CASE STUDY: OTOE-MISSOURIA TRIBE

INTERNET COMMERCE: HELPING OUR PEOPLE

In 2009, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe took a giant leap in developing economic opportunities for the Tribe and its members: establishing itself in the internet commerce arena. Internet commerce has been an invaluable vehicle for supporting economic growth, tribal services, and tribal development. Internet commerce’s potential impact on tribal growth and opportunity is immeasurable. Its effects have already proven tremendously critical for tribal advancement and financial assistance:

  • Budget: Accounts for 25% of Otoe-Missouria’s Non-federal Tribal budget;
  • Employment: Created 65 jobs on Tribal land, including financial support staff,
  • Head Start educators, and Tribal housing personnel;
  • Infrastructure: Critical funding for new tribal housing and renovation;
  • Education: Additional classrooms, books, and teachers for Head Start,
  • New after-school program, New Summer Youth program;
  • Tribal Services: Child Care Services, employment training, natural resources
  • development, financial assistance, utility assistance, healthcare and wellness coverage, emergency assistance;
  • Social Services: Child protection, Low- income Home Energy Assistance
  • Program, family violence protection.

Internet Commerce Initiatives: Providing for Our People

Background

Otoe Missouria Tribal MemberThe Otoe-Missouria Tribe is a Red Rock, Oklahoma-based Native American tribe with nearly 3,000 members. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe faces the unfortunate and all-too-common struggles plaguing Indian country today: staggering unemployment rates, limited opportunities, and lack of access to fundamental resources. In an increasingly competitive gaming environment, in which the Tribe has witnessed competitors open casinos in painful proximities, we continue to feel the seemingly insurmountable pressures of finding ways to relieve our gaming operations of the disproportionate burden of providing for our members.

Internet Commerce and the Future

Otoe-Missouria internet commerce initiatives do not just support basic, fundamental needs for Tribal operations and services. They extend the opportunity for the Tribe to move beyond sheer subsistence and basic economic survival. Internet commerce gives the Tribe hope in its ability to depart from its past struggles for survival to legitimate possibilities for continued economic growth, prosperity and success.

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The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana is a federally recognized Native American tribe with about 6,000 members. The Rocky Boy Reservation is continuously overwhelmed by high unemployment rates, limited opportunities, and limited access to essential resources. While some tribes have exponentially benefited from the gaming industry, the remote location of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation in north central Montana obstructs economic development through gaming.

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