There were many insights shared at our recent Opportunity Zone Summit in Lac du Flambeau. But I believe there was a moment of enlightenment when Lac du Flambeau Band of Superior Chippewa Indians President Joseph Wildcat, Sr., spoke about how the Tribe is open for business.
President Wildcat spoke on behalf of Tribal Council and Tribal Members welcoming 65 attendees from business and government to the reservation. His comments reflected a vision for the future.
During my time working on behalf of the Tribe’s non-gamingbusiness development arm, I can say there are some distinct views on business growth many will find enlightening as well.
Views on Business
There are three points I find important to the Tribe’s approach tobuilding business relationships:
3. Strive to make our working together as easy as possible.
Without question, there is a growing realization throughout the region that we are all in this together. In our interactions with local governments, regional economic development agencies and area business leaders, we witness an increasing openness to collaboration. Certainly prior collaboration has taken place. And there will continue to be successes and setbacks. But a collaborative approach improves the odds of success in creatinga prosperous future throughout the region.
As an example, Tribal Enterprises employ the most people in the region. Some are surprised to learn that Natives and non-Natives comprise our employee base. They seem more surprised when they learn non-Native employees account for about 50 percent of our staff across the entire enterprise.
Many are surprised when we describe how Tribal Government is similar to other governments in what it provides. Tribal Council oversees roads, water and sewer, health and human services, natural resources, veterans’ services, police, public safety, education, and many other services and infrastructure investments. With these in mind, business growth is crucial to a self-sustaining future.
When it comes to building a prosperous future for generations, there’s little doubt about how we view all who attended the Opportunity Zone Summit. We all care about economic and business development. And, we all care about building a solid foundation for future generations throughout the region.
Over generations, we all have formed perspectives and perceptions about the region on a number of issues. But when I consider our region’s prospects, I believe the future looks bright.
When I look around, I see promise. I see a wide variety of people and organizations seeking to collaborate on building a solid future. And we seek opportunities to grow together.
Read more on the Northwoods Forum where BDC COO Randy Soulier went into more detail about the Opportunity Zone potential in our community.
Darold Londo is CEO of LDF Business Development Corporation (LDFBDC.com). An LUHS graduate, he earneddegrees from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MBA) in Troy, N.Y., and UW Law School.