Economic Development and Nation Building in Native America
AM IND X 492.03
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This course explore real-world economic development strategies and projects from across Native America and evaluates the factors that contribute to their success and failure.
What you can learn.
- Evaluate how differences in natural resources, human capital and other factors impact tribal economic success
- Acquire skills to think analytically about economic development strategies
About this course:
Economic development is a critical challenge across Native America. On many reservations, employment opportunities are scarce, reliance on public assistance is high, and the local economy is weak. Yet on other reservations, tribes have established thriving Indian-owned ventures and built economies that generate employment and income even beyond the borders of their reservations. While some of the variation in economic performance can be explained by underlying levels of natural resources, human capital, and other internal factors, research has shown that tribes with strong and capable institutions of self-government, a long-term vision for their economies, and a purposeful regard for matching business initiatives to their tribal culture enjoy significantly improved chances of economic success. This course examines several real-world case studies of economic development strategies and projects from across Indian country and evaluates the factors that contribute to their success and failure. Instruction advocates a nation-building approach to economic development--a view which acknowledges that developing a vibrant economy is as much a political, cultural, and social challenge as it is an economic one. Given the heterogeneity of Native cultures and the circumstances in which they are located, no one solution will work in all settings. Instead, this course seeks to equip current and future leaders with the skills to think analytically about economic development strategies in their respective cultural contexts.