Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies

Discipline

Business and Management

New!Should Tribes Legalize Marijuana?

Author:Amber Seachord and Barbara Leigh Smith

Marijuana legalization has been gaining momentum in the United States in recent years, yet heated controversies continue to surround the issue. The central focus of this case is on the question of whether tribes should legalize marijuana.  The case begins by briefly describing the history of marijuana, what is known about its impact, and the changing policies at the state and federal level. It then discusses the various ways tribes are exploring the “opportunity,” the ways they might become involved in the marijuana business, and the pros and cons of various forms of tribal involvement.  

New!Does Smudging Belong in the Workplace?

Author:Toby Sawyer

This short case describes a conflict among the staff at an urban Indian center about the use of smudging in the workplace. An employee used a smudging ritual to cleanse the office after a hostile client stormed into the center and threatened his ex-wife and the staff. He was subsequently arrested. The center staff is divided about the appropriateness of using smudging in the workplace. The director must make a decision about how to handle the situation.

New!Alaska Native and American Indian Policy: A Comparative Case

Author:Linda Moon Stumpff

Federal policy directed to settle Alaska Native land claims was shaped in a later time period and in a much different demographic, ecological, and economic context than earlier federal Indian Policy. This study begs the question why, despite these major differences, the two policy streams resulted in similar outcomes when analyzed at the macro level with national statistics. At the same time, significant cases of successful outcomes for Alaska Natives and for American Indian Tribes of the Lower Forty-Eight challenge the hypothesis of similar outcomes. Alaska Natives and American Indian Tribes created unique and innovative programs in response to these policies. By changing the scope of policy analysis from broad aggregated statistical outcomes to a kaleidoscope of detailed cases we shift the analysis to ask questions about what kinds of indigenous responses to the general federal policy streams might be most effective. Many new questions arise. Would similar responses work for both Alaska Natives and the Tribes of the Lower 48? Do distinctive differences in effective policy responses exist depend on specific factors? What kinds of indigenous policy initiatives break the mold and open the way to success and sustainability?

New!Hide and Skin: An Alaska Tannery Conundrum

Author:Jeri Rubin and Irfan Ahmed

Kellie Olanna and Roger Nayokpuk were co-managers of Shishmaref Traditional Industries (STI), a tannery and small enterprise in the village of Shishmaref, Alaska. The village is located on Sarichef Island in the Chukchi Sea, just north of the Bering Strait and five miles from the Alaska mainland. STI custom tans furs and hides and retails tanned furs and hides as well as finished fur and hide products. STI is facing an uncertain market, an unreliable supply chain, and dated machinery that inhibits its ability to excel in its business. STI has made a decision to seek funding for new machinery and facilities expansion. In order to justify and support the decision to expand the tannery and undertake a major investment, Olanna and Nayopuk need to conduct industry and market analyses to determine the attractiveness of STI’s industry and market.

Co-Management of Puget Sound Salmon: How well does the Use and Collection of Shared Fishery Science between Tribes and the State Guide Resource Protection?

Author:Brian Footen

The history of salmon management in the Pacific Northwest is complex. Indigenous management of fisheries was partially incorporated into treaties but it took nearly 100 years for a legal framework for implementing the fisheries components of the treaties to be put into place. The restoration of Northwest Treaty Tribes fishing rights brought Native people the difficult task of working directly with the institution that had prosecuted treaty violations and discriminated against tribal fishers. The ability of the State and Tribes to work together to “co-manage” salmon stocks has improved over the years and has been spelled out in additional court decisions. However, difficulties still arise from institutional holdover views about tribal fishing rights and the belief that the State still has the overriding authority in resource management decisions. In addition, management objectives do not always mesh with the historic or contemporary cultural needs of tribal fishers.

Distributive Justice in Indian Country: Should Indian Tribes Share Casino Revenues?

Author:Sarah S. Works, J.D.

