New infrastructure could bring e-commerce opportunities to tribal lands
Jan. 31, 2018
Robert Miller, professor at the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law, says more Native Americans in the United States live under the poverty line than any other group. Because most tribes are located in rural areas, they have limited means on how to make money.
“Even where tribes that have successful gaming, they need private sector development and more jobs and economic activity,” Miller says.
In comes e-commerce. This will allow Native Americans to participate in national, even global, economy. Former Assistance Secretary for the Interior for Indian Affairs Carl Artman says there are signs of success from Native Americans along the west coast as many of them have started to engage in IT development. However, there is an obstacle when it comes to being located.
“Some tribes don’t even have broad band high-speed internet because they are in rural areas,” Miller says. “Not even having active full-speed internet, how can you even be in the e-commerce world?”
A solution to that would be laying ground to build infrastructure in the area. This will also prepare the tribes to host warehouses and call centers, says Artman.
Artman is optimistic for e-commerce to greatly benefit the tribes. Miller agrees that the tribes are buying into this idea.