITIONAL ALLIES. CORPORATE INDIAN COUNTRY PARTNERS recently traveled to Schriever Louisiana to talk with high school girls about the oil and natural gas industry and why it s an industry they should think about when considering their future career path. I got an eye roll from one girl who told me that the oil and gas industry is outdated and that she doesn t want to be an engineer or work at a gas station. are projected to be in blue-collar professions including welders electricians construction workers and mechanics. This offers tremendous opportunity for workers with a high school diploma and some post-secondary training (e.g. certificates and community college). There are also ample opportunities for individuals with a college education nearly 300 000 of the projected jobs are in management and professional fields. Engineers are extremely important and needed in the oil and natural gas industry but so are attorneys business leaders architects geoscientists PR specialists health and safety experts and every other professional you need in order to lead in a cutting-edge industry that supports 8 percent of the U.S. economy. For people in Indian Country these opportunities are closer than you think. Close to half of tribal lands in the United States intersect with shale basins which are the resource centers for our upstream operations. The industry is already partnering with Natives in meaningful ways this past November the Navajo Nation Oil & Gas Company joined the American Petroleum Institute (API) the national trade association representing all facets of the oil and gas industry. API has also been actively working with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development most recently sponsoring the STEM YES event for Native high school students at the Regional Economic Summit in Santa Fe New Mexico. When people begin to realize the impact that oil and natural gas have on their lives and when they can see a place for them there great things happen. As an industry we are trying to do a better job of getting the word out about what we do and who we are and spread the word that we are actively looking for individuals from all walks of life to participate with us in an industry that makes a difference every day. I frequently travel the country talking to groups that vary from this class of high school girls to grasstops leaders and I ve faced this skepticism many times. Far from dreading this topic I love the opportunity it gives me to educate people on just how important oil and natural gas are in our everyday lives. In response to this girl s cynicism I asked the group to raise their hands if they had an iPhone or if they had put on lip balm or mascara that morning. I had them stand if they owned a sweatshirt or used a water bottle. I reminded them that they had all ridden on a bus to get to our event that morning. Then I explained that oil and natural gas supply more than 60 percent of our nation s energy fueling cars heating homes and cooking food. On top of that crude oil supplies the building blocks for all the products I had mentioned and so much more everything from dent-resistant car fenders to soda bottles to camping equipment to comfy synthetic fabrics medicines that make us feel better fertilizers that help our gardens grow and just about every toy we play with. Many people don t realize the impact that oil and natural gas have on their lives every day. Moreover many people think as this high school girl did that unless you are an engineer or a gas station worker that there aren t opportunities for you in the industry. That could not be further from the truth. IHS Global projects nearly 1.3 million job opportunities to be available in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries through 2030. (The petrochemical industry uses the chemical components of oil and natural gas as building blocks to create the products I discussed earlier including plastics resins and fibers.) These job opportunities will be available in all regions of the country across a wide variety of occupation types and for individuals with all education levels. In fact close to two-thirds of the opportunities 38 MARCH 2016 CLOSE TO HALF OF TRIBAL LANDS IN THE UNITED STATES INTERSECT WITH SHALE BASINS TRIBAL LANDS AND U.S. SHALE BASINS TRIBAL LANDS THAT OVERLAP SHALE BASINS OTHER TRIBAL LANDS U.S. SHALE BASINS MARCH 2016 39 TRIBALNOMICS Leads for Economic Development in Indian Country BY CLARA CAUFIELD Montana the Way TRIBALNOMICS T CLARA CAUFIELD A TRIBAL CITIZEN OF THE NORTHERN CHEYENNE TRIBE OWNS AND PUBLISHES A CHEYENNE VOICE NEWSPAPER LOCATED ON THE RESERVATION. SHE IS ALSO A COLUMNIST AND CORRESPONDENT FOR THE NATIVE SUN NEWS AND A FREELANCE JOURNALIST. SHE CAN BE REACHED AT ACHEYENNEVOICE GMAIL.COM. Montana Governor Steve Bullock at North American Indian Days celebration in July 2015. Blackfeet Nation s Chief Earl Old Person the governor s immediate right was honored for his many years of advocacy for better economic development for American Indians. he frontier mentality is still alive among many people living in Montana which is known as Cowboy and Indian country and is home to seven federally recognized tribes and one state-recognized tribe. American Indians represent about 7 percent of the state s thin population of roughly 1 million residents. Reservations are generally called Indian Country pockets of deep poverty that are in stark contrast to the general economic prosperity in the state. The current state unemployment rate is 4 percent but on reservations anywhere between 25 and 80 percent of people are without jobs according to tribal sources. Some tribes have done better than others in developing tribally owned businesses and encouraging a healthy private sector. Much of Montana s history has been characterized by an adversarial relationship between the tribal and state governments. While funding human service programs often federal pass-through dollars the state has viewed reservations as a federal problem. But recently Govs. Brian Schweitzer (2005-2013) and Steve Bullock (2013-present) have actively promoted economic development in Montana s Indian Country. We cannot just rely upon the tribal or federal governments to meet the employment needs on our reservation says Steve Small economic development director of the Northern Cheyenne where unemployment and poverty average 40 to 80 percent depending upon seasonal work. The real solution is to develop a healthy private sector allowing individuals to become self-sufficient and provide other jobs. The state initiative and funding has been a real shot in the arm especially for the individual tribal members. Under Gov. Schweitzer the landscape began changing rapidly. He hired tribal members in key state posts and elevated the position of director of Indian affairs to cabinet level. That is so important in developing trust says Lesa Evers (Blackfeet) Schweitzer s director of Indian affairs a post now held by Jason Smith (Kootenai Assiniboine). Gov. Bullock has also increased the number of Indian staffers and appointees in his administration. Early in his first term Schweitzer convinced the conservative legislature to approve onetime funding for Indian economic development programs on reservations assisting both tribes and individual tribal entrepreneurs. Since then the program has survived several legislatures still on NOW EACH TRIBAL COMMUNITY HAS AN INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION TO ASSIST COMMUNITY MEMBERS WITH THE IEF AND OTHER LOAN APPLICATIONS. THIS REFLECTS OUR COMMITMENT TO BUILD CAPACITY OF NATIVE AMERICAN BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS a one-time funding basis though the state continues to lobby for inclusion in the permanent base budget. The Department of Commerce (DOC) then developed the Indian Equity Fund (IEF) providing grants for small business development leading to dozens of successful small businesses on reservations including A Cheyenne Voice a newspaper owned by this author that has been in operation for five years. In addition tribes have used IEF funds to start new businesses