The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis launched a new Center for Indian Country Development Monday.
MPR News host Tom Weber discusses what it will take and what can be done to help Native American communities that lag behind the rest of the nation when it comes to employment opportunities and economic development.
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The center's co-director Patrice Kunesh says the idea is to apply the Minneapolis Fed's economic expertise to solving problems hindering prosperity in Indian country.
Kunesh is of Standing Rock Lakota descent. She says the fact that tribes do not own reservation lands is a complicating factor.
"The federal government has overall superintendence of those lands. So you have another layer of regulation. So the land status prevents Native Americans from leveraging their assets for loans, making it difficult to start businesses or promote economic development."
Kunesh also says about one in 7 Native Americans lacks a bank account.