An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation

An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation

Stephanie Gutierrez
November 2018

Stephanie Gutierrez, co-founder of Hope Nation LLC, explores hows effective community wealth building in Native communities depends on an active process of cultural translation. It is necessary to situate strategies for inclusive economic development within a framework grounded in the traditional values at the core of Native communities. Drawing on the work done in the Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building—a peer-driven cohort of Native communities supported by the Democracy Collaborative and the Northwest Area Foundation—Guttierez explores how Lakota community wealth builders at Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation worked to center their own experiences, language, and history in the process of launching two social enterprises.

In the report, Gutierrez powerfully demonstrates how any community wealth building effort that does not commit to the work of decolonizing its concepts and strategies will fail to accomplish what it sets out to do. As she notes: "Indigenous communities have the power, strength, and intelligence to develop culturally specific strategies of liberation, health, and well-being. Indigenous people have the right to accept new ways of thinking, reconstruct them, or to deny them. Translation is not only encouraged but necessary."

News and Updates

Webinar: A Lakota Translation of Community Wealth Building

January 22nd, 2019

Join Stephanie Gutierrez of Hope Nation LLC as she presents her new report An Indigenous Approach to Community Wealth Building: A Lakota Translation and discusses the importance of grounding community wealth building efforts in the values and culture of the communities they serve. Stephanie will be accompanied by a representative from the Learning/Action Lab who will share their experience working collaboratively to develop social enterprise in their own Native Community. 

Tuesday January 22nd, 2019
12 PM EST

Register now