such as credit unions arts and crafts stores feasibility studies cellphone projects and even tribal IEF projects. Bullock has stayed on course even gaining additional funding and expansion of the various initiatives. We cannot have statewide economic prosperity without economic prosperity for tribal nations in Montana he says. I am committed to continuing to fund and implement programs that help create jobs improve the success rate of Native American businesses and address chronic issues of access to capital. Montana is leading the way in developing new and innovative programs to build up tribal economies and support Native American-owned businesses. I m pleased that just in the past year we were able to successfully close a loophole in state law to provide for recognition of tribally owned businesses and create a new collateral support program to improve business opportunities for tribal entrepreneurs. In fiscal year 2016 the state has 320 000 available in the IEF to provide grants (up to 14 000 to individual Indian entrepreneurs) to start or expand small businesses. This also includes set-aside grants of 40 000 for each tribal government. According to Casey Lozar (Salish and Kootenai) DOC bureau chief and tribal policy advisor the Native American Business Advisors Program an expanded state initiative is well underway. It enhances what we have done for several years he says. Now each tribal community has an individual or organization to assist community members with the IEF and other loan applications. This reflects our commitment to build capacity of Native American business organizations and staff to offer business counseling services. Each tribal affiliate receives 15 000 training and technical support. Montana Governor Steve Bullock (right) during the playing of national anthem while attending Native celebration. In addition each tribe can now access up to 28 000 to develop plans to launch or grow a tribal business. Those funds can also be used to match other state planning grants hopefully bringing additional planning resources to Indian Country. A particular highlight is the Native American Collateral Support Program a new initiative fueled by 500 000 in state funds to provide a certificate of deposit to a bank to offset the lack of collateral needed for a commercial loan under certain guidelines. Envisioning a revolving fund Lozar believes this is the only such collateral support program operating in Indian Country in the U.S. A final component is the State Tribal Economic Development Commission (STEDC) comprised of members appointed from the state and each tribal nation who guide the overall effort. Shawn Real Bird Crow tribal legislator has chaired the commission for years seeing it as an excellent example of tribal and state coordination. It shows that progress can be made when we work together he says. I d say that s good work from a bunch of cowboys and Indians says state Rep. Duane Ankney former chairman of the state appropriations committee a longtime neighbor and advocate for the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes. I hope we can keep it up. MARCH 2016 43 FEDERAL PROCUREMENT BY ADOLFO VASQUEZ I m a Veteran Where s my Contract I n my capacity as a federal procurement advisor with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) I am never surprised when a new Veteran-Owned Small Business or ServiceDisabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB SDVOSB) owner comes into my office for an initial counseling and states I am a veteran I just got my business license and am registered with the state. Where do I get a veteran set-aside contract Although this is a very sincere and honest request and VOSB SDVOSB set-aside contracts do exist I first need to ensure that the business is contract ready to do business with any federal agency or commercial firm. I call the basic requirements that make a business a qualified candidate for a contract or grant the three R s Registered Reliable and Responsible. Before I explain the three R s I would like to identify several contracting benefits to which VOSBs and SDVOSBs are entitled. There are three public laws and two presidential acts that state that 3 percent of all federal contract dollars (over 5 billion in fiscal year 2014) is to be set aside for VOSB SDVOSB they also explain how each federal agency will monitor and report compliance to Congress annually. There are also provisions that allow VOSB SDVOSBs to be issued sole source contracts if qualified and approved by the contracting officer. In addition under the National Defense Appropriations Act SDVOSBs have opportunities within the like business provisions to team with other small businesses (other than VOSB SDVOSBs) to meet the setaside requirements for contract performance. Likewise there are SBA loan guarantee programs that are specific for VOSB SDVOSBs that assist in meeting the financial and bonding thresholds of a solicitation. A full explanation of all of these contracting benefits is available through the VOSB SDVOSB certification counseling that is available through any PTAC. Now back to the three R s of procurement. Registered means the business must be registered with the firm or agency with which it wants to do business. In the case of federal contracts and grants the registration is SAM (System for Award Management). For state county and municipal governments it is usually their bid board or business registry website. Commercial firms also have a business registry. Reliable means the business must have a good business plan set up and have the required certifications licenses skill sets permits etc. as well as have its financials in order. In government contracting and grants this mean that the business must be financially able to fund the startup and (at minimum) the expenses required for the first 90 days of operations. Why Although there are means by which a small business can invoice and get paid sooner than 90 days those are not the norm. This financial requirement is also driven by the procurement payment processes that are in place both at the federal state and local levels. Understanding those procedures is also part of the Reliable status. The last of the three R s is Responsible. This is by far the least problematic issue because I have yet to meet a seasoned small business that does not have a portfolio of successful subcontract work for which their primes have gotten credit. Large businesses both federal primes and commercial depend on small business subcontractors to complete their contracts. Once we get through the requirements for verifying and validating the three R s I see a more self-directed and marketable business ethic as well as a more confident and responsive business. By mastering the three R s success is inevitable. In response to I m a veteran where s my contract I say Let s get you qualified and contract ready and then we can go fishing for as many contracts as you can handle LT. COL. ADOLFO E. VASQUEZ USA RET. IS A PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ADVISOR FOR THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (NCAIED PTAP). HE IS ALSO A CERTIFIED VERIFICATION COUNSELOR FOR VA S CVE VIP PROGRAM. HE HAS OVER 16 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A FORMER FEDERAL WARRANTED PROCUREMENT OFFICER AN ADMINISTRATIVE CONTRACTING OFFICER A CONTRACTING OFFICER TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE (COTR) A QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPUTY DIRECTOR A DEPUTY FEDERAL CONTRACTS FINANCE COMPTROLLER AND A FEDERAL CONTRACTS PAYMENT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR. MARCH 2016 45 46 DECEMBER 2015 COVER STORY Up Close Gary Davis with BY LEVI RICKERT PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT M any know him as Litefoot the Indian rapper-turned-actor from the 1995 film Indian in the Cupboard. But those involved in American Indian economic development know Gary Davis as one of the biggest advocates for business in Indian Country. His role as president and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) which he has held for the past four years takes him to Capitol Hill to testify before congressional hearings to corporate board rooms to negotiate business deals and to Indian reservations to lend his support to tribal enterprises. Davis efforts have gained attention of others beyond Indian Country. Last October he won the National Director s Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). When it comes to business enterprise in Indian Country Davis is a no-nonsense advocate who talks about the future. Tribal Business Journal conducted the following interview with him. How long have you been president and CEO of NCAIED How are you enjoying this role I have served as president and CEO of NCAIED since January 2012 after serving as a member of its board of directors for a year. