Wiring the Rez: Expanding the Borders of Indian Country through E-Commerce Conference

Wiring the Rez: Conference to Inspire Tribal Digital Sovereignty


The digital revolution is overdue in reaching some parts of Indian country, but its benefits can inspire world-wide economic growth far beyond many reservations' rural locations—an outcome of colonialism, forced removal and relocation.

For many years, the physical realities of Indian country have hampered its economic opportunities. Tribes were removed from their traditional trading routes and generally displaced to remote areas far from modern centers of commerce.

"Just as the digital revolution, telecommunications technologies, and digitally-driven revolutions in logistics have permitted initially small start-up companies like Google, Amazon, and, more recently, Prosper, to reach out, communicate with, and serve customers in world-wide locations far beyond their physical locations, so the digital revolution poses unique business and political opportunities for tribes to extend their reach to markets never previously imagined," states a press release for a conference that will explore the ongoing need for tribes to enter the online marketplace.

"Wiring the Rez: Expanding the Borders of Indian Country through E-Commerce" is the second annual tribal government e-commerce continuing legal education (CLE) conference. It will take place February 11-12, 2016, in the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino's Acacia Ballroom in Chandler, Arizona. Tickets will run attendees either $450, $500 or $575 for early rate, regular rate and walk-in rate, respectively.

The goal of this conference is to explore the ongoing need for tribes to build infrastructures that facilitate economic growth on their reservations, choosing the best projects, finding the right partners, understanding jurisdictional complexities and the necessity of fostering open dialogue with federal and state counterparts, while complying with appropriate federal guidelines.
Join us in exploring the emerging world of Tribal Digital Sovereignty and the way it can provide jobs, economic growth, and necessary governmental funds for Indian nations.

The first day of the conference will be devoted to that challenge of capitalizing on e-commerce opportunities. The second day of the conference will explore various e-commerce and telecommunications opportunities on which Indian nations have seized upon to build their economies and provide jobs and necessary governmental resources for their people, including telecommunications and broadcast industries, financial services, internet gaming and on-line sales.

The conference will bring together tribal leaders and officials, lawyers practicing in Indian country, on and off reservation economic planning and development experts, media developers, business and finance specialists, virtual casino managers and executives, online vendors and entrepreneurs, regulatory experts and cutting‐edge scholars.

They will explore the Tribal Digital Sovereignty Revolution that holds potential promise in ameliorating the geographic challenges imposed on many Indian nations by colonialism, removal, and relocation.

Michael J. Copps served two terms as a Member of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 through 2011 and was Acting Chairman in 2009. (asucollegeoflaw.com)The conference keynote speaker is the Honorable Michael J. Copps, Ph.D., former acting chairman and commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission

Among other notable presenters are President and CEO for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Gary Davis, National Indian Gaming Commission Chair Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Governor of the Gila River Indian Community Stephen Roe Lewis, Tribal attorney Lael Echo-Hawk, Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center Matthew L.M. Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), Coeur d'Alene IT Director Valerie Fast Horse, and so many more. To see the full list of conference speakers, visit conferences.asucollegeoflaw.com/ilp-wiringtherez/conference-speakers.

This conference is being hosted by the Rosette, LLP American Indian Economic Development Program of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and the American Indian Policy Institute of Arizona State University.

Register here.

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