Let Individual Indians Own Land on Reservations
Mortgaging homes is a common way for entrepreneurs to provide initial funds for their startups. So our keeping individual Indians from owning land on reservations, cuts off their access to funds for entrepreneurship.
The commentary quoted below is related to a book edited by Anderson and contributed to by Regan.
(p. A13) . . . , Native Americans showed a remarkable ability to adapt to new goods and technology. Italian trade beads became an integral part of American Indian decoration and art. The Spanish horse transformed Plains Indian hunting and warfare.
Over centuries, however, these adaptations and innovations have been replaced by subjugation by the U.S. government. In 1831, Chief Justice John Marshall declared the Cherokees to be a "domestic dependent nation" and characterized the relationship of tribes to the U.S. as resembling "that of a ward to his guardian." Marshall's words were entrenched when Congress became trustee of all Indian lands and resources under the Dawes Act of 1887.
In recent decades, the government has paid lip service to "tribal sovereignty," but in practice Native Americans have little autonomy. Tribes and individual Indians still cannot own their land on reservations. This means Native Americans cannot mortgage their assets for loans like other Americans, thus allowing them little or no access to credit. This makes it incredibly difficult to start a business in Indian Country. Even when tribes try to engage in economic activity, the feds impose mountains of regulations, all in the name of looking after Indian affairs.
For the full commentary, see:
TERRY L. ANDERSON and SHAWN REGAN. "It's Time for the Feds to Get Out of Indian Country; A permit to develop energy resources requires 49 steps on tribal lands and just four steps off reservations." The Wall Street Journal (Sat., Oct. 8, 2016): A13.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Oct. 7, 2016.)
The book mentioned at the top of this entry, is:
Anderson, Terry L., ed. Unlocking the Wealth of Indian Nations. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2016.