Tracy Stanhoff, former tribal chairperson of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and current head of the Native American Chamber of Commerce of CA, and owner of AD PRO recently had an opinion piece published in Indian Country Today. Native nations should be looking to support American Indian businesses. And Native businesses need to step up their game so that they are hireable.
Here's an excerpt:
Our frustrating Indian politics are derailing one of the greatest economic opportunities in the history of Indian country, the ability to parlay our success in tribal government gaming into a sustainable, diverse, prosperous Indian business community.
I have been blessed, and with more than two decades of persistent, hard work my business has obtained work from the nation’s most progressive associations, tribes, tribal enterprises and other American Indian businesses.
I have been honored to lead my tribe, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, as tribal chairwoman in our quest for true tribal gaming economic self-sufficiency, by transitioning our casino from non-Native corporate management to our own tribal corporate management through the creation of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Entertainment Corporation.
As an aside, I have also been able to interact on another level with Corporate America, participating on many community boards where we are integrated with the presidents and CEOs of major multi-billion dollar corporations.
So I can say that I have sat on “both sides of the table” as a tribal leader contracting for products and services, and as a business owner seeking work. I have also witnessed how others keep themselves economically healthy by circulating their money back to their own communities.
The two largest and most esteemed national American Indian fraternal organizations, the National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Gaming Association, get it. They incorporate American Indian business usage into their organization’s supplier base.
One can argue that NCAI and NIGA could do more, but I know that they believe in our people and rotate projects around to qualified American Indians.
Read the rest of the article HERE and if you have a Native American business, you should consider joining the chamber. Networking is essential to growing your businesses and YOU MUST get into the game.