Economic Sustainability Projects:

Revenue Impact Applications

MPA students at TESC in association with NIARI and TESC faculty conducted this project. As a follow-up to the 1998 Publication, Economic Contributions of Indian Tribes to the Economy of Washington State, MPA students documented tax revenues created for Washington State and local governments from economic activity from tribes and their members. They compared these revenues with state expenditures for services to tribal communities. Zahid Shariff, MPA faculty, TESC and NIARI staff provided technical and administrative assistance to this project. The results of this project were presented at a meeting of tribal and state leaders in June 2000. Targeted Audience: These projects demonstrated how tribes contribute to the state's general fund through tax revenues generated by tribal expenditures. The results of this research were presented to tribal leadership and their policy staff at a statewide tribal meeting and will be provided to legislators for their information. It is anticipated that this information will educate policy decision-makers about tribe's contributions to the state so they may examine equity issues in state spending.

Products: Estimating Native American Contributions to Washington State Tax Revenue; Abstract and Table of Contents (8k pdf), Introduction (32k pdf), Full Report (204k pdf).

Tourism on Washington State Indian Reservations

The Institute has recently agreed to support a TESC Native American graduate student who is interning with the State Community Trade and Economic Development Office and the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs. Our student will work with this office for the next six months as they conduct a statewide assessment of the status of tourism development efforts with the tribes and the potential for support from the State to enhance and coordinate tribal efforts at tourism development. This effort is undertaken as part of Governor Locke's rural development program and in response to the request tribal leaders expressed to him at the State-Tribal Summit meeting in November of 1999. Targeted Audience: All tribes in Washington State are included in this project and the information will be shared with appropriate state agencies for educational and funding purposes. Tribal planners, tribal elected officials, tribal community members and state agencies are the intended audience for this project.

Products: Memorandum: Washington State Tribal Tourism Assessment (link).

The Native Food Systems Project

This project is a cooperative effort funded by the Kellogg Foundation through Washington State University and the NIARI. Known as Project 2020, WSU has administered a multiyear grant from Kellogg intended to assist in the creation of sustainable, community based food systems. WSU has awarded funds to TESC to design and create an educational program on Native traditional foods and their nutritional and medicinal uses. The project is intended to support the production of such foods in tribal communities in order to improve their own diets and to explore the economic potential for cottage sales. In addition to our August 30, 2000 Native Foods conference, we will conduct a series of educational workshops within the Tribal communities and at the Organic Farm at TESC in the late summer and early fall. The Organic Farm director has been a partner with the Institute in this activity, along with the local tribes of South Puget Sound. Targeted Audience: Native Food Systems Project was and will continue to focus on the South Puget Sound tribes for certain aspects of the project but will also share the information, knowledge and research with all of Washington's tribes. The workshop held on August 30 included staff from the following program areas: health, elders, natural resources, youth and elected tribal officials. The project and workshop targeted staff whose programs could develop and implement the Native Food Systems in their respective communities.

Western Indigenous Artist Network (WIAN)

The Institute has been collaborating with the Longhouse and the Ecotrust Organization of Portland, Oregon, to assist Native Artists in the Northwest to create a membership organization to be called "The Western Indigenous Artists Network". Ecotrust undertook an economic feasibility study of the e-commerce potential for selling Northwest Native Art through an Internet based marketing service to be conducted through a WIAN web page. The study was conducted with Funding from the Kaufman Foundation based, in part, on a commitment of matching funds from the Institute. Although we determined that the e-commerce potential is very limited, we did agree that there is a substantial public education and advocacy role for the WIAN web page. The Web page will feature native artist creating art within the cultural context of their community and will serve to verify the authenticity of WIAN member's artwork. This is in the development stage and NIARI will continue to provide support of these activities. Targeted Audience: The work with the Western Indigenous Artists Network targets both the artists themselves and the general public. Northwest Native Artists are engaged in creating an identity and public knowledge of their work in contrast to the better known Indian art of the Southwest. The unique Northwest Native art style, themes and content reflect not only their sense of place but also cultural traditions that are very distinct from all other regions of the United States.