AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. We’re going to take a moment now to look at the state of the Native American economy. A new series running on the website Indian Country Today found that tribal businesses and governments are often the largest economic contributors in their regions, and this is especially true in rural areas. From health care to green energy, the profile of the Native economy goes far beyond casinos and fossil fuels. Mark Trahant writes for Indian Country Today and joins us now. Welcome.

MARK TRAHANT: Thank you. Glad to be here.

CHANG: Glad to have you. So you have said that, for a fun scroll, readers should Google tribes plus largest employer. Can you just tell us – what would we find if we did indeed type that into Google?

TRAHANT: Well, there are more than 500 tribes in many regions across the country. If you typed into that Google – pick a tribe and pick and largest employer, it would pop up. If not the first, it would be second or third. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes in northwestern Montana, the Oneida Nation in Oneida and Madison counties in Wisconsin, the Iowa tribe of Oklahoma, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma. Really, you could look down the list. Even in Southern California, where you have significant casino operations in those regions – sometimes tribes are the largest employer.

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