Heartland Center for Leadership Development


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From the Keeping it Rural Conference, held by the BC Rural Centre, October 7-8, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, 2019.

Provided by the Heartland Center for Leadership Development, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2019.


Copyright 2019, Heartland Center for Leadership Development. Used by permission.


The people of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming view entrepreneurship as the key to future survival. Entrepreneurship, they say, will encourage more people to shop locally, while attracting more outside dollars into the community. Locally owned businesses are important for a community that faces such challenges as a 54% unemployment rate, 28% living on per-capita payments to tribal members, and 62% living below the poverty level. While there are many opportunities for economic development, the twist is finding the right strategy and maintaining traditional cultural and tribal values that are important to the two tribes that share this reservation.