People are always working, they don't show up on the national employment rolls because they don't pay the same taxes. But, we pay a fee (tax) for our water supply, garbage pick-up, postal service and the like.
We pay for things like mortgages, rent, car payment, heat, electricity, gas, oil, telephone, cable, satellite, Internet, contractors and repairmen, like everyone else.
Like any rural community, many people have permanent full-time jobs. Some people have part-time jobs, contract work and seasonal jobs. People that don't have permanent jobs have to be entrepreneurial. They are constantly networking, bidding on jobs or engaged in traditional lines of work, fishing, farming, maple syrup production, crafts, harvesting etc.
People are not on welfare, sitting on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons like some believe.
It can be difficult depending on jobs available and the skills you develop. It's a boom or bust situation. If you can't bring in the money you go without.
I usually work from home doing clerical support, curriculum development and graphic design. If someone needs an instructor for a computer course or a craft or dance instructor, I bid on the job. But if a construction crew needs a painter or laborer then I'm there with my steel-toed boots.
The $34 billion in revenue that Native American business owners generated in 1997 represents a 179?ncrease over 1992, the date of the last Economic Census. At the same time, the number of Native American firms increased by a staggering 84?o nearly 200,000, far outpacing the overall growth in U.S. firms, which grew at just 40?
Discovering Native America
Native American tribes contribute significantly to the overall energy production of the U.S. In 1997 alone Native Americans supplied 32 million tons of coal, 270 million mcf of gas, 15 million barrels of oil and 5.5 million tons of construction aggregate. In the same year tribal businesses contributed to the lumber industry by harvesting 650 million board feet of timber. They have reforested more than 14,000 acres and completed forest improvements on an additional 66,625 acres of land.
Native Americans also have made an impact on the fishery programs, and release more than 40 million young salmon and steelhead trout in the Pacific Northwest every year.
Tribal businesses have contributed to $10 billion in wage and salary income to the United States and created more than 300,000 jobs. This has generated more than $4-6 billion in federal tax revenue annually.
The Native American art and craft industry generates more than $1 billion every year.
On the state and local government levels, tribal communities contribute $246 million in tax revenues annually, and the combined purchases of goods from reservations total $5.5 billion on an annual basis.
Tribal Business Contributions