American Indian Business: Principles and Practices

American Indian Business: Principles and Practices


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“American Indian business is booming. The number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses increased by 15.3 percent from 2007 to 2012-a time when the total number of US businesses increased by just 2 percent-and receipts grew from $34.4 million in 2002 to $8.8 billion in 2012. Despite this impressive growth, there is an absence of small businesses on reservations, and Native Americans own private businesses at the lowest rate per capita for any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Many Indigenous entrepreneurs face unique cultural and practical challenges in starting, locating, and operating a business, from a perceived lack of a culture of entrepreneurship and a suspicion of capitalism to the difficulty of borrowing start-up funds when real estate is held in trust and cannot be used as collateral.

This book provides an accessible introduction to American Indian businesses, business practices, and business education. Its chapters cover the history of American Indian business from early trading posts to today's casino boom; economic sustainability, self-determination, and sovereignty; organization and management; marketing; leadership; human resource management; tribal finance; business strategy and positioning; American Indian business law; tribal gaming operations; the importance of economic development and the challenges of economic leakage; entrepreneurship; technology and data management; business ethics; service management; taxation; accounting; and health-care management.

American Indian Business also furthers the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in the study of American business practices in general and demonstrates the significant impact that American Indians have had on business, as well as their cultural contributions to management, leadership, marketing, economic development, and entrepreneurship.”


1. A Brief History of American Indian Business / Charles F. Harrington
2. Embracing Cultural Tradition: Historic Business Activity by Native People in the Western United States / Joseph Scott Gladstone
3. American Indian Entrepreneurship / Charles F. Harrington, Carolyn Birmingham, and Daniel Stewart
4. Business Strategy: Building Competitive Advantage in American Indian Firms / Daniel Stewart
5. The Business Law of the Third Sovereign: Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Indian Country / Gavin Clarkson
6. Legal Forms of Organization / Amy Klemm Verbos
7. Tribal Finance and Economic Development: The Fight against Economic Leakage / Gavin Clarkson
8. High-Stakes Negotiation: Indian Gaming and Tribal-State Compacts / Gavin Clarkson and James K. Sebenius
9. American Indian Leadership Practices / Stephanie Lee Black and Carolyn Birmingham
10. Business Ethics and Native American Values / Carma M. Claw, Amy Klemm Verbos, and Grace Ann Rosile
11. Coyote Learns to Manage a Health Program / Joseph Scott Gladstone
12. A Native American Values-Infused Approach to Human Resources / Matthew S. Rodgers and Shad Morris
13. Service Management for Native American Customers / Deanna M. Kennedy, Denise Bill, Rachael Meares, and Iisaaksiichaa (Good Ladd) Ross Braine
14. Native Americans and Marketing: A Paradoxical Relationship / Stephanie Lawson Brooks and Cara Peters
List of Contributors



Publication Date



University of Washington




Education, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Business

Subject: LCSH

Indian business enterprises -- United States, Indians of North America -- Economic conditions, Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Indigenous Studies

Publisher Citation

Kennedy, D.M., Harrington, C.F., Verbos, A.K., Stewart, D., Gladstone, J.S., & Clarkson, G., eds. (2017). American Indian business - principles and practices. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

American Indian Business: Principles and Practices