Citizen Potawatomi Nation reverses decline through strong leaders, entrepreneurship


The big idea: In recent years, some tribes have reaped huge profits from their gambling operations. Most American Indians, however, are still mired in poverty, unemployment, addictions, ill health and hopelessness. Is there a way to create a better future in Indian Country? The Citizen Potawatomi Nation found the answer in strong leadership, self-rule and entrepreneurship.

The scenario: The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a tribe of the Potawatomi people, about 10,000 of whom are based in Oklahoma. Like other Native Americans, the Potawatomis have lived with a legacy of broken treaties, land theft, destruction of natural resources, paternalism and federal policies aimed at the eradication of Native language and culture. Four decades ago, the tribe was in disarray. It had 2.5 acres of trust land, $500 in cash and a tribal headquarters in a run-down trailer...

Native Nations
Resource Type

Glinska, Gosia. "Citizen Potawatomi Nation reverses decline through strong leaders, entrepreneurship." Washington Post. July 18, 2014. Article. (, accessed March 23, 2023)

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