United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 23, 2020
Congress finds that—
clause 3 of section 8 of article I of the United States Constitution recognizes the special relationship between the United States and Indian tribes;
beginning in 1970, with the inauguration by the Nixon Administration of the Indian self-determination era, each President has reaffirmed the special government-to-government relationship between Indian tribes and the United States;
in 1994, President Clinton issued an Executive memorandum to the heads of departments and agencies that obligated all Federal departments and agencies, particularly those that have an impact on economic development, to evaluate the potential impacts of their actions on Indian tribes;
consistent with the principles of inherent tribal sovereignty and the special relationship between Indian tribes and the United States, Indian tribes retain the right to enter into contracts and agreements to trade freely, and seek enforcement of treaty and trade rights;
Congress has carried out the responsibility of the United States for the protection and preservation of Indian tribes and the resources of Indian tribes through the endorsement of treaties, and the enactment of other laws, including laws that provide for the exercise of administrative authorities;
the United States has an obligation to guard and preserve the sovereignty of Indian tribes in order to foster strong tribal governments, Indian self-determination, and economic self-sufficiency among Indian tribes;
the capacity of Indian tribes to build strong tribal governments and vigorous economies is hindered by the inability of Indian tribes to engage communities that surround Indian lands and outside investors in economic activities on Indian lands;
despite the availability of abundant natural resources on Indian lands and a rich cultural legacy that accords great value to self-determination, self-reliance, and independence, Native Americans suffer higher rates of unemployment, poverty, poor health, substandard housing, and associated social ills than those of any other group in the United States;
the United States has an obligation to assist Indian tribes with the creation of appropriate economic and political conditions with respect to Indian lands to—
encourage investment from outside sources that do not originate with the tribes; and
facilitate economic ventures with outside entities that are not tribal entities;
the economic success and material well-being of Native American communities depends on the combined efforts of the Federal Government, tribal governments, the private sector, and individuals;
the lack of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the communities referred to in paragraph (7) has resulted in a multigenerational dependence on Federal assistance that is—
insufficient to address the magnitude of needs; and
unreliable in availability; and
the twin goals of economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination for Native Americans can best be served by making available to address the challenges faced by those groups—
the resources of the private market;
adequate capital; and
The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
To revitalize economically and physically distressed Native American economies by—
encouraging the formation of new businesses by eligible entities, and the expansion of existing businesses; and
facilitating the movement of goods to and from Indian lands and the provision of services by Indians.
To promote private investment in the economies of Indian tribes and to encourage the sustainable development of resources of Indian tribes and Indian-owned businesses.
To promote the long-range sustained growth of the economies of Indian tribes.
To raise incomes of Indians in order to reduce the number of Indians at poverty levels and provide the means for achieving a higher standard of living on Indian reservations.
To encourage intertribal, regional, and international trade and business development in order to assist in increasing productivity and the standard of living of members of Indian tribes and improving the economic self-sufficiency of the governing bodies of Indian tribes.
To promote economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination for Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes.
cite as: 25 USC 4301