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Tribal Leaders Convene First Annual Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Economic Summit

The Oglala Sioux Tribe, in partnership with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, Rocky Mountain Tribal Leader’s Council, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Center for Indian Country Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, kicked off the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Economic Summit today in Rapid City, SD at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel.

Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) President Scott Weston addressed the over 200 attendees this morning and remarked, “We need to show our youth that someone cares.  We need to turn the page together to create change for OST and all the tribes in our region.” OST students are meeting in parallel sessions during the Summit discussing their economic development vision and will report out at the end of the event.

Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association and Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, welcomed Summit attendees.  “It is up to us and our people to bring upon change,” he said.  “We must have strong Tribal governments for private business to grow.” 

James Cross, Chairman of the Economic and Business Development Committee of the OST Tribal Council, who helped to envision the objectives of the Summit, joined President Weston to discuss the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s high priority on focusing on governance strategies that support economic development.

Lance Morgan, President and CEO, Ho-Chunk, Inc. will address the Summit tomorrow morning to help Summit attendees map out strategies towards economic development success in the Great Plains region.

Federal partners, Native Community Development Financial Institutions, Indian Business Alliances and stakeholders have joined tribal leaders at the Summit to share information about building institutional infrastructures for governance, finance, and asset building. The goal of the Summit is for tribal leaders to have formulated economic development action strategies and collaborative economic development opportunities to implement when they return home to their communities.

Follow the conversation, portions of the Summit will be livestreamed through YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SCn-wP91Q8, Instagram and Twitter @GPTLEsummit .

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