Adam Crepelle

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Tribes can solve many of their socioeconomic problems by embracing their traditional economic practices. Transforming reservation conditions begins by tribes enacting laws and developing institutions that are conducive to private enterprise. Similarly, tribes must embrace trade—both with foreign nations and other tribes. By returning to trade-based economies and adopting laws that facilitate private enterprise, tribes can decolonize reservation economies. The rest of the article proceeds as follows. Part I discusses Indian economic practices prior to European contact and examines the United States’ various Indian policies, removal to the present-day self-determination era. Part II of the paper analyzes various federal, state, and tribal policies that undermine economic development in Indian country. Part III of the paper sets forth reforms that tribal governments can implement to increase business growth in Indian country.

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