Self-determination Success Story

Kelly wrote last week that the Indian Self Determination and Educational Assistance Act of 1975 (also known as the federal policy of self determination) has led to positive impact for the tribes, including the restructuring of tribal governments and their educational systems, court systems, law enforcement, streams of economic development, and more.

I was reminded of her post when I saw this story, “What Have You Done for You Lately?” by Mark Fogarty in this week’s edition of Indian Country Today Magazine. It’s all about tribal successes under self-determination.

Although progress began slowly, it picked up steam in the 1990s, and continued up until the 2008 recession. Only some of this progress is related to casinos; the tribes have invested in other ventures as well. And tribal progress under self-determination has remained steady despite economic cutbacks in federal support and continuing discrepancies in federal spending for American Indians versus other ethnic groups in the U.S.  I hope you’ll take some time to read the whole story. In the print magazine version, the front page quote says:

[Self-determination] is being manifested by wholesale changes in tribal institutions and policies as the Indian nations themselves rewrite their constitutions, generate increasing shares of their revenue through their own taxes and business enterprises, establish their own courts and law enforcement systems, remake school curricula, and so on.

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