Sovereignty and Nation-Building: The Development Challenge in Indian Country Today

Citation

Cornell, Stephen, and Joseph P. Kalt. 2003. "Sovereignty and Nation-Building: The Development Challenge in Indian Country Today.” Joint Occasional Papers on Native Affairs (JOPNA). Tucson and Cambridge: Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

The Indian nations of the United States face a rare opportunity. This is not the occasional business opportunity of reservation legend, when some eager investor would arrive at tribal offices with a proposal “guaranteed” to produce millions of dollars for the tribe—although such investors still appear, promises in hand. Nor is it the niche economic opportunity of gaming, although that has transformed some tribes’ situations in important ways. This opportunity is a political and organizational one. It is a chance to rethink, restructure, reorganize—a chance not to start a business or exploit an economic niche but to substantially reshape the future. It is the opportunity for nation-building.

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