Navajo entrepreneur fights regulation

Even the rez has no escape from red tape for those who try to offer something better. Navajo entrepreneur Michael Nelson is struggling to meet bureaucratic requirements. Some excerpts:

The former shepherd, who was born in a hogan and didn?t learn to speak English until he was sent to boarding school in Fort Wingate, N.M., in the late 1940s, notes that his entry into this world was so rural that he doesn?t have a birth certificate.[...]

"It takes two years to do on the reservation what would take two weeks in the outside world and the system isn?t getting better with time," said Nelson, 62... [...]

"There were the multiple layers of bureaucracy on the chapter level. Then there was the leasing process of both the Navajo Nation and BIA which actually had a number of identical functions like utility authorities, credit offices and land administration offices," Nelson said. "I thought about throwing in the towel on a number of occasions because of all the frustration." [...]

"I?ve always said that the Navajo Nation is the last frontier for free enterprise at its lowest level," Nelson said.

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