Comparative models of American Indian economic development: Corporate versus cooperative in the United States and Canada
Rose, Samuel W.
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The purpose of this thesis is to compare the different economic development practices of indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada using a case study method of analysis to focus on two main issues. The first is the organizational structure of the businesses, whether they are based on principles of hierarchy or are more egalitarian and decentralized; especially as this relates to the ownership and management of property. The second issue is the degree to which the economic development model is based upon traditionalist American Indian values and economic practices. I also demonstrate how these practices influence the contemporary society and value systems of those indigenous communities, and how the economic principles and values are mirrored and reproduced in other aspects of their society. This analysis is based on a total of nine contemporary case studies divided in two ways for the purpose of comparison. The first is by location, with four cases located in the United States and five located in Canada. The second is by organizational type, with four cases defined as capitalist and fives cases defined as cooperative. Overall, my goal with this thesis is to better understand how economic relations intersect with and influence social relations, cultural worldviews, and ways of being in contemporary North American indigenous communities.