Over Two Thousand Meet in Las Vegas to Discuss Indian Country Economic Development

Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert

Published March 6, 2018

LAS VEGAS – Some two thousand tribal leaders, entrepreneurs, government officials, suppliers, and many more are in Las Vegas for the largest economic development event in Indian Country. The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (the National Center) opened its 32nd annual Reservation Economic Summit (RES) on Monday at the Mirage Hotel and Casino.

Diné Development Corporation (DDC) – a parent holding company wholly-owned by the Navajo Nation government – is the presenting sponsor of this year’s summit. A full list of RES sponsors can be found here.

“RES is where Indian Country comes to do business,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center. “But RES is also the catalyst for the work the National Center does around the year to promote American Indian and Alaska Native businesses and entrepreneurs. From our award-winning Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, to our partnerships with major corporations, to federal advocacy, the National Center is a force for economic development. RES is where it all comes together, and I’m very excited about what’s in store over the next several days.”

Highlights of RES include:
  • Sessions designed to give business owners and entrepreneurs the basics in business, as well sessions to tackle the most important business topics affecting tribes, Alaska Native and tribal corporations, and Native American entrepreneurs.

 

  • Keynote speeches from executives at IBM, Walmart, and Lockheed Martin, as well as a former US Ambassador to the UN and high-level officials at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Minority Business Development Agency, National Indian Gaming Commission, and the U.S. Department of Interior.
  • A workshop on grant writing to assist businesses on the process of procuring funds from grants and how to navigate the grant process.
  • A session on STEM fields and how the American Indian Science and Engineering Society develops culturally relevant STEM programs for Native students and communities.
  • A “Buy Native” Procurement and Matchmaking Expo to match Native businesses with corporate and federal procurement opportunities.
  • A panel session with other leading Native organizations to discuss their shared agendas and mutual initiatives to advance the interests of Indian Country.
  • Updates on Federal legislation to keep attendees informed on Federal Native American policy with key staff from the U.S. Congress.

Starting Tuesday evening, the RES business trade show will feature stages for exhibitors to feature their products and services to those in attendance. The trade show will also host a marketplace where small businesses can sell their products, from booths purchased at a discounted rate.

Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert

On Wednesday, RES will feature 2018 INPRO Awards Gala reception, where the National Center will recognize the accomplishments and contributions made by businesses and individuals that support economic and business development in Native communities. The Master of Ceremony is 2017 Miss Alaska and Miss USA contestant, Alyssa London, and attendees will be entertained by Levi & The Plateros.

All attendees will be able to download the “NCAIED Events” APP at the AppStore or Google Play. With the mobile app, attendees can manage their schedule, send speakers questions, and engage with other attendees to grow their networks. To learn more and to see a full agenda for the conference, please visit the RES home page.

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