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TIGUA - Road To Recognition: The Travails Of A Tribe

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Author Topic: TIGUA - Road To Recognition: The Travails Of A Tribe  (Read 3617 times)
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2009, 04:30:28 pm »

The tribe is developing ways to control its economic growth through a recently formed for-profit corporation called Tigua Inc. The corporation serves as a holding company that will invest, acquire or start up subsidiary companies, she said.

"There will be some start-up companies in the works that will go after contracts and into areas that at first we would not tap into, like homeland security," Riggs said. "We want to build the tribal economy as much as we can on the reservation, but if we focus only on the reservation, we will lose potential opportunities."

Those opportunities include pursuing federal contracts, something the tribe was not eligible to do before the Tiguas were recognized. The tribe can seek contract work with the neighboring Fort Bliss Army installation or other government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior. It can apply for business development programs, such as the 8(a) program that assists socially and economically disadvantaged firms, and a certification program that helps with federal procurement.

The tribe receives about $120,000 a year from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for economic development. Federal recognition allows the tribe to apply for other economic development funds.

Recently, the tribe received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Association to establish a Tigua Business Center. The center will serve as an incubator for tribe-owned businesses and enterprises.

Riggs said she would like to see more tribal members in high-paying positions, jobs that in the past were not within reach.

"We are seeing that happen already," she said. "We are seeing more tribal members completing college, but I would like to see more."
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