Fall 2013

Current Challenges and New Pathways for Community Development in Indian Country


The severe poverty, health epidemics, and other community concerns facing Native American nations today have much to do with repeated interruptions throughout the past two centuries to traditional community structure, tribal practices, and self-determination, which left Native peoples subject to the interests of outside governments and policy. Among other challenges, Native communities have experienced a long history of coerced geographic displacement and reassignment of land; variable and ephemeral agreements between the U.S. government and tribal government; and an absence of current, accurate data on their own population, which hinders effective policy and program targeting. This article discusses these three key issues–land, intergovernmental relations, and data–as context for the articles that follow in this issue of Community Investments.

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