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Tribal Economic Development: Indian Country's Policy Priorities for the Federal Government

Across Indian Country, Tribal Nations are forging impressive records of economic progress. From operating nation-owned enterprises to cultivating tribal citizen-owned businesses to preparing their people to access new job opportunities through workforce education and training, Tribal Nations are methodically building sustainable economies to support thriving Native communities. Driving this remarkable yet uneven renaissance is tribal self-determination, specifically the responsibility each Tribal Nation exercises to create a robust economy based on its cultural values, particular circumstances, and long-range priorities. To support Tribal Nations, the federal government must fulfill its binding trust and treaty obligations to take key actions to foster – and remove the barriers impeding – their economy-building efforts.

To that end, NCAIED coordinated the development of two policy briefs outlining the top-line policy steps Congress and the Administration should take to enhance Tribal Nations’ ability to grow vibrant economies based on their distinct challenges, needs, and goals. These consensus priorities are endorsed by the twelve contributing Native organizations featured at the bottom of page 1 of each brief. NCAIED will regularly update these briefs in collaboration with the other “Endorsing Organizations” as new policy developments and emerging policy opportunities warrant.

Tribal Economic Development: ADMINISTRATION Policy Brief

Tribal Economic Development: CONGRESS Policy Brief

Related Policy Documents Supporting Briefs

Access to Capital and Credit – ADMINISTRATION:

Native CDFI Network (NCN) Comment Letter on Community Reinvestment Act Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

NCN Comment Letter on CDFI Certification Application

NCN Comment Letter on Minority Lending Institution Designation Criteria

Access to Capital and Credit – CONGRESS:

NCN 2023 Policy Priorities

Calling on Congress to Increase Funding for the HUD Section 4 Program to $50 Million and Establish a 10% Set-Aside for Tribal Communities for FY 2024

Budget of the U.S. Government: Fiscal Year 2024

Enhancing Marketplace Competitiveness – ADMINISTRATION:

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Resolution #SAC-22-020: Calling on the Administration and Relevant Federal Agencies to Fully and Promptly Implement the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2020

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-001: Providing Parity for Tribal Nations and Tribally-Owned Firms within the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-005: Calling Upon the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to Require Consideration of Sister Subsidiary Past Performance

Enhancing Marketplace Competitiveness – CONGRESS:

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-004: Extending the Justification and Approval Threshold For Sole-Source Contracts Across All Government Agencies

DOI Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development: Opportunity Zones in Indian Country

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-025: Calling on Congress to Include Tax Immunity in the ARTIST Act of 2023 and Ensure Beneficiaries of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act are Citizens of Tribal Nations

Tax Fairness for Tribal Economic Development and Growth – ADMINISTRATION:

Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Dual Taxation Report

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-006: Urging the Department of Treasury to Acknowledge a Federal Income Tax Exemption for Tribally Chartered Corporations Wholly, Jointly, or Majority Owned by a Tribal Nation

NCAI Resolution #DEN-18-018: Urging the Department of the Interior to Restart its Process of Updating the “Licensed Indian Trader” Regulations and to Seek Congressional Legislation Preventing State Dual Taxation of Indian Commerce and Energy Development

Tax Fairness for Tribal Economic Development and Growth – CONGRESS:

United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET SPF) Proposals for Tribal Tax Reform

NCAI Resolution #ANC-14-026: Support for Congressional Authorization of Tribal Subchapter S Corporations

NCAI Resolution #MOH-17-011: Equitable Treatment for Tribal Nations in Congressional Tax Reform

NCAI Resolution #ABQ-19-015: Urging the Secretary of the Treasury to Assist in Ending Dual Taxation of Economic Activity in Indian Country

Land and Energy Development – ADMINISTRATION:

NCAI Resolution #ABQ-19-021: Promoting Native Homeownership Opportunities and Tribal Sovereignty by Streamlining BIA Residential Leasing and Mortgage Approval Processes

DOI Indian Affairs Mortgage Handbook

Land and Energy Development – CONGRESS:

Tribal Business News: Senate Committee Meets to Hear Testimony on Three Tribal Land Bills


Roll Call: Energy loan program for tribal lands remains untapped

Infrastructure and Workforce Development – ADMINISTRATION:

NCAI Resolution #MN-23-003: Calling Upon the Federal Communications Commission to Issue the Remaining Tribal Priority Window 2.5 GHz Licenses and Issue Remaining Auction 108 Licenses

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: Inaccurate data could hinder broadband access in Indian Country

Infrastructure and Workforce Development – CONGRESS:

Strengthening WIOA Section 166: Indian Country’s Policy Priorities

Growing Native Food Economies – ADMINISTRATION:

NCAI: The Farm Bill and Indian Country: Assessing the Present and Looking Ahead Policy Recommendations for the Federal Government

Tribal Business News: USDA Commits $2.3B to Boost Agriculture Exports Amid Farm Bill Uncertainty

Growing Native Food Economies – CONGRESS:

Native Farm Bill Coalition: Gaining Ground: A Report on the 2018 Farm Bill Successes for Indian Country and Opportunities for 2023

Akiptan: Native Agriculture Market Study Report

USET: Tribal Promise Zones Provision

Small Business Development – CONGRESS:

NCAIED: Key Indian Country Economic Development Legislation Passes Senate Committee

Fostering International Native Commerce – ADMINISTRATION:

NCAIED Comment Letter on Advancing Inclusive, Worker-Centered Trade Policy                 

Fostering International Native Commerce – CONGRESS:

USET SPF Proposals for Tribal Tax Reform