Economic Development Summit aims to create new opportunities for Native American tribal membersSubmitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Economic Development Summit aims to create new opportunities for Native American tribal members
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People may think casinos bring in more than enough money for Native American tribes but that's not always the case.

The Lac du Flambeau tribe realizes it needs more business diversity.

So the tribe founded the Lac du Flambeau Economic Development Summit in 2012.

More than 100 people from 9 tribes and 5 states are attending the 3-day summit this week.

The chairman of the Oneida Tribe traveled to the summit to learn how his tribe can improve business.

"Oneida has 17,000 Oneida tribal members. We have 55% of our youth still live in poverty in spite of a successful casino. We do need to diversify, we do need to provide more jobs to our tribal members," said Oneida Tribe Chairman Edward Delgado.

They hope to come away with new partnerships and promising opportunities.

"The biggest challenges that tribes face is very high unemployment, generally north of 50% unemployment, fairly high dropout rates. It's a cultural challenge. Tribes tend to be closed communities. And as a result, having economic development come to tribes is a challenge. So our approach has been, let's reach out and bring it here," explained Brent McFarland, Chief Operating Officer of the LDF Business Development Corporation.

The theme of this year's summit is "Developing Green Energy Solutions and Technology-based Business."

People could choose from 15 workshops ranging in topics from broadband internet development to opening a grocery store.

Organizers believe the summit benefits more than just the tribal members.

"This isn't just going to benefit tribal communities, we're trying to develop economic engines that can reach out and help all these other communities on the outside. You know, stimulate job growth," explained Economic Development Summit coordinator Damon Fleming.

The summit wraps up Thursday.

All the presentations will be uploaded to the tribe's YouTube channel below.

Related Weblinks:
Economic Development Summit Videos

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

MINOCQUA - A Minocqua store will stock up on more locally sourced food products this spring and summer season. The Wild Berry Market teamed up with a new community-supported agriculture group, or CSA.

The Lake Superior CSA combines local farmer products into vegetable, meat, and fruit boxes.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Old kitchen cabinets got a fresh coat of paint Tuesday morning in the back of an old building that Kate Bauman is bringing new life to.

"We really kind of want to make our home here," Bauman said.

Over the last few weeks, Bauman and her husband Elvis transformed 146 North Brown Street in Rhinelander from office space into a storefront for their store "Unique Creations."

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Jesse Kuczmarski always dreamed of owning his own body shop. His wife, Chantel, thought it would be neat to work with her husband.

Both now have what they want. The Kuczmarskis became the new owners of Accent Auto Body in Eagle River in October.

Jesse works on cars, while Chantel handles social media, taxes, and administration.

"The first day that we worked together, we looked at each other, and we just thought, wow, this is just so amazing to be able to work together," Chantel said. "It was so peaceful in the shop."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Chilly temperatures and gray skies greeted people in the Northwoods on the first day of spring.

Despite the near freezing temperatures, a team of two wanted to give you a reason to smile Tuesday.

Hometown Chiropractic chiropractor Grace Nash stood along Highway 47 in Rhinelander with her coworker holding up green signs with positive messages like 'Smile it's contagious.'

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved an $80 million juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by 2021 and replace it with smaller regional facilities.

The Senate voted without any debate Tuesday to pass the plan, which largely mirrors what the Assembly unanimously approved last month.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Looking back on his 28 years as airport director, Joe Brauer says he has a lot to be proud of. 

"When we got the disabled passenger lift, the non-motorized one, we were very, very proud of that," said Brauer, who's worked as the airport director for 28 years. He's also been in the airline business for 20 years. 

Now, the longtime Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport director will be passing things off to a familiar face. 

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here