The chapters in this volume document the involvement of indigenous people in market economies long before European contact, provide evidence on how the wealth of Indian Nations has been held hostage to bureaucratic red tape, and explains how their wealth can be unlocked through self-determination and sovereignty.
Although the title of this book suggests its focus is on American Indian Nations, the lack of property rights and a stable rule of law applies to indigenous peoples around the world, not just those in North America. The chapter on Māori tribal economies goes beyond North America and should serve as a call for scholars to consider how institutional adaptation allowed indigenous peoples to thrive in the past and how the lack of such adaptation prevents them from utilizing their rightful human and physical resources. All of the other chapters provide a template for how indigenous resources can be unlocked to generate wealth for their owners. If this volume is successful for stimulating further scholarship and, more importantly, stimulating a spontaneous evolution of institutional change led by indigenous people themselves, it will have been a success.