This case examines the philosophical concept of distributive justice and its role in debates about whether or not revenue from Native American casino operations should be shared, with whom, and why. This case illustrates the complexities associated with questions of distributive justice within Indian Country. Specifically, this case presents issues raised in tribal-state negotiations regarding whether tribal gaming revenues can or should be shared with either State governments or other Indian tribes.

Environmentalism Across Cultural Borders

Author:Sarah S Works, J.D.

This case examines competing views about environmental protection strategy among predominantly white, mainstream environmental advocacy groups and two major Indian tribes in the American Southwest. This case illustrates the complexities associated with nation building that relies on funds generated by natural resources development, and the dangers that exist when strategies for environmental protection collide between cultures. Specifically, this case presents the controversial decision of the Hopi Tribe to ban the Sierra Club and other mainstream environmental groups from its Reservation in 2009 and describes economic factors related to a coal economy that contributed to that decision.

Bridging Two Worlds: Developing and Maintaining a Native American Center at a Public College

Author:Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, J.D. (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), Longhouse Director, The Evergreen State College

This case explores some of the issues, questions, challenges and strategies in planning and implementing a Native-based facility at an educational institution. This case draws on fifteen years of public service through Native arts administration at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College.

Should the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Invest in a Woody Biomass Co-generation Facility?

Author:Kathleen M. Saul

Decades of fire suppression have left the national forests overgrown, littered with dead branches, leaves, and pine needles, and vulnerable to catastrophic wild fires. Global climate change has prompted an interest in sources of electricity that emit less carbon dioxide than coal. Those two factors come together as the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs decide whether to build a facility that uses woody materials (“biomass”) to generate electricity. The case explores some of the environmental, regulatory, and economic factors the Tribes might want to consider in their decision making process.

Native Gaming in the US

Author:Hai-Jew, Shalin

Native gaming has been a part of the US landscape for decades. This case examines this phenomena through an economic, social-cultural and political lens.

Case 1: "All In? Economic Factors to Consider in Native Gaming"
The economics frame focuses on the context of the need for economic development on Indian reservations. This offers a range of considerations for Native economic development. It also looks at the pros and cons of Indian gaming as an economic choice within a full economic development strategy. This asks learners to consider issues of economic development and empowerment.

Case 2: "Smallpox or the New Buffalo: What's the Right Analogy for Indian Gaming?"
The social and cultural frame surfaces issues of traditional beliefs and Native identity, the projection of authentic tribal culture, and the importance of tribal unity historically. This case asks learners to consider how to maintain these values in an environment of economic globalization, which may force the issue of economic development and Native American self-sufficiency.

Case 3: "Setting the Rules for Native Gaming"
The political frame uses a legal, policy and procedure focus to approach the regulation of Indian gaming. With relevant external laws and internal tribal ones, this political frame asks readers to consider important tribal leadership structures and policies to support effective Indian gaming.

Child Care Considerations at the Skinny Raven Casino

Author:Gawlik, Dennis, Kate Lancaster, and Linda Lovett

This case looks at several of the key social justice and social equity issues surrounding the availability of health-care and child-care at a fictitious tribal casino. This casino supports a fictitious Native American tribe, the Xamish. The case examines the social impact of the business operation of a casino on its employees, particularly in the area of health care. This case reviews various aspects of social equity - employee turnover, financial and economic concerns, and tribal considerations. Students are challenged to discuss social justice and social equity impacts of a tribal-based business on individual employees as well as on the tribe it supports.

Indian Identity in the Arts

Author:Kuckkahn, Tina

This case examines questions relating to the issues of Indian identity within the field of Native arts, both in terms of the creation of art and Native arts administration. The case looks at the Indian Arts and Craft Act of 1990 and the impact of the application of the law to Indian artists and Native arts service organizations. The question of "who is an Indian artist?" as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act has legal, cultural and community implications. The question of "what is Indian art?" has many implications for the field of indigenous art and comprises a wide range of viewpoints.