Tens of millions for poverty alleviation missing from tribe. How should that affect what the state spends?

From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, it sounds as if a lot of money is inexplicably missing from the Lower Brule Tribe, which is generally viewed as one of the more stable reservations in SD, some of which is for poverty alleviation:

Between 2007 and 2013, an estimated $25 million that was intended for essential services, economic development and the alleviation of poverty was unaccounted. Millions of dollars meant for specific programs were instead diverted to the tribe’s general fund and spent on “unexplained expenditures.” At the same time, the education quality in the tribe’s schools collapsed.

Taxpayers, meanwhile, are on the hook for an additional $22.5 million in the form of a loan guarantee that the Bureau of Indian Affairs extended to a tribal company. Money from the loan guarantee, which was sold to an insurance company, was used for a tribal-owned Wall Street brokerage firm that went bankrupt amid mismanagement and fraud, according to the report.

Read it here.

How does it, or how should it, affect efforts by state government to bolster economic development, and alleviate the symptoms of poverty in the area?  Should any federal expenditures be considered in determining what the state could or should be doing?

2 thoughts on “Tens of millions for poverty alleviation missing from tribe. How should that affect what the state spends?”

  1. The reservations are not internment camps. Nobody is required to live there. If economic development doesn’t appeal to anybody in the private sector the public sector should not attempt it

  2. The vast majority of land on reservations is held communally and “semi-sovereignty” creates overlapping and confusing legal issues.

    There’s little incentive for private sector investments on reservations given the tangled issues of property rights and the risks in making large investments without clear legal authority and jurisdiction.

    Under the best of circumstances, the reservation system discourages outside investments.

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