Chapter 5

Most Abused by Contracts and Financial Instruments – The American Indian

“My question here would be, what right does the IRS have in taxing a sovereign government?”

When I first attempted to work in economic development in “Indian Country” by creating reservation-based call centers for credit and collection purposes, I did an initial telephone survey of a number of tribes to determine both their interest in such as project as well as the readiness of their infrastructure.

I had hit on a touchy subject.  After identifying myself as an outsource consultant in the field of credit and collections, the Chief of a remote Montana tribe remarked, “Yes, we know about bill collectors.  You guys call our people a lot…”

During the course of moving this project along, and countless meetings with tribes and tribal authororities, I could see why.  I personally viewed the poverty that grips the very first Americans.  

This poverty did not come from a lack of interest or work ethic – it came from an environment set in place by the use and abuse of contracts, the extension (and taking away) of credit, and other such financial mechanisms that benefited the non-Indian, whether governmental or corporate.

In setting about to write/compile “Written Off – America and Americans,” I knew that the American Indian would serve as an important example of how the more unfortunate are taken advantage of with ease and disdain.

This is not to portray the Indian as a victim.  They just had/have the misfortune of being a class of people more easily manipulated by members of the larger society. They were not only the “first Americans,” they were also the first abused.    Our society at large needs to be made aware of this.

I am calling for people to share their story – both native and non-native -to help in this work.  Do you have something to say about this?

We’d love to hear from you!