As I mentioned in my last post, the first step in converting a developing country into a developed one is progressing the country’s agriculture system into a self sufficient one. Get to the point that the country can produce enough food to feed its own people, then further improve it to the point of exporting crops for cash. Once a country begins exporting crops and making a profit from it, this gives them money to further develop, better their economy, and better the lives of the people that live there. It’s the first step in a long process; however, it’s a crucial one. There are very few developed countries in our world that have skipped this step.
I believe when trying to improve Native American Reservations we need to look at them as we would a developing country. First step would be fixing their agriculture production. Making sure that they are being as efficient and productive as possible (check my last post to see methods of doing so). Once we have Native Americans producing the most they can they will have a highly profitable export, that can bring in substantial amount of revenue for the community. With this revenue and the increased production of agricultural commodities, agricultural processors will either move in, or could possibly even be started by Native Americans.
Now you might ask, why would processors want to move in? Well the answer is simple. With Native Americans producing large quantities of crops the processors are going to start losing money transporting the commodities long distances. To cut costs, as well as time the economical thing to do would be to start up processing plants in or near reservations. Of course these plants, would need people to work in them, thus creating jobs for Natives, further stimulating their economy. As they become more productive and their economy grows perhaps more production companies will move in. Again creating more jobs and benefiting the Native economy. This start up in production will cause more non-native traffic to travel through reservations even if it’s all due to business. This will increase opportunities for other businesses to open such as restaurants, motels, grocery stores, etc. Again further stimulating their economy.
Due to this increase in money that is circulating through the reservation, we now have funding to fix many of the other problems that remain in reservations, such as education, health care, and alcoholism. Native youth now have careers to look forward to, and hope for a better future. This will greatly reduce suicide rates, as well as gang activity.
Now this is all just a theory, but it’s a start. And I believe it’s a feasible one. All of the problems in reservations that are continually discussed could be fixed just from a little extra money from a few little plants.