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in this role and I am extremely proud of the work we ve done to increase business opportunities for Indian Country. I feel that I am able to use my accomplishments as an entrepreneur and my other expertise to E-COMMERCE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO REMOVE A TRIBE S GEOGRAPHIC DISADVANTAGES AND OPEN UP GLOBAL MARKETS. IT CAN HELP EVEN THE ECONOMIC PLAYING FIELD AND PROVIDE ACCESS TO MARKETS WHICH ALLOWS US TO DEVELOP MORE ENTREPRENEURS IN INDIAN COUNTRY. the benefit of our people. It s been very rewarding. How has NCAIED assisted tribes in building their tribal economies since you took over We ve continued to build on our very successful Reservation Economic Summit (RES) events by expanding them to other parts of the country. Now tribes and Native businesses and entrepreneurs are able to access RES benefits beyond once a year in Las Vegas. So far we ve held regional events in Washington D.C. Wisconsin Oklahoma Arizona and most recently New Mexico. These have all been well-received and we look forward to continuing to expand the power of RES. I m also very proud of our work to launch the Native Edge the innovative online portal that gives Indian Country a platform to network find and post jobs learn about procurement opportunities and get the business training needed to be successful. The Native Edge was over 10 years in the making but through a lot of hard work by our dedicated team it launched last year. I would encourage Indian Country to visit the basic membership is free. NCAIED has also grown its advocacy both in corporate America and the federal government culminating in the New Day Now rally in front of the U.S. Capitol at last year s RES D.C. which affirmed and advanced economic development in Indian Country ahead of a congressional hearing on Indian Country priorities. We ve also seen new opportunities open across a variety of industries including defense telecommunications energy and much more. NCAIED plays a very important role in creating and expanding these relationships that extend beyond Indian Country. Since we are in the first quarter of 2016 what are the three most attractive industries for tribes to explore as possible investments this year Indian Country s economy is becoming more and more diverse and I think this is apparent from the topics and sessions at our RES events. It s not just casinos anymore tribes are becoming more active in an array of industries and I believe this will continue to grow. Though gaming will of course continue to play an important role for Indian Country I m particularly bullish about the energy sector. The Department of Energy has created the Minorities in Energy Initiative and NCAIED has signed an MOU with the agency to work to expand and partner on opportunities in this vital sector for minority communities including Native Americans. I m also honored to serve along with NCAIED board member Michelle Holiday as an ambassador in the program. We re in an energy boom in the country and there s no reason why Indian Country shouldn t be a part of it especially considering tribal lands are often in or near areas prime for resource development. I also think e-commerce offers tremendous economic development opportunities. E-commerce has the 48 MARCH 2016 COVER STORY potential to remove a tribe s geographic disadvantages and open up global markets. It can help even the economic playing field and provide access to markets which allows us to develop more entrepreneurs in Indian Country. Many are doing this across a wide variety of fields. Some tribes are involved in online lending proving a service that many seek. In this area tribes are exercising their rights and advantages as sovereign nations to the benefit of their members. Finally one of the most-discussed topics in Indian Country is growing marijuana on tribal lands. While this is a controversial topic and a non-starter for some it s clear that it s an area where tribes can use sovereignty to their advantage and enter a very new and emerging space. It s something that tribes should continue to examine closely and make a decision based on their specific needs. It s clear that marijuana legalization is here to stay and a growing trend there s no reason for tribes to ignore the possibilities in any sector if it provides much-needed economic opportunity and diversity. In recent years how has the federal government made it easier for tribes to grow their tribal economies For far too long the federal government was a roadblock to tribal economic development efforts rather than a facilitator. Though we still have a long way to go I have seen marked progress over the last few years. The DOE s Minorities in Energy Initiative is one example. An increase in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Loan Guarantee Program is an area where a funding increase is desperately needed. We need the Department of Commerce to do more too. Specifically Congress has passed legislation on two separate occasions for an office that specifically focuses on economic issues across Indian Country but the Department of Commerce has yet to allocate funds to accomplish this. Of all the federal agencies many of which now have offices dedicated to Native American affairs Commerce needs to have its own office focusing on Native American issues. And they should have it now. Also after 100 years the Buy Indian Act which mandates that the Department of the Interior set aside procurement contracts to be sourced to Native-owned businesses is finally being implemented. Now we need to make sure this is actually happening and the program is working. There are always challenges but the Obama administration has gone out of its way to deepen the dialogue with Indian Country and we also enjoy close relationships with members Congress. So progress is certainly being made but we have to keep moving the ball forward to make sure we don t take steps backward. Speaking of the federal government what regulatory obstacles still remain for tribal business enterprises What is one message you want Congress to know about Indian Country business There are plenty. Despite tribal sovereignty the federal government too often feels the need to dictate what MARCH 2016 49 COVER STORY WE BUILT THE NATIVE EDGE TO DEVELOP MORE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES CREATE JOBS AND PROVIDE NETWORKING AND TRAINING 24 HOURS A DAY SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. we do on tribal lands. Look no further than the recent push by the National Labor Relations Board to take away the authority for tribes to effectively govern their own employee-employer relations at tribally owned enterprises on tribal land. Fortunately we ve seen significant bipartisan pushback on this issue in Congress but there are others areas too. We need to make sure that Indian Country has the same access to capital and loan guarantees that other communities have. Obtaining the necessary capital to start a business is a chronic problem in our communities and federal funding often remains woefully inadequate to meet these needs. As has often been the case it s one step forward and two steps back with our relationship with the federal government. My message is simple Give Indian Country the tools and the pathway for success. We are involved