“At a time when diversifying our economic vision has never been more important, the National Center’s role in fostering global relations between Indian country and other countries to facilitate new opportunities beyond the U.S. is the future,” Davis said. “And that’s not just a one-way street. Tribal leaders have spoken about import and export, and how to exercise tribal sovereignty to not just help their own tribal communities, but to help drive the U.S. economy.
“While many people may find the idea of Indian country driving the U.S. economy absurd, I believe there is a way to do it,” he continued, citing the success of gaming in Indian country as an example. “Some people thought gaming was crazy. They never thought it would become so lucrative for many tribal nations.”
Davis realizes global expansion has to start at the regional level. The NCAIED plans to widen its scope by taking the highly successful Reservation Economic Summit (RES) into additional regionally focused events throughout the country. “It will be the RES model expanded into regionally focused events with nationally relevant content, so that we really drive economic momentum to regions across the U.S. by showcasing tribal enterprises,” he said. The first regional event, “RES Oklahoma,” will take place this November 14 and 15 at the Cherokee Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa. Next year, the main “RES Vegas” event will be held from March 11 to 14 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.