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Reservation "Capitalism": Economic Development in Indian Country

by Robert J. Miller

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"Native American peoples suffer from health, educational, infrastructure, and social deficiencies of the sort that most Americans who live outside tribal lands are wholly unaware of and would not tolerate. Indians are the poorest people in the United States, and their reservations are appallingly poverty-stricken; not surprisingly, they suffer from the numerous social pathologies that invariably accompany such economic conditions. Historically, most tribal communities were prosperous, composed of healthy, vibrant societies sustained over hundreds and in some instances perhaps even thousands of years. By creating sustainable economic development on reservations, however, gradual long-term change can be effected, thereby improving the standard of living and sustaining tribal cultures. Reservation "Capitalism" relates the true history, describes present-day circumstances, and sketches the potential future of Indian communities and economics. It provides key background information on indigenous economic systems and property-rights regimes in what is now the United States and explains how the vast majority of Native lands and natural resource assets were lost. Robert J. Miller focuses on strategies for establishing public and private economic activities on reservations and for creating economies in which reservation inhabitants can be employed, live, and have access to the necessities of life, circumstances ultimately promoting complete tribal self-sufficiency."--… (more)

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"Native American peoples suffer from health, educational, infrastructure, and social deficiencies of the sort that most Americans who live outside tribal lands are wholly unaware of and would not tolerate. Indians are the poorest people in the United States, and their reservations are appallingly poverty-stricken; not surprisingly, they suffer from the numerous social pathologies that invariably accompany such economic conditions. Historically, most tribal communities were prosperous, composed of healthy, vibrant societies sustained over hundreds and in some instances perhaps even thousands of years. By creating sustainable economic development on reservations, however, gradual long-term change can be effected, thereby improving the standard of living and sustaining tribal cultures. Reservation "Capitalism" relates the true history, describes present-day circumstances, and sketches the potential future of Indian communities and economics. It provides key background information on indigenous economic systems and property-rights regimes in what is now the United States and explains how the vast majority of Native lands and natural resource assets were lost. Robert J. Miller focuses on strategies for establishing public and private economic activities on reservations and for creating economies in which reservation inhabitants can be employed, live, and have access to the necessities of life, circumstances ultimately promoting complete tribal self-sufficiency."--

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