On the Reservation

The United States is home to more than 560 federally recognized Native American Tribes, representing fewer than two percent of the U.S. population.  These tribes, America’s original inhabitants, work hard to preserve their culture and their languages and live their lives with a strong sense of community, self-determination and self-reliance.  

Life on Indian reservations is challenging. More than 25% of Native Americans live in poverty.  On some of the more remote Reservations, unemployment can exceed 60%.  And in the Age of the Internet, while three-quarters of Americans have reliable access to broadband, for native people that number drops to 1 in 10.

With so many tribes relegated to geographically remote reservations, the virtual world of e-commerce has opened the doors to a significant and unique economic development opportunity. For the Indian nations currently trying to take advantage of the possibilities the digital revolution now offers, revenues from their online lending businesses can account for as much as 75 percent of a tribal government’s revenue. These profits help fund critical social programs provided by tribal governments, including health care, education, home heating subsidies, nutrition assistance, housing, elder care and more. The businesses also create jobs on the reservations, reducing the unemployment rate and giving tribal members the opportunity to free themselves from dependence on government support.

Excerpts From An Unlikely solution



One in four Native Americans live in poverty.

[Pew Research Center]

The labor force participation rate of Indians is only 61.6 percent – the lowest among all racial and ethnic groups.

[U.S. Labor Department]

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