I’ve long been an advocate for developing an economic base and infrastructure
on the rez as a way to achieve independence and an improved standard of living.
The simple truth is that it is an imperative and the only real viability.
Corporate, or off rez investors, who either own the business/entity outright,
or are majority holders, will lead to the same problems as those already seen,
the bottom line is, and always will be, the profit margin for them
If profits aren’t acceptable they will pull out or reduce wages. Pine Ridge
faces a huge hurdle as they have already seen in attracting business and
investment-in my opinion that is due primarily to the legacy left by WK2,
AIM, and the ones who still present themselves as leaders.
Investors have scared money-they want every assurance of success that can
be offered-they want stability, and above all else-profits.
I have advocated for what I refer to as an “ALL NATIONS” bank-one that is
more interested in investing than citing investors, more interested in service
than profit, one that has strength in numbers and unity, and inter tribal oversight. An all nations bank comprised solely of, and administered by the nations. That means every employee is of the nations.
A simple formula to capitalize such a venture would be for every indigenous
person to “invest” five dollars for seed money, for each nation as an entity
to invest what they are capable of, for the casinos to contribute/donate some
amount, even if only as a singular event-in doing the math it adds up, and would amount to a far greater capitalization than a hundred thousand and an immediate ability to impact the nations.
I think in an act of transparency the books should be open to all, and some
system of a rotating board of directors inclusive of all the nations should
be the operating standard.
The Lakota are certainly deserving of opportunity and I hope this so called
bank under the “protection” of the RoL will serve that end, but I admit to a
great initial skepticism, as I view the Rol not as a people based organization,
but a vehicle to garner attention for it’s founders.
I would be interested in the transparency of knowing who the investors are, the method of capitalization, lending requirements, and more importantly, who the Board members are-that will tell the tale.
There is an organization known as Kiva, that provides funding/loans on a one
to one basis to people in depressed conditions who would create a cottage industry,
or small business. It is well established and has an honorable record.
Perhaps it is that those who would lead refrain from promoting such an organization
do so as it bypasses the middle men, deals one to one, and what results none can claim
credit for other than those who through their own efforts made it happen.
Below is a link to their site, and I hope every indigenous person who has a
dream for a better life and the desire to work for it would familiarize themselves
with this organization and seriously consider it.
The creation of a bank, of any lending institution that strictly adheres to
the standard banking protocol isn’t what is needed-what is needed is that it be
reflective of those it serves, that it is owned cooperatively, and responsive to
members. If it fails to meet such criteria then look to Wall Street and the banking
industry and expect the same.
Will interest be charged to borrowers? If so at what percentage? Will collateral be required of a people who have little? Will it actually serve people, or the personal projects of those who administer? Will this bank dabble in global money market investments, the buying and trading of mortgages and loans that led to the latest economic upheaval? Are the deposits of the individual secure, or insured against failure? What oversight policy in is place and who directs that, the “chief facilitator”, or others who are independent?
I am always interested in the timing and possible relationship of events-I have a difficulty in accepting things as coincidence-we have found that following the convictions and revelations in John Graham’s trial for the murder of Annie Mae an absolute refusal to address any part of it by the RoL is in effect.
Like wise we have seen an increase in discussions about matriarchy, now it is an announcement about the Republic Of Lakota I Bank-coincidence, or diversion?