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South Dakota Conference to Inspire Independent Small Business Growth

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Entrepreneurs and those aspiring to start businesses will learn about financing, resources, infrastructure and governance, in addition to what gives a business an "edge" in the competitive economic environment today at the 2011 South Dakota Indian Business Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota, May 17-18.

The conference theme, “Inspiring a New Native America,” will focus on growing the independent business sector on and around the state's nine reservations. This biannual conference targets Indian business owners, tribal leaders, students, federal and state agencies, and lenders.

Ray Joseph, the Interior's Principal Deputy Special Trustee for American Indians, will kick off the opening session as the keynote speaker.

“Empowering Native American communities is a goal of this administration,” Joseph said in a statement. “OST supports financial skills training for American Indians so they can better manage their assets and build individual and community wealth.”

OST Fiduciary Trust Officers, co-located in Indian country with BIA agencies, serve as local resource advisers for Indian trust beneficiaries. OST offices provide financial skills training designed specifically for Indian Country, often in partnership with certified Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

Also at the conference, Fiduciary Trust Officer Jim Cordry (Rosebud Agency) will present a session focusing on American Indian business owners improving their personal financial skills in order to succeed in business. Cordry will also cover business owners investing for retirement.

“It is important for business owners and those planning to become business owners to recognize the critical difference financial know-how can make in growing any enterprise,” explained Cordry in a statement.

For registration information and conference agenda go to or call Wakpa Sica at (605) 223-9099.