The New York Times
Helping Indian Tribes
February 12, 2012
“An Indian Reservation in Crime’s Deadly Grip” (front page, Feb. 3) correctly draws attention to the problems of Indian reservations in the United States. Especially striking was the statistic that more than 80 percent of the residents of Wind River Indian Reservation (Wyo.) are unemployed.
The economic downturn has hit Indian country much harder than other parts of the nation. And without the ability to generate revenue and provide jobs for tribal members, we will perpetuate a cycle of poverty.
The article also correctly points out that many reservations face harsh geographic challenges, limiting many tribes from being able to develop commerce and industry for their members. Luckily, we can find a solution to these problems in e-commerce. This business model has provided hope to Indian country.
We formed the Native American Lending Alliance to create new pathways for tribes to responsibly engage in e-commerce initiatives, providing new jobs and revenues to those in Indian country who need it most. And we are blazing new trails for our members.
While there are real problems in Indian country, merely doubling or tripling the number of police is a short-term loan solution. Only economic development and jobs can address the systemic problems that tribes face today.