October 29, 2011

Cherokee Nation in JA BizTown

Cherokee Nation takes part in JA BizTownCherokee Nation is the first tribe to set up shop in the Tulsa Junior Achievement’s BizTown with the opening of a replicated Cherokee Phoenix newspaper on Friday.

It is part of a financial literacy initiative backed by the Cherokee Nation Foundation and Cherokee Nation Businesses.

“We are pleased that the Cherokee Nation is the first tribe to participate in this event,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Education has always been an important part of our culture, and we want to continue leading the way in these types of opportunities.”

“The greatest thing we can do for our children is educate them,” said David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “The Cherokee Nation has a long history of being a leader in education.”

JA BizTown replicates a city, only kid-sized. A mayor is elected to preside over the city, which is complete with restaurants, banks, schools and utility companies. The students complete an in-class curriculum pertaining to all aspects of business and industry prior to their visit to JA BizTown. Once they arrive to the facility, they apply what they’ve learned in the hands-on setting, working various jobs and making financial decision based on what they have learned.
Comment:  This points out something missing in the Children of the Plains documentary. Namely, that education and good schools is part of creating successful businesses. You need to know how the "system" works. And have marketing, sales, accounting, and computer skills. And access to capital.

Not to mention an infrastructure of roads, water and electricity, telecommunications, law enforcement and courts, etc. Mentors and role models wouldn't hurt either. Having the "gumption" to start a business isn't nearly enough.

You can't just point at someone and say, "They opened a Subway sandwich shop. Why don't you get off your lazy asses and open one too?" The conservative mantra of self-reliance is based on having a host of advantages already in place.

For more on Cherokee business, see Cherokee Nation Partners with Walmart and Cherokee Kids Clothing Line.

Below:  "Skip Eller of Cherokee Nation Businesses assists Maryetta students at Junior Achievement's BizTown."

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