Thank you for your continued support of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. 2018 has been a very busy for us despite the fact that we’re less than five months into the year. In February, I was in London for the 2018 Intertribal Business summit, where I discussed the importance of our Native American economies with officials from both the United Kingdom and the U.S. government. We discussed trade but how to bring direct investments into our Native American communities, and I look forward to continuing these conversations at [insert details] in June.
In March, we had another successful Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas. RES had over 70 sessions geared towards economic and business development as well as hundreds of experts from our tribes, Alaska Native Villages and Corporations, the U.S. and Canadian governments, and corporate America. With the support of KeyBank, the National Center launched our new technical assistance program, NCTAP. NCTAP will be open to tribal governments, tribally owned businesses, tribal corporations, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native American entrepreneurs nationwide. NCTAP will focus on both public and private sector procurement opportunities, technical assistance, and training as well as coaching support for businesses in their growth stage of development. The funding will also enhance the National Center’s existing Procurement and Technical Assistance Centers and Native Edge Institutes.
We saw continued progress on the economic development front when just this week, H.R. 4506, the “Jobs for Tribes Act,” advanced unanimously through the House Natural Resources Committee. This bipartisan legislation will provide critical business and economic development assistance to Native American tribes and Alaska Native communities. The bill incorporates provisions similar to two bills already approved by the Senate: The Native American Business Incubators Act (S. 607) and the Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act (S.1116). The National Center for American Indian Development (National Center) championed this key legislation along with other Native organizations and tribes. I hope this legislation – which was introduced by our 2018 Congressional Achievement Award winner Congresswoman Norma Torres of California – will soon pass the full House and ultimately become law.
The National Center continues to work diligently on the behalf of our tribes, Native-owned businesses, and Alaska Native Corporations. We are able to do this because of your generous support – both at RES and throughout the year.
In the next few months, you will see redesign of our website, more training, counseling, and technical assistance opportunities through our Native Edge Institutes, and a newly redesigned Native Edge online portal that is more user-friendly. I am excited about these developments, and excited about future of the National Center and the work that will be done to enhance our tribal economies. I look forward to continuing our conversation throughout 2018 and beyond.