Famous Native American Entrepreneurs Who Succeeded and Gave Back
The Seminole Nations and African-Americans form groups composed of
- Miccosukee people
- Muskogee (Muskoki) peoples
- descendants of the black Africans that escaped slavery and joined the tribe.
This group of Native Americans aided the welfare of escaping black slaves hundreds of years ago, as did Cherokee Nation and some other Native Americans. By adopting blacks into their own tribe, the Seminole offered a type of freedom, along with an opportunity for life as a tribal member, and later, to some in tribal and member-owned businesses.
The Everglades Miccosukee Tribe of Seminole Indians Constitution is locate at Constitution.
This federally recognized group of Native Americans planned for success. As early as 1959, the group became recognized in a treaty as "Miccosukee Seminole Nation" by Cuba. In Florida, Seminole Nation owns a successful Hard Rock Cafe. Recently, the Seminole Indian News was reactivated to join the Seminole Tribune newspaper.
The separate Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. is a Native American group dedicated to business operations and development under leadership of the Tribal Council under their own Constitution.
Headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, they state that they are the most successful business people among Native Americans in that they own the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel, a number of gaming establishments, large numbers of cattle, citrus groves, museums, tobacco shops, and other businesses.
Black Africans and African-American descendants have enjoyed participation in these interests within both constitutional tribes in Florida.
- Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles, First Black Rebels to Beat American Slavery -- This is an online documentary about John Horse and the Black Seminoles, the first black rebels to defeat the bonds of American slavery. They were the leaders of the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history.
The Blackfeet call themselves Niitsapi, the Original People, and live on 1,500,000 acres of prairie lands. Members of other tribes and some non-Native people live with them and enjoy the hospitable nature of the Blackfeet.
Around the world, almost 86,000 people report full or part-Blackfeet heritage and their registered tribal roles make them one of the largest Native American Nations in North America. Living on original lands since thousands of year ago, the tribe usually calls itself Blackfeet in Montana and Blackfoot in Canada.
The Blackfeet Nation owns many successful businesses in the 2010s and its members own many more on and off the reservation. The Blackfeet are successful business people, which they attribute to the refusal to fail, supported by strong family and tribal ties and actions. How successful are they? With literally hundreds of businesses, the Blackfeet are leaders among Native North Americans in business and economic growth among:
- Oil and natural gas leases on reservation lands provide revenue and jobs.
- Fine Arts
- Other goods and services
A Favorite Business
A Blackfeet Writing Company pen is one of the best stick pens you can find.
We used them in the 1960s and 1970s in school, because they never left a pesky smeared blob of ink at the beginning or the end of a word like some other pens did.
Available throughout the decade of the 1960s from the Blackfeet Nation and distributed to retail outlets such as Walgreen's and through some USAF Post Exchanges, Blackfeet pens, pencils, markers and related items became the products of an actual factory founded in 1972. The plant operated until the end of the century and closed down.
From time to time, new production of pencils and pens is listed on the Internet as a fund raiser for youth (I last spotted an announcement in 2007), but these items are available on eBay rather consistently. Blackfeet Nation bought out the Lindy Pen Company in the 1990s and moved to Montana to do business until closure.
Other businesses have more than replaced the nation's income from pens and pencils, although many consumers would like the plant to be reopened.
Blackfeet Tribal Recognition
- The Blackfeet run an initiative that aims to curb harmful effects of alcohol in Indian country. During January 2012, a reservation program against harmful effects of alcohol received recognition from the FBI. The number of drunken driving violations on the reservation declined from 484 in 2009 to 199 in 2010, reduced by over half.
- Blackfoot Movie Mill. 369 West Bridge Street; Blackfoot, Idaho
- Blackfeet Nation Businesses in Browning, Montana
- Siyeh manages Blackfeet Enterprises in Browning Montana
Siyeh Corporation manages Blackfeet Tribal Enterprises within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, adjacent to Glacier National Park.
Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation
MHA Fights Drug Abuse
According to the Flathead Beacon in August 2018, Blackfeet Nation filed a lawsuit against five different prescription drug manufacturers and three wholesale drug distributors because of an opioid addiction epidemic on the reservation and across America.
A Native North American Oil Boom
Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation owns the massive oil and natural gas rights on the large Fort Berthold Reservation (e.g. oil boom towns Williston and New Town in North Dakota). The Bakken Oil Field reportedly holds enough oil to fuel all of North America for a century.
The tribal group is still intereste4d in conservation, however, because they partner with Horry-Georgetown Technical College and the US Federal Government to allow forestry and wildlife students to work on the reservation as interns.
Already refining additional oil coming down from Alberta Province in Canada via pipeline, the MHA tribe received a new oil refinery constructed just west of Makoti ND along Route 23 in 2012. This is near the active Enbridge Pipelines and Canadian Pacific Rail Line.
The jobs open on reservation lands are increasing in numbers and open to anyone qualified, with many non-Natives being hired. Tribal leaders have been advocating for additional construction of additional living spaces for new workers since 2010.
From Summer 2008 to Autumn 2011, the MHA Nation spent $15,000,000 on infrastructure that included new roads. An International Energy Summit was held by the MHA Energy Division in early February 2012 to discuss and plan oil and natural gas extraction, oil and gas sales, and improving the quality of life for Native and non-Native residents of North Dakota.
- South Strand News. HGTC students intern on Blackfeet Indian Reservation; 2018. www.southstrandnews.com/community/hgtc-students-intern-on-blackfeet-indian-reservation/article_b0617f6a-9980-11e8-ba75-0bbecaa02da9.html Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Sovereign Nation of Foosh-Hotkee. Constitution of Everlgades Miccosukee Tribe of Seminole Indians. www.indigenouspeople.net/micconst.htm Retrieved August 27, 2018.
© 2012 Patty Inglish MS