Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Leaders Speak Out Essay

3347 WordsDec 13, 200914 Pages
Interview with Ron His Horse Is Thunder Office of the President, Sitting Bull College Fort Yates, North Dakota What are the greatest problems facing the people of Standing Rock? The greatest problems on the reservation are lack of education and jobs. Off the top of my head, I'd say over half of the people on the reservation do not have a high school education and something like 25 per cent have a college education. You can't have a stable economy with a lack of education. Having an educated workforce will help address the jobs problem. Too often, the wrong approach is taken in creating jobs on Indian reservations, and that is to take natural resources and build a large industry. Any place that has happened, and not just on reservations, once those resources are gone, or when the contract runs out, the jobs disappear. Another fallacy is that you can create 500 or 1,000 jobs overnight; to do this you must rely on some outside contractor. The federal government sometimes gives money to these outside contractors to come on the reservation and start a business. The problem, again, is that if the business fails, the jobs are gone. To make jobs last on the reservation, you have to capture the money that is here. You need to develop the small businesses which provide the goods and services people need. Currently, reservation members go off-reservation to purchase these goods and services. To do that, you need educated people to manage those small businesses, so again, education is a priority. Once you have captured money on the reservation, you can look to bringing money from off-reservation here. The casinos do that, but much of the money that is captured is paid out in salaries to employees who spend it off-reservation. The money does not circulate in the local economy. A good example of how a local economy should work is in the Jewish community.

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