American Indian Entrepreneurs: Unique Challenges, Unlimited Potential

69 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008 Last revised: 19 Aug 2008

See all articles by Robert J. Miller

Robert J. Miller

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: June 30, 2008

Abstract

This article addresses the problems and the potential that American Indian businesspeople face in starting and operating businesses. American Indians are the poorest racial or ethnic group in the United States and the vast majority of the 300 Indian reservations do not have functioning economies. This is a disaster for creating economic activity in Indian Country and for addressing the extreme poverty present on almost all reservations. This article examines why that is true from legal, historic, and economic perspectives, and it sets out the potential for improving the number and success of Indian privately owned businesses. The article also addresses the common fallacy that Indian cultures did not understand private property rights and private entrepreneurial economic activity. In fact, American Indian people have supported themselves and their families for thousands of years through what we call today private business, private initiative, entrepreneurship, and free market trade.

Keywords: American Indian entrepreneurship, economic development, American Indian economic development, reservation development, reservation economies, entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: A13, D23, D63, N81, N82, Z10

Suggested Citation

Miller, Robert J., American Indian Entrepreneurs: Unique Challenges, Unlimited Potential (June 30, 2008). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 40, 2008, Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153708

Robert J. Miller (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
4809654085 (Phone)

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