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What Is Indigenous Economic Development?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Indigenous economic development refers to the type of economic development geared toward the native or indigenous community in a geographic territory. The term “indigenous” denotes the original inhabitants of a land that may have subsequently be colonized or taken over by other cultures or ethnic groups. An example of an indigenous community is the Native Indians in the United States. Another example includes the Aborigines in Australia. The method whereby the economy of such communities can be developed is referred to as indigenous economic development.

One method for achieving indigenous economic development is to empower the members of the indigenous community through various programs meant to increase the literacy level. Education is a chief bedrock of economic development in modern times, because well-educated populations can apply their knowledge toward the economic development of their communities. Education can be increased by building schools and providing financial aid, grants and scholarships to the members of the indigenous community.

Another method for fostering indigenous economic development is through the creation of jobs and the employment of members in the indigenous community. Such a move will help speed up the progress of indigenous economic development by increasing the spending power of the members in the community. It will also cause the members of the indigenous community to attain a level of financial independence as well as financial security.

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The organization of workshops and training in which the members of the indigenous community can learn how to start their own business is also a way to encourage indigenous economic development. During such trainings, they will learn about the various opportunities available to them and will also learn how to take advantage of such opportunities. Features like micro-financing plans in which deserving and qualifying members of the indigenous community can obtain small startup loans will also help in the attainment of economic development.

Improving the standard of living through the provision of affordable housing and the improvement of the standards of living will encourage economic development as well. An improvement in the standard of living will translate to an improvement in the quality of health, leading to more productivity. Governmental policies aimed at including the indigenous population in the mainstream of community living will also lead to economic development. Such policies could include the reservation of a certain number of seats for the members of the indigenous community in important political offices so that those members can help further the cause of others in their communities.

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