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The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 enables America’s Indian tribes to be the most powerful commercial enterprises in the United States. True tribal self-determination and self-sufficiency will never be attained without leveraging the IRA to attract private capital to credible tribal for-profit projects. Dennis Ickes of Native 17 developed the intellectual property that engineered the first acquisition by a tribe using a unique IRA leverage strategy. Decades of experience as a highly ranked federal official, tribal lawyer, and businessman enabled Mr. Ickes to coalesce the tribe, investors, and the target business into a 100% tribally owned multimillion dollar business.
THE ROAD TO TRIBAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND SELF-DETERMINATION
Economic development is the only means by which tribes will ever achieve optimum self-sufficiency and political self-determination. However, economic development must not destroy or diminish the quality of tribal land, its water, its animals, its people, or its air resources. Further, economic development should raise the tribe’s standard of living and produce revenue to supplement government services, employ tribal members in meaningful jobs, and create member-owned related businesses.
Dennis Ickes has dedicated his legal career to tribal economic self-sufficiency and political self-determination. Drawing upon 40 years of legal, political and business experiences Mr. Ickes has designed a legal structure that entices private capital to invest with business-qualified Indian tribes (“the Structure”). Ickes has perfected a financing concept for tribes that appeals to private capital to fund tribal economic development that preserves the natural qualities of the land, water and air while producing revenue, jobs, and business opportunities. His Concept raises capital on behalf of the tribe to acquire off-reservation assets from which jobs and tribal member business development will be produced. Surplus revenue will be distributed to the tribe to fund tribal government services. His concept is especially important to tribes that do not have extractable natural resources, or ideal gaming sites, or other on-reservation means for raising capital.
The Ickes Concept is the result of his 40 years of experiences as the co-founder of the Office of Indian Rights in the US Department of Justice, his service as deputy undersecretary of the Interior, as general and special counsel to tribes, as advisor to businesses doing business with tribes, and upon his volunteer community service to Indian communities. Ickes has patiently educated various parties about the Concept’s capabilities with tribes, the BIA, the IRS, HUD, and other federal agencies, financial institutions, investors, sellers of businesses, managers, operators, key employees, major business and tax law firms, and the like. His Concept has enabled a tribe to acquire a Wall Street financial services company, to found a nationwide property services company, to develop a multi-million dollar investment fund, to found a multi-tribally owned insurance agency, and to create a pipeline of investment opportunities worth several billion dollars when processed. His Concept has enabled the tribes to acquire these valuable revenue sources with nominal investment by the tribes involved.