Despite the recent success of casino gaming and other business ventures undertaken by some Native Americans and Alaska Natives, unemployment and poverty remain widespread in these communities. Many federal programs are available to help Native Americans with economic development, and some tribes are using these programs. Although agencies reported that their programs helped to create and retain jobs, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs. The preparation of performance plans and reports, the designation of agency points of contact, and the establishment of a single office to coordinate federal programs relating to Indian economic development could improve Native Americans' access to federal programs and provide federal decisionmakers with valuable performance information.
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