March 28, 2013

Business Expo looks towards future development

Business Expo looks towards future development
By Jerry W. Kram

Western North Dakota, and especially the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, is awash with oil money that, like the tides, flows into our communities and then flows back out of the state. Keeping that money local was one of the topics of the Indigenous Nations Economic Development & Energy Summit held at the Northern Lights Community Center last week.
Nearly 300 people attended each day of the two day summit. Twenty-five tribal nations and 95 oil industry companies from 23 states were represented at the summit. This is the fourth summit sponsored by the North Segment of the MHA Nation.
The theme of the summit was “Nation to Nation Building Through Economic Development,” said North Segment Tribal Councilman Ken Hall. The summit brought in leaders from tribes in the United States and Canada who have led successful economic development programs. Hall said he believed that tribal peoples should work together to build businesses that could create commerce between tribes.
One of the keynote speakers was Eric Henson, a Harvard researcher who has studied  tribal economic development. Henson has described two patterns of economic development, the standard approach and the nation-building approach.

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