in myriad business ventures and are inherently self-starters and entrepreneurs. But don t stand in our way. And when we need a boost like loan guarantees make sure those programs are effective and funded appropriately. How can tribes and individual American Indian-owned small businesses work more closely together in order to keep money flowing in the Native community I often hear revenue generation mistakenly referred to as economy. When we say a business sector creates X amount of dollars that s not an economy. That s revenue generation. We want and need both of these things. We desperately need revenue generation and for the revenue that is generated to stay in our communities and be exchanged at least seven times before finally leaving. That is an economy. The biggest thing for tribes to do is to keep the money in their communities or within Indian Country as a whole. If we can do that we can develop a tribal economy built to last. But that cannot happen without the growth and development of American Indian businesses. We desperately need more community-based entrepreneurs to create businesses that serve our communities and keep the dollars from leaving. We also have to find ways to attract more outside dollars and investments into the community and subsequently find multiple ways for those dollars to stay in the community and not leave. That s one of the reasons why RES is so important so Native businesses and tribal leaders can network learn best practices and do business together and find companies who wish to do business with them. We built the Native Edge to develop more business opportunities create jobs and provide networking and training 24 hours a day seven days a week. Before the Native Edge there was no platform to aggregate and expand business relationships beyond RES. We are now seeing more and more Native-owned businesses and tribes use the Native Edge to start the process of building those economies. If Native-owned businesses and tribes start to contract with and buy from one another we ll begin to see truly sustainable economies that we ve long sought. So from that vantage point we are who we have been waiting for. The Native Edge makes buying and hiring in Indian Country a reality. Lastly our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has helped countless Native-owned businesses get the skills and training they need to win contracts and bring economic development to their communities. Taking advantage of a program like our PTAC can be tremendously beneficial to businesses and accelerate opportunity for them and create these economies I often discuss. Can you give us a preview of the upcoming RES in Las Vegas What should attendees expect Anything new This year marks a big milestone for National RES Las Vegas it s our 30th anniversary We ve moved down the Strip to the Mirage after several years at Mandalay Bay and we expect it to be the biggest and best RES ever. We encourage Indian Country to come out in full force to network learn about business opportunities and get the training and information needed to become successful. Some of the sessions and events we plan to offer include the Small Business Boot Camp a one-day event for current and aspiring small business owners the Buy Native Procurement & Matchmaking Expo where a company s products and services can be matched with procurement officers from the government and corporate America the Interactive Access to Capital Fair with representatives from financial intuitions capable of funding business ideas and much much more. Over the years I ve found that at each RES we present something new and special but you have to be there to be a part of the excitement and seize the opportunities that are right for your business. It s pretty awesome and exciting when I stop to think about the millions and millions of dollars that RES has facilitated for businesses in Indian Country over the last 30 years. What s even more exciting is the opportunity we have to facilitate more economic growth for Indian Country over the next 30 years. In that regard we are already serving the next generations of our people and making a better way for them. And as Native people that s the most important work we can do. 50 MARCH 2016 TBJ is looking for bright creative Native American professionals to join our growing team in the areas of Advertising Sales Editorial and Production. Please send your resume to slechner MARCH 2016 Join The TBJ Team 51 TRIBALNOMICS DOING BUSINESS WITH TRIBAL GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATIONS I HEATHER DAWN THOMPSON IS WITH THE INDIAN LAW PRACTICE GROUP AT GREENBERG TRAURIG LLP. SHE IS A MEMBER OF THE CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBE (SOUTH DAKOTA) THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND A GRADUATE OF HARVARD LAW SCHOOL. SHE ADVISES NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES TRIBALLY OWNED CORPORATIONS AND THEIR PARTNERS ON INSTITUTION BUILDING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. CONTACT HER AT THOMPSONHD GTLAW.COM OR 303.685.7444. Some Competitive Advantages BY HEATHER DAWN THOMPSON TRIBAL CORPORATIONS CREATE GOVERNMENTAL REVENUE. Unlike most governments due to a variety of legal and practical impediments Native American tribal governments do not receive a significant tax-based revenue to run their governments or provide governmental services. Tribal land is held in trust by the federal government and as such it is not subject to property tax tribal unemployment rates are very high so there is no realistic opportunity for tribal income tax and sales taxes are often overlaid with state sales tax and are therefore impractical. As a result many tribes must participate in the private marketplace in order to generate governmental revenue. Tribal governments create wholly owned tribal corporations and own a wide variety of businesses (casinos gas stations hotels etc.) to generate a revenue stream for their governmental services. SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING. Most tribes welcome outside investment. Unlike a privately held company however all of the tribe s share of profits from tribal governmentowned corporations go back into the tribal corporation and into the government s budget for education infrastructure winter heating assistance etc. Therefore investments in tribal government-owned corporations go directly toward the economic empowerment of a historically disadvantaged people. CULTURAL CACHET. While perhaps not a direct financial advantage many individuals and countries (such as Germany and Turkey) have a significant interest in Native American tribes and culture. Thus the idea of investing in or partnering with Native American tribal government-owned corporations has an additional marketing cachet. n an expanding global economy investors are looking for competitive advantages and more lucrative business environments. Companies and investors might be surprised to discover that a favorable partnership might exist in their own backyard. Under the U.S. Constitution Native American tribes are recognized as semi-sovereign nations which means their governments have the authority to establish their own laws and regulations. As such most tribes have wholly owned corporate entities that enjoy most of the same legal protections and advantages as the tribe itself. In addition the federal government has enacted an array of financial incentives to encourage investment in projects in economically distressed areas in general and on tribal lands specifically. There are over 560 Native American tribal governments in the United States and there are a number of factors that can make these tribes and their wholly owned corporations very attractive for your business partnerships and investments. TRIBES ARE SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENTS WITH SOVEREIGN CORPORATIONS TRIBAL GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATIONS. Under tribal law or federal law (Section 17) tribal governments can charter their own tribal government-owned corporations. These corporations hold the same status as the tribe itself for purposes of federal income tax exemptions and sovereign immunity from suit. While they are subject to federal law tribal governments and their tribal corporations are generally not subject to state laws. Further tribal governments can promulgate their own regulations in regards to economic activity on their lands. 