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phone: 509.359.6828
fax: 509.359.7485

Business Meeting & ATNI Economic Summit

  • Series
Date and Time

April 15-18, 2014


Warm Springs, OR



Event Details

The ATNI Economic Development Corporation is taking on the task to develop regional approaches to provide assistance to Tribal businesses out in the marketplace.  As such, an invitation is going out to Tribal staff to identify opportunities, see what their obstacles are, and brainstorm ways to address them.

At ATNI, we've found that the folks that are doing great work back home are often so busy doing that great work, it's hard to get them into the conversation about business challenges and opportunities.  We'd like to capture your thoughts and recommendations.  We're trying to keep it short to minimize cost and lost time, but still find out what you think.

Whenever we have an opportunity to listen to the business people talk about their situation we are first impressed by the knowledge and expertise in play in NW Indian Country.  Secondly we are taken with the similarity of the challenges across sectors.  Whether the immediate context is seafood, forest products, tobacco products, toiletries, or anything else outside of casinos, even the largest Tribal enterprises are the Davids doing battle with the Goliaths of their sector.  That means a tilted playing field with Indian business trying to fight uphill battles.  But it is apparent that there might be opportunities for cooperation across sectors that could level the field somewhat--logistics and cooperative distribution being an obvious example.  An active Buy Indian program working to expand markets within Indian Country is another.

We are repeatedly struck by the potential value of an ongoing discussion among the business people.  ATNI Economic Development is trying to take a next step in that regard.  We would bring business people together briefly to establish relationships across business lines.  We invite people to come to Kah-Nee-Tah at Warm Springs next month for introductions and brainstorming on opportunities for moving toward economies of scale to even out competition with non-tribal competitors.  We've landed on April 15 and 16.  The idea is to take up only two days of your time by meeting after noon on day one and ending at lunch the next day.  That would give you travel time on the morning of the first day and you could head home the second day.  it would require one night on the road.

The idea is that we will go around the table with introductions then ask for thoughts on opportunities and obstacles.  On the second day we will brainstorm a plan and identify possible assistance from the Tribes or outside agencies.  That lunch on the second day would also be the kickoff for the annual Economic Development Summit.  The first day is targeting business management or owners from Tribal ventures and Tribal member owned businesses.  The Summit is an event normally attended by Tribal Economic Development staff and some elected officials.  The difference this time being that we would report out the businesses' situation and desires and try to organize external support for an action agenda.  So the Summit starts at noon the second day, the 16th and ends at noon the 17th.  I am not generally asking business people to spend three days although interested people could attend the entire event.  At the least, the overlap at lunch on the 16th is to give everyone some opportunity to connect with the other folks from your Tribe.

We will cover evening meals and both breakfasts as well as the lunch on the 16th.  This Monday we will finalize with the resort a group discount on lodging but we must ask you to otherwise cover your travel costs. 

I hope business representatives and economic development practitioners from your Tribe can make it.  We look forward to meeting with you and hearing your issues.  I hope we can find common ground and organize support for a truly competitive environment from Indian Country businesses trying to compete in the big box global economy. 

Please get back to us about whether or not you plan on attending.  Also feel free to spread the word to others you think might be interested in attending.

More information:

Contact: ATNI

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