by Justin B. Richland
Property & Environment Research Center
January 30, 2014
Early contact with non-Indians caused American Indian cultures to flourish in some ways and to atrophy in others. In the 21st century, rapid cultural change will presumably continue, especially through economic development on Indian reservations. Will economic growth in the 21st century erode or augment tribal culture? Will tribal culture retard or promote economic development? Although many observers assume the benefits of economic growth opportunities and adjacent county wealth necessarily comes at the expense of tribal culture, our preliminary results suggest the opposite: The emergence of new forms of economic growth appears to be a catalyst for an increased attention to cultural reinvigoration of a variety of types, including a return to and renewed commitment to native language learning.