RAPID CITY –– The Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Economic Summit held in Rapid City was lauded as a huge success by tribal leaders.
Building upon a successful first day of interactive sessions, nearly 200 tribal leaders and stakeholders heard from Lance Morgan, President and CEO, Ho- Chunk, Inc. who described his organization’s economic development model. “A tribe can become successful when they adopt a multi-institutional model where public and private sectors drive the growth within the community,” he explained. “Innovation happens at the local level: housing, education, and businesses can create a sustaining model for tribes.”During introductory remarks, Brandon Sazue, Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Chairman, emphasized similar themes, saying, “Our tribe has found success by supporting entrepreneurial development through small business loans, homeownership support and alternative energy such as wind energy development.”
The Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST), in partnership with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Rocky Mountain Tribal Leadership Council, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Center for Indian Country Development, Bush Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, is hosting the Summit.
Experts offered sessions on analyzing business opportunities, cultivating human capital, and conducting economic impact studies. Business networks such as Indian Business Alliances, Chambers of Commerce and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers highlighted how tribal leaders can promote economic development through networking and collaboration with capacity building stakeholders. Opportunity forums organized by sectors such as agriculture, technology, arts/tourism, residential construction and alternative energy explored tangible next steps in support of community economic development for the tribes. A common theme for the Summit concerns governance and its importance as tribes strive to strengthen their business infrastructure.
For more information, visit www.oglalalakotanation. info.