52 MARCH 2016 FLEXIBLE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENTS ZONING. Tribal lands are generally not subject to local county and state zoning and land-use restrictions or state permitting requirements. Tribes regulate their own lands. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. Tribes can issue environmental licenses and permits in conformance with tribal and federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements. PRODUCT LIABILITY. Tribes can structure product liability laws for their courts to cap liability for concerns that might require this type of protection. FEDERAL AND STATE TAX EXEMPTIONS NO FEDERAL OR STATE INCOME TAX. Like any government-owned entity tribes and tribal enterprises are exempt from federal and state income taxes. If a business entity is formed between a tribe and a nontribal company the portion that is owned by the tribe (or the tribal corporation) is in most cases exempt from federal and state income taxes. NO STATE SALES TAX. Most tribes do not have their own sales taxes. In addition most states provide state sales tax exemptions for sales to governmental entities. NO STATE PROPERTY TAX. If the land is located on the Indian reservation and is owned by the tribe in trust with the federal government then the land is not subject to state property taxes. NO STATE PROPERTY IMPROVEMENTS TAX. Tribal trust lands and tribal improvements on such lands are exempt from state taxation. Under new federal regulations tribes can take additional regulatory steps to provide non-tribally owned improvements the same exceptions. MARCH 2016 53 TRIBALNOMICS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AVAILABLE TO INVESTORS AND BUSINESSES PARTNERING WITH INDIAN TRIBES AND TRIBALLY OWNED CORPORATIONS. FEDERAL TAX CREDITS TAX CREDITS FOR INVESTORS (NEW MARKET TAX CREDITS). New Markets Tax Credits are available for investors that make capital investments on Indian reservations providing tax credits of up to 39 percent of the entire amount of the investment. The tax credit is spread over seven years 5 percent of the investment for the first three years and 6 percent of the investment amount can be claimed the next four years. INDIAN WAGES AND INSURANCE TAX CREDITS. Employers can receive a tax credit of up to 20 percent of wages and health insurance for qualified employees living on Indian reservations. ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION FOR EQUIPMENT AND BUILDINGS. Businesses can claim depreciation at twice the normal rate for locating equipment and buildings on tribal land. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING PREFERENCES PREFERENCES ON BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS (BIA) CONTRACTS (BUY INDIAN ACT). Because of the unique treaty responsibilities of the BIA it has the authority to give preferences to Indian and tribally owned companies in its procurement contracts. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PREFERENCES FOR TRIBAL GOVERNMENT OWNED C O R P O R AT I O N S (8(A) PREFERENCES). The Small Business Administration s (SBA) 8(a) program authorizes preferences for minority-owned small businesses in bidding for federal contracts. However if the company is owned by a tribal government rather than by just an individual Native American it receives additional benefits such as not being subjected to the lower contract amount caps. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PREFERENCES FOR ANY BUSINESS LOCATED ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS (HUBZONE PREFERENCES). If a small business is located on Indian lands and 35 percent of its employees reside on the reservation the company is eligible for HUBZone preferences in the awarding of federal contracts. Benefits include competitive and sole source contracting and a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. SUBSIDIZED FINANCING INCENTIVES FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS (IMMIGRANT INVESTOR EB-5 VISAS). Under this federal government program foreign investors receive American visas in return for investments that create 10 new U.S. jobs. Generally the investment required is 1 million. However in rural areas and areas of high unemployment which includes many Native American reservations the investment required is only 500 000. TAX-EXEMPT BONDS (TRIBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (TED) BONDS). There are annual IRS allocations available for tribes to issue governmental bonds which are tax exempt for investors. Projects must be located on tribal lands provide essential governmental functions and not involve gaming but otherwise the bonds are quite flexible. USDA LOW INTEREST LOANS FOR COMMUNITY FACILITIES. The USDA provides low interest loans and some grants for tribal governments to build essential community facilities in rural areas. Eligible facilities include hospitals clinics airport hangars child care centers fire departments police stations prisons schools and local food systems. USDA LOAN GUARANTEE FOR RURAL BUSINESSES. The USDA provides loan guarantees ranging from 60 to 80 percent of a privately financed loan. The business must be located in a rural area (less than 50 000 inhabitants). The loan guarantee can be used for business conversion land rightsof-way buildings equipment inventory and debt refinancing and business acquisitions when it saves or creates jobs. BIA LOAN GUARANTEES FOR INDIAN RESERVATION PROJECTS. Tribes can obtain a loan guarantee from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for up to 90 percent of a private loan. The business must be located on or near an Indian reservation and must contribute to the economy of the reservation. The tribe must have at least 20 percent equity in the business. The loans may be used for a variety of purposes including operating capital equipment purchases business refinance building construction and lines of credit. CONCLUSION Each Native American tribe and tribal corporation has its own unique culture values and goals for doing business. There are a number of competitive advantages available to investors and businesses partnering with Indian tribes and tribally owned corporations. Businesses that fully appreciate the uniqueness of working with tribes can thrive doing business in Indian Country and do good while doing well. 54 MARCH 2016 It Starts Here MARCH 2016 7.95 Advertise in the only publication distributed to over 15 000 of the most influential leaders in Indian Country. For information on advertising and subscribing call 954-377-9691 or email slechner Gary Davis FOR BUSINESS INVEST THE 21ST-CENTURY VOICE IC DEVELOPMENT MENT AND PROFITABLE ECONOM OPPORTUNITIES IN INDIAN COUNTRY Tribal Leaders think Beyond Gaming COMMUNICATION Communication BY GLENN ZARING is Not Optional D uring my many years as a journalist and then as a public affairs director of a tribe I have learned some important lessons along the way. FOUR LESSONS LEARNED your tribal business bring to the table that will help them be successful How do you communicate to them the advantages of doing business with your tribal organization You might have the best product or service on the market and it might be just what your customers need to be successful but if your communication cannot convey this you will never have the opportunity to prove it to them and your business will fail. 1. THE (TRIBAL) TOWER OF BABEL Years ago while living in West Berlin Germany I had a favorite restaurant in Steglitz. I also had a favorite waiter Antonio. The one problem though was neither one of us spoke enough of the other s native language to fully communicate in it. We solved the problem by having conversations in a mix of German English and Italian. We saw the challenge and we figured out how to handle it effectively. The benefit of our arrangement was that when Antonio opened his own restaurant he could let me know. He had a ready-made customer and I had a comfortable place where I was a friend of the owner. We both won In the tribal nations we are proud of our languages. They define us and give us a base upon which to build a life and to have meaning. But like Antonio and me not everybody speaks the same language. This is a challenge that must be recognized and dealt with if we expect to grow tribal businesses that interact successfully outside of our own communities. 