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Reservation Economic Summit a crucial opportunity for Native business

January 05, 2021

Reservation Economic Summit a crucial opportunity for Native business



Our team went to Las Vegas this month for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development's annual Reservation Economic Summit at Mandalay Bay Conference Center.

The theme this year was the Cahokia Mounds, which was exemplified throughout the conference. The mounds represent the largest archeological site in North America north of Mexico. As stated in a NCAIED press release, "By 1,000 AD, the community in and around the mounds boasted large communal plazas, grand architecture, elaborate pottery and established religious, ceremonial and residential infrastructure." Organizers found it fitting to incorporate the theme, a time when "Native people flourished, reaching spectacular heights as a society, an economy, and a people."

Karlene Hunter, CEO of Native American Natural Foods, is on the NCAIED board of directors and gave a presentation on entrepreneurism in Indian Country. She told the packed room that it's important to have passion for what you do as well as "follow your heart, and success will come."

Ms. Hunter said later, "You truly had to be present at this year's event to experience the energy felt at the conference. It was a fantastic event for everyone -- from the breathtaking opening ceremonies, throughout the conference breakouts and all the way to the closing."

Dawn Sherman, business manager, kept busy at our booth in the Business Tradeshow. She reported back that the Tanka table stayed full of interested patrons. It was also a great opportunity to talk about our new packaging and rollout of the Tanka Sticks Apple Orange Peel flavor.



Karlene Hunter and Dawn Sherman at the Tanka booth.





Overall, the event was a special opportunity for Native businesses to have exposure that they deserve and may not easily have otherwise. Ms. Hunter said there was something for everyone, from small businesses to multi-million dollar businesses that were able to connect with potential buyers from all parts of the nation.

"We celebrated the individuality of each tribe's uniqueness and the combined strength of us all coming together as a business force to be reckoned with through our continued success," she said. "It is an honor to be on the NCAIED board and a member of the Native business community. This event was a tribute to Native business everywhere."



The NCAIED board.

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