“Indians Need Sovereignty Over Own Economic Destiny”

First Nations Development Institute is featured in the March 2015 issue of the Cultural Survival quarterly, which is a publication of the organization of the same name that, since 1972, has advocated for Indigenous peoples’ rights and supported Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience.

Besides the printed edition, a version of the First Nations article can be found online at http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/solid-and-self-sustaining-financial-ground.

Michael Roberts

In the article, First Nations President Michael Roberts discusses the history and work of First Nations. Among his observations: “In the case of economics, Indians need to have sovereignty over their own economic destiny and their own economies. [But] economic sovereignty will never happen as long as there is economic dependency. At First Nations we believe that Indians win when they control their own assets. When Indians control their own assets and manage them according to their own beliefs and values, they do it better. So if Indians get to the finish line and ultimately control their own assets but get there without their culture and their cultural values intact, then we won’t be able to call this a win.”

During 2015, First Nations is observing the 35th anniversary of its founding in 1980. For those three and a half decades, First Nations has used a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities to help restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States.

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