Native Americans meet on business

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Well, today kicks off the National Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas. What began as a small brown bag lunch years ago is now a full conference representing a majority of the country's Native American tribes. From Washington, Ronni Radbill reports.


Ronni Radbill: With the economy tanking, the summit comes at the perfect time.

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development sponsors the event. The organization's Maria Dadgar says despite the difficulty of accessing capital, Native American businesses are toughing it out.

Maria Dadgar: We've always been extremely creative in finding ways to be competitive and to stay in the business. We've always had to adapt in order to survive, and so that's still going on.

Native American Travis Parashonts owns the IT company Suh'dutsing Technologies. He says the conference is a source of clients.

Travis Parashonts: Right now with the way the economy is going, we need some more work and we need to do more networking. Lotta people who want to do work with companies owned by tribes will be there.

One topic likely to come up at the summit is gaming. Tribal casinos are taking a huge hit. Business is down about 10 percent from a year ago.

In Washington, I'm Ronni Radbill for Marketplace.

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