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  • Dr. Kee Straits

Recommended Read- An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation

I have been thinking a lot about some of the major issues of our time and, if positive change is to happen, what are the first most crucial steps to take. It seems that resolving the wealth gap is one of those. I appreciate this article for its thoughtful consideration of what it would look like to build "wealth" within an Indigenous framework. My takeaways were that building wealth within Native communities will be more likely when the economic model is built on the values of the community. Businesses and enterprises are rooted locally. Ownership of wealth is communal. There was also a wonderful example of how traditional activities already had an internal cycle of sustainability... an economic ecosystem where each activity and product fed into the next... where it was locally based and locally beneficial. After reading this article, it reinforced my own belief in the wisdom of Native communities. If we are given the space and time to develop models centered in Native values, and where traditional ways can inform and adapt to the present-day realities... or may seem new and forward-thinking when really we are just mining the wisdom developed over generations upon generations of cumulative knowledge and experience of our elders. Native communities have a profound wealth that may not be recognized by today's ways of assessing wealth monetarily, but it is exactly this type of wealth upon which we can draw to resolve the wealth gap by our own values, frameworks and united action. Check it out: https://democracycollaborative.org/sites/clone.community-wealth.org/files/downloads/CommunityWealthBuildingALakotaTranslation-final-web.pdf



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