Supporting tribal sovereignty and resilience for American Indians in the 21st century

When: November 3, 2021 1:30PM - 3:00PM

The exercise of American Indian tribal sovereignty over the past 30 years resulted in more economic growth and improved well-being for American Indians than during any other point in the more than 500-year history since contact with European colonists and settlers. Increased self-governance over tribal lands and resources created new economic and employment opportunities for American Indians and for non-American-Indians on or near tribal lands and resources as well. Yet tribal governments still face large hurdles before they can fully realize economic and political opportunities for their citizens.

This virtual event explored policy pathways that hold promise for improving outcomes for American Indians on reservation lands, such as supporting tribal sovereignty and industry innovation, reducing barriers to economic development, and improving data collection, as well as how new policies can strengthen climate mitigation and resilience efforts. It featured Equitable Growth grantee Randall Akee, who was joined in conversation with other researchers and policy experts.


Randall Akee, Associate professor, Department of Public Policy and American Indian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (Native Hawaiian)

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (moderator), Managing Editor, Indian Country Today (Diné)

Dwanna L. McKay, Assistant professor, Race, Ethnicity, and Migration and Indigenous Studies, Colorado College (Muscogee)

Christina E. Snider, Tribal advisor, Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom (Dry Creek Pomo)

C. Matthew Snipp, The Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford professor of humanities and sciences, Department of Sociology, Stanford University (Oklahoma Cherokee/Choctaw)

About Boosting Wages for U.S. Workers in the New Economy

This event drew from Akee’s essay, “Sovereignty and improved economic outcomes for American Indians: Building on the gains made since 1990,” which appeared in Equitable Growth’s book, Boosting Wages for U.S. Workers in the New Economy. The book features 10 essays by leading scholars on policies to raise wages by addressing underlying structures and dynamics in our economy. The essays—developed in partnership with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley and with funding from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust—guide policymakers on how to deliver broadly shared economic prosperity by making wages a key outcome to structural economic policy at the federal and state levels.

Please direct questions related to event content to Labor Market Policy Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr

Please direct questions related to event logistics and technology to Communication Assistant Shonda Williams.

Watch video of the event:


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