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The new border town?

TAMPA, Fla. - "Wall Street is like a border town for Indian nations."

That provocative statement was delivered by Thomas Steirer, a Native
securities broker, at the Tribal Wealth Management Conference held Nov. 15
- 17 by Information Management Network at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and
Casino.

Steirer, a member of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation of New York, lamented the
fact that fees and commissions for financial services are flowing from
Indian nations to Wall Street, much as reservation money goes to adjacent
border towns for food, clothing and other services.

"It's about time we kept some of that money in Indian country," said
Steirer, who works for a registered investment advisor in Phoenix, Ariz. He
formerly has worked at such firms as Native Nations Securities and Native
American National Bank.

Steirer would like to see Indian country become "a lot more advanced in
financial services" so "we can keep money in our own pockets."

He noted that there are so few Native brokers that a high percentage of
them were in the room as he spoke. "We need to get a lot more. We need to
have a better understanding of the capital markets." He also advocated for
more Native casino management companies.

Steirer said a non-profit should be developed to help Native people get
into financial services. He pointed to the example of AISES (American
Indian Science and Engineering Society), which helps young Native people
enter those fields.

"In a perfect world, a lot more of the money stays in Indian country," he
said.