2. THEY NEED TO LEARN OUR LANGUAGE As Native Americans we take pride in our languages. And because of this pride we often feel that outsiders should make the effort to learn to communicate with us using our language. While that desire is understandable we have to analyze what our purpose is with our tribal business. Is it to forcefully spread our culture Is it to gain greater acceptance of our tribal identity Or is it to make our tribal business successful and thus help our people There is no wrong answer it is just a choice that you have to make. Based on that choice there is one overarching principle that should guide how you approach your business The customer or intended customer must clearly understand what you are saying what you are offering and what it can do for their business. Without this understanding you have lost before you have even started. 4. PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS... YOUR SECRET WEAPON Having someone on staff or on call that can help with this communication challenge can save a lot of heartache and money. It can also help your tribal business (and indeed your tribal nation) to succeed. Let s be honest here. You can have what you your secretary Aunt Katie down at the Chapter House and your wife s second cousin feel is a great message about the new tribal business. But if your potential customer cannot easily understand the message you do not get the business. It is that simple. Have someone help who understands the public affairs spectrum. Have them not just review the message but also the potential customers. Let them dig in a bit to learn what is driving the customers what their true needs are and then have the public affairs office come up with a communication strategy based on this research. Get the advertising and marketing folks involved but first provide them with the communication strategy if you want to get good results. They can make it pretty but you can make it succeed. GLENN ZARING IS THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR FOR THE LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS BASED IN MANISTEE MICHIGAN. 3. DO THEY HEAR THE MESSAGE Tribal businesses need customers. To win customers and to keep them you must establish a good method of communication. Ask yourself questions about your potential customers. Do you really know what they do and what they need to be successful What can 56 MARCH 2016 CALENDAR PHOENIX INDIAN GAMING TRADESHOW & CONVENTION NATIONAL INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE Phoenix Convention Center Phoenix Arizona 13 16 NATIONAL RES LAS VEGAS NATIONAL CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT The Mirage Las Vegas Nevada 21 24 March 2016 COEUR D ALENE CASINO RESORT HOTEL LAS VEGAS SIXTH TRIBAL LAND STAFF NATIONAL CONFERENCE NATIONAL TRIBAL LAND ASSOCIATION Coeur d Alene Casino Resort Hotel Worley Idaho 22 24 IN THE NEWS FERTILE GROUND INDIAN COUNTRY IS RIPE FOR INVESTMENT DURING THE FALL OF 2015 41 major national regional and tribal funders and federal and state funding agencies met for a roundtable discussion in Minneapolis to explore ways to address the very real challenges that Native peoples face regarding food nutrition and health. The Fertile Ground Planting the Seeds of Native Health Funders Roundtable was convened by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the American Heart Association with the assistance of Echo Hawk Consulting. During the roundtable participants accomplished significant work and laid the basis for developing new strategies and programs to address the food crisis in Indian Country. As a result a report has been produced that hopefully will serve as a road map for new partnerships and investments in Indian Country. One key takeaway from the report is that the lack of access to capital and credit for American Indian food producers communities and tribes and the subsequent underinvestment and underdevelopment of Indian Country are Serving Indian Country Gookomis Endaad (Your Grandmother s House) 20-bed residential treatment center Lac du Flambeau Reservation Site Design and Master Planning Ecological Services Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering Structural Engineering Land Surveying Corporate Headquarters Brookfield WI (262) 781-1000 Appleton WI -- Madison WI -- Irvine CA Naperville IL -- Pittsburgh PA serious and fundamental challenges that must be prioritized and addressed through increased investment infrastructure development and policy changes. Indian Country is ripe for investment Mike Roberts president of First Nations Development Institute told the roundtable participants. The report also states that it is imperative to explore the specific needs similarities and differences in approach that are required to address food access issues and health disparities within reservation and urban American Indian communities. Each population within Indian Country has its own unique challenges and opportunities for impact. 58 MARCH 2016 NATIVE BUSINESS OWNERSHIP UP 15.3 PERCENT DURING FIVE-YEAR PERIOD THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU has released its latest Survey of Business Owners which tracks trends in business development among various groups based on race and ethnicity. Included were statistical trends for American Indians and Alaska Native-owned businesses. The report showed that American Indianand Alaska Nativeowned firms grew to 272 919 in 2012 from 236 691 in 2007. This represents a 15.3 percent growth. Other findings While American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms accounted for 1 percent of all U.S. firms they made up 2.7 percent of those in the agriculture forestry and fishing and hunting sector. For comparison American Indians and Alaska Natives accounted for 1.8 percent of the 18-and-older population in 2012. California had more American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms than any other state (41 254) followed by Oklahoma (27 450). Alaska was the state where American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms comprised the highest percentage of all firms (11 percent). Los Angeles County had more American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms than any other county in the country with 11 081 firms. May 8 -11 2016 Annual Convention & Tradeshow Visit or for more information. TRIBAL ENERGY LEGISLATION PASSES SENATE IN DECEMBER 2015 THE U.S. SENATE passed the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2015. The bill will give Indian tribes more tools to develop their energy resources and to remove unnecessary barriers to economic development in Indian Country. One of the best ways to facilitate economic opportunities in Indian Country is to give tribes more control over the development of their natural resources says Sen. John Barrasso R-Wyo. chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This bill helps tribes by streamlining Washington s slow approval process and cutting red tape. It will help create wellpaying jobs across Indian Country while For more information call 505.724.3592 MARCH 2016 59 IN THE NEWS TRIBAL ENERGY CONTINUED increasing our nation s energy security. I look forward to it passing in the House and being signed into law soon. Tribes should be in control of their energy resources says Sen. Jon Tester D-Mont. vice chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. This bipartisan bill increases selfdetermination and allows tribes to build a sustainable energy plan that will create wellpaying jobs and a more stable economy. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 included an Indian Energy title Title V which was enacted to deal with the delays and uncertainties inherent in the Bureau of Indian Affairs energy leasing process. Title V was intended to provide Indian tribes with an alternative way to develop their energy resources. The new bill addresses other aspects of Indian energy development including a biomass demonstration project for biomass energy production from Indian forest lands rangelands and other federal lands in accordance with program requirements developed by the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture after consulting with Indian tribes. This would facilitate the development of tribal biomass projects by providing Indian tribes with access to more With access to more than 300 MILLION CONSUMERS a robust set of metrics the next generation of real-time IDENTITY and BANK ACCOUNT authentication and RISK MANAGEMENT tools CREDIT REPORTS ABILITY CONSUMER COMPLIANCE TO PAY CUSTOM RISK SCORES ANALYTICS MANAGEMENT BANK ALTERNATIVE DATA VERIFICATION BUSINESS LOSS PREVENTION IDENTITY VERIFICATION WE CAN HELP PREVENTION RISK FRAUD This would facilitate the development of tribal biomass projects by providing Indian tribes with access to more reliable and potentially long-term supplies of woody biomass materials. reliable and potentially long-term supplies of woody biomass materials. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives where it is expected to receive little resistance for consideration and passage. 1-800-295-4790 email sales 60 MARCH 2016 INNOVATIVE E-COMMERCE AN UNLIKELY SOLUTION a short documentary film that explores how innovative Native American tribes are offering consumers access to installment loans and other financial service products over the Internet won four awards at the prestigious Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards. The film was named a winner in the documentary feature narration editing and music score categories. The film documents the successes and challenges of geographically isolated tribes who lacking traditional business opportunities have found an economic lifeline in the Internet through consumer loans. These loans are a saving force for the millions of underbanked Americans who have been shut out of the traditional banking system and cannot otherwise access credit when they need it most. An Unlikely Solution tells the powerful story of the necessity and opportunity for e-commerce in Indian Country says Barry Brandon executive director of the Native American Financial Services Association. Tribal online lending entities not only help tribes by generating revenue for critical social services they also benefit consumers who have been shut out of the traditional banking system. We re thrilled that this film and the important issues it raises have been recognized. Winning the awards proves there are people out there looking at what this film is about says filmmaker Chuck Banner who produced the documentary. It helps get the message out about tribal sovereignty. The film is available to view online for free at UNDENIABLY SOVEREIGN AN AFFILIATE NETWORK WITH UNLIMITED POWER TO OUTPERFORM ArrowShade is the first wholly owned sovereign affiliate network for short-term loans. More than just a tribal network we take a sovereign approach to e-commerce. And so should you. Expanding your marketing presence into sovereign channels yields greater reach and endless possibilities. This unique approach allows you to expand your transcend jurisdictional boundaries and operate freely while still in compliance with federal law. Because we adhere to our own strict tribal code of laws and regulations we offer the unrivaled ability to seamlessly conduct e-commerce transactions across inter-state international and U.S. sovereign jurisdictions. Not every network can do that. Why limit yourself Take a sovereign approach and embrace what s next. 855.568.5924 MARCH 2016 61 IN THE NEWS LAC VIEUX DESERT BAND PURCHASES BELLICOSE CAPITAL THIS TRANSACTION IS WITHOUT QUESTION the most important economic development in the history of our tribe commented Tribal Chairman James Williams Jr. of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (LVD) on the day the tribe finalized its purchase of Bellicose Capital. It is always a testament to our growth as a tribe and as entrepreneurs when we are able to complete transactions like this. It shows the world that we have laid the foundation through knowledge training and infrastructure investments to further the livelihoods of our tribal citizens. Bellicose Capital has now been merged into Ascension Technologies LLC a subsidiary formed under the laws of the tribe of Tribal Economic Development (TED) Holdings LLC a wholly owned and operated instrumentality of the tribe. With the acquisition LVD has become the first tribe to own a lending company with a fully integrated sophisticated support services business which includes vendor identification due diligence and management compliance management oversight and auditing services marketing employee training and credit modeling and risk assessment development. In recent years LVD has focused on economic diversification by harnessing the power of the Internet to replace income lost from the lack of tourism and the downturn in the economy affecting casino revenue. LVD began its lending operations after necessary due diligence that included both a financial review of the industry and an analysis of relevant federal and state laws related to tribal involvement in the delivery of financial services. After careful consideration and before engaging in any lending activity LVD enacted laws necessary and proper to authorize and regulate the delivery of financial services through wholly owned and operated entities of the tribe. LVD is located in Watersmeet Michigan in the southwestern part of Michigan s Upper Peninsula. Helping you make the right decision at the right time Information is a powerful thing. And the right information--analyzed by experienced people-- can help all of us learn from the past navigate the present and predict the future. That s why we go beyond credit data-- to offer the insights businesses and consumers need to make informed decisions and do great things. Our diverse sets of data and analytic solutions deliver meaningful insights to help you spot opportunities and manage risk. LEARN MORE Visit for more information 62 MARCH 2016 COCOPAH INDIAN TRIBE BECOMES MAJOR INVESTOR IN INDUSTRIAL PARK POSITIONED FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION is what the Cocopah Indian Tribe had in mind when it decided to become a major investor in the Gary Magrino Industrial Park located east of the city of San Luis Arizona near the San Luis II Port of Entry. Given its proximity to a port of entry that only handles commercial trucks entering the United States the new 250-acre industrial park was designed to accommodate international industrial operations providing manufacturing warehouse and distribution facilities. Cocopah Indian Tribe Vice Chairman J. Deal Begay Jr. and Cocopah Business Development Director Gary Magrino were among the more than two dozen public officials and business leaders who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 12 2016 for the industrial park. In addition to the tribe s investment funding for the industrial park came from the federal government and various other stakeholders. The Gary Magrino Industrial Park will be linked to Interstate 8 by the controlled-access Area Service Highway (ASH-195) to serve commerce importing and exporting through Yuma County. ocopah Business Development Director Gary Magrino (left) his wife Debbie Magrino and Cocopah Vice-Chairman J. Deal Begay Jr. MARCH 2016 63 TRADE ASSOCIATION PARTNERS BY BRANDON THOMS TO MAINTAIN OUR MOMENTUM W BRANDON THOMS (CHIPPEWA CHEROKEE) OWNS AND OPERATES TORCHLIGHT CONSULTING A NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNICATIONS PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING FIRM LOCATED IN LAC DU FLAMBEAU WISCONSIN. HE HAS OVER 25 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN CASINO GAMING MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS. Indian Country Must Stay Politically Engaged that set their visit to one property apart from another. Although there are countless factors affecting gaming trends such as culture and traditional experiences the growing number of gaming millennials technology and ecofriendly practices are some of the most influential. Many Indian nations have yet to tap into the full potential that tourism brings. With gaming constantly evolving and growing worldwide tribes consistently work to stay ahead of the technological curve to remain competitive. Technological advancements do not always translate into winning hands for tribes no matter how cutting-edge those products or services may be. This is where tribes and their marketing experts can shine. Along with the marketability of the technology there also remains the issue of regulation. It is critical that tribes have the moxie and strategic vision to venture into unchartered waters without taking unnecessary risks. A major component of this growth will come down to collaboration among tribes and their partners and their ability to build off of successful models. Internet gaming continues to linger at the federal level and NIGA will remain watchful of any action on this important issue. It is imperative that tribes and tribal leaders stay on top of industry news and monitor developments. NIGA joins NCAI in the call to all of Indian Country to engage members of Congress in an ongoing effort to reinforce their positions on critical issues that impact our communities. If tribes are to continue along the path of selfdetermination Native people nationwide must commit to proactive engagement on every level of government. Indian gaming is helping elevate Indian people and our communities that much is clear however it is up to tribal governments tribal leaders and activists in each of our communities to pursue and forge relationships with Congress and state representatives and most importantly VOTE. The progress achieved through active engagement with the White House has met all expectations. NIGA is hopeful this signals a shift in federal policy when dealing with Indian tribes. The president and his administration have set an incredibly positive tone for governmentto-government relations with tribal nations. Much of the cooperation has come by way of bipartisan support for tribal initiatives. This is a testament to the effort put forth by NCAI NIGA tribal leaders and tribes in advocating for a seat at the table. Tribal nations are now firmly visible on the national landscape but it is up to the tribes themselves to reaffirm their rightful place as leaders of this great country. ith the 2016 presidential campaign season in full swing most political pundits have low expectations for legislation to move in the U.S. Congress. However the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) expects that Indian gaming will remain engaged on Capitol Hill to take advantage of existing opportunities and to guard against challenges to Indian gaming and tribal sovereignty. Over the past seven years Indian Country has been blessed with historic victories in Congress and the executive branch. President Barack Obama and his administration have extended an overwhelming level of participation and inclusion to Indian tribes on the federal level. Tribes will continue to work to ingrain the unprecedented respect for tribal sovereignty at the various agencies and to develop new policies before the end of Obama s term in office. Indian gaming revenues in 2014 grew to 28.5 billion with an additional 3.8 billion in ancillary gaming-related revenues (hotels food and beverage etc.). When the figures for 2015 are released that number is expected to show another year of steady growth. While gaming remains relatively strong tribes remain diligent in diversifying tourism offerings for their customers. Today s gaming consumers are looking for memorable experiences 64 MARCH 2016 THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADMINISTRATION HAVE SET AN INCREDIBLY POSITIVE TONE FOR GOVERNMENT-TOGOVERNMENT RELATIONS WITH TRIBAL NATIONS. MARCH 2016 65 LAST PAGE Seminole Dolls... T 66 MARCH 2016 he Seminole dolls that are portrayed in the photo are more than what the eyes perceives. These dolls portray friendship to an only child or a group of children. They are not just palmetto fiber husk stuffed with material (often cotton remnants from patchwork designs) shaped to portray a Seminole male and female. These Seminole dolls accurately portray the clothing and hairstyle worn by traditional Seminole men and women. The male and female dolls above were made by Minnie Tommie-Howard a full-blood traditional Seminole Indian woman that is a member of the Bird Clan. As Minnie shares her love and passion for making these dolls she is reminded of days where money was scarce and the ability to afford dolls of any kind was far and very few in between. While money was scarce love and compassion for mankind was abundant. The desire for a doll to play with allowed for the creation of the palmetto fiber Seminole doll making way for a doll that reflects the look and lifestyle of her beloved Seminole family. Today these dolls have become collectors items and to many little Seminole girls they remain in first place over any other doll including Barbie and Ken. These handmade dolls won first place during the Seminole Powwow located on Seminole Tribal Homelands in Hollywood Florida in 2002. [Dolls provided by Chupco Indian Art Gallery.] While the artist has transitioned she leaves behind a legacy of filling the void of loneliness and boredom for little girls all over the world that have found friendship in their dolls. The Royal Flush of casino marketing. Redline Media Group is a full service creative marketing and advertising agency. Our Team has extensive experience in the development of targeted casino marketing campaigns player activation prospecting and development initiatives. CREATIVE DESIGN DIRECT MAIL IN-ROOM iVIEW VIDEO PRODUCTION MEDIA PLANNING & BUYING STRATEGIC AD PLACEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA 1-855-9-GO2RMG (1-855-946-2764) TRIBAL COMMUNITIES ARE GENERATING SIGNIFICANT REVENUE FROM THEIR FORESTS WITH AMERICA S LEADING DEVELOPER OF FOREST CARBON PROJECTS. Tribal leaders are looking for new ways to provide future generations with a strong economic foundation while preserving tribal values. Many are turning to their forest for answers... By developing a carbon finance program tribes are making a commitment to forest conservation and making money doing it--up to 50 million or more in the first year. Tribes can still harvest their forests every year--as long as it s not more than the annual growth. This new opportunity is largely due to new trends in climate change legislation starting in California with 2 billion available to landowners who practice sustainable forestry and help companies reduce their green-house gas emissions. Unique in the tribal carbon industry Finite Carbon s team includes tribal leaders who understand that each federally recognized Indian tribe is a sovereign nation with its own history customs laws and practices. Finite Carbon respects tribal sovereignty and works with each tribe to help determine whether a carbon finance program is right for their community. Finite Carbon didn t just deliver a successful project. They built a strong relationship with the entire tribal community and took the time to understand our culture and values. For that the Passamaquoddy is proud to call them friends as well as partners. FOREST SUPERVISOR ERNIE NEPTUNE PASSAMAQUODDY TRIBE Finite Carbon is developing 300 million in offsets on over 1.6 million acres of US forest land. From education and evaluation to marketing and sales our team of professional foresters and tribal leaders is Indian Country s premier tribal carbon partner. Connect with the Finite Carbon team to learn more about this exciting new opportunity. Contact Dylan Jenkins at 570.321.9090 or visit us online at