NAFSA Executive Director Highlights Role of Tribal Sovereignty, Third Party Vendors to Tribal Lending Enterprises in New Forbes Article

Dec 13, 2019News, Tribal Sovereignty

In an article published in Forbes earlier this week, NAFSA Executive Director Gary Davis, a member of the Forbes Finance Council, highlighted the role of tribal sovereignty as a core principle of how tribes live, operate, and govern themselves, particularly as it applies to economic development.

That principle, Davis writes, was recently reaffirmed by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in what is being viewed as a landmark case for tribal economies.

“Key in the Fourth Circuit’s ruling is the finding that tribes, as sovereign nations, can create economic arms overseen by tribal laws and regulatory bodies,” Davis writes. “Per legal precedent, these tribal businesses can pursue commercial activities that generate revenue, much of which is reinvested into tribal programs and services, such as infrastructure development, education and healthcare, among others.”

“While these businesses are crucial to a tribe’s ability to sustain itself and provide for its members, they aren’t without their opponents, who far too often attempt to shut down tribally run businesses they disagree with by resorting to common tropes and previously debunked assertions,” Davis continued. “On this point, too, the Fourth Circuit was clear, stating that an entity’s right to tribal immunity cannot be determined by a court’s evaluation of the respectability of the business.”

Davis also discusses Tribes’ use of third-party vendors, and why such vendors do not disqualify tribes from their legal protections under tribal sovereignty.

Read the full article at Forbes.

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