Symposium to Explore Cannabis and Hemp for Economic Development

Hemp and cannabis industries are growing exponentially—nationally, globally and across Indian Country. Tribal hemp growers from the Meskwaki, Lakota, Menominee, Mandan, Hidatsa, Colville and other Native nations are planting the seeds of a new economy—responding with an innovative and holistic approach to the many challenges Native and non-Native communities face,” internationally renowned author and activist Winona LaDuke, founder of Winona’s Hemp and Heritage Farm, recently wrote in “The Renaissance of Tribal Hemp” for In These Times.

LaDuke is an advocate for the “green path” as the next economy, focused on local energy, local food, and appropriate industrialization—including hemp.

Tribes, thought leaders, industry experts and decision makers are invited to explore the “green path” forward at the 2nd Annual Tribal GREEN Symposium & Golf Tournament (unaffiliated with LaDuke). Hosted November 13-15, 2018, at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, the event will examine the current landscape and future potential for hemp and cannabis economic development in Indian Country.

The symposium is organized and facilitated by Native- and Woman-owned company Native Network Consulting, co-founded by Lavonne Peck, former Tribal Chairwoman of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians.

“It is important to make sure tribes are well-informed before investing into this space,” Peck said in a statement. “There is a great deal of potential for economic development. Tribes need to educate themselves and analyze the options best for their community. Our goal is to help arm Tribes with the knowledge, tools and professional network to establish credible and successful businesses in the industry.”

The 2nd Annual Tribal GREEN Symposium combines decades of tribal experience with industry resources to help tribes learn about cannabis and hemp, and how to navigate their way into the sector.

The three-day symposium consists of a two-day conference running November 13-14. It’s followed by a day-long charity golf tournament hosted to support University hemp research.

“We invite all Tribal Leaders, Tribal Members, Economic Development Board Members, Tribal Attorneys, and Tribal Administrators to join us for this high-caliber event,” said Peck, who is also a member of California’s new Cannabis Advisory Committee that works under the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Registration and details for the event can be found at

In her article “The Renaissance of Tribