IN THE WORKS
The Red Road is always looking for new ways to improve quality of life for our native brothers and sisters. Though we have several programs in development, initiatives featured here are currently in progress.
The majority of Indigenous communities today struggle with systemic problems related to poverty and lack of access to healthy food. Grocery stores are few and far between in the isolated Native American reservations, leaving tribes to largely depend on outside sources for food. Additionally, poverty rates are so high that few families can afford healthy food.
A vital part of being a self-sustaining people is the ability to provide healthy food to tribal members, allowing them to live healthy and productive lives. The Red Road is working with several tribes to build community gardens. These local gardens provide access to nutritious food as a better alternative to rural grocery stores or fast-food restaurants. With proper training, we can help establish a self-sustaining source of healthy fruits and vegetables for the entire community to enjoy.
ENCOURAGING TRIBALLY OWNED BUSINESS
Currently, most reservations have very few truly local businesses — owned and operated by tribal members. Since most reservation money is spent outside of their community, there are few opportunities to create jobs and build wealth. As a result, many First Nations people are cripplingly dependent on federal aid for tribal governments, social service programs, individual welfare payments, and reservation jobs, leaving them hostage to budgets and policies they don’t control.
Encouraging and assisting the opening of tribally-owned enterprises and citizen-owned businesses offers great hope for social change on reservations. Tribal independence is greatly increased, reducing the need for federal aid. Jobs are generated and overall reservation wealth increases (while poverty decreases), resulting in a more diversified and stable tribal economy. Reservation quality of life vastly improves, saving tribal members the trouble of traveling off-reservation for jobs, food and other goods and social services. Growing local businesses also offer a good example and hope for the future to the community youth.
The Red Road can help navigate the difficult path of tribal entrepreneurship. We understand that starting a business from the ground up on a reservation can be challenging. We offer support on how to maximize available financing options, new skills development, business plan development, marketing assistance, and more.