Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. John Compton


People have long disputed over the financial system constructed for indigenous communities and their resulting economic rights within U.S. native reservations. Indigenous tribes themselves remain split concerning the state of their tribal economies. Although scholars have extensively researched the historical component regarding the construction of the financial system we see in place today, very few have focused on the politics and rationale behind certain policy positions of relevant actors in modern-day society. In an attempt to fill this gap, this research paper will focus on answering two key questions: How has public policy shaped the economic and property rights of indigenous nations in the U.S.? And what are the different interests driving the various policy stances of relevant political actors in this issue, including the federal government and indigenous tribes? This will explore more of the driving interests influencing political actors and the dynamic between them in regards to U.S. public policy. Looking at data gathered from interest groups, tribal newspapers, public policies, congressional reports, and more, I will outline the various stances on proposed solutions to the economic hardship among native communities and how they affect policies proposed in congress. This research aims to shine a light on the nuances embedded in the contemporary debate of economic self-determination within the Native American reservation system and offer a new framework of understanding through which to look at this issue.


Presented at the virtual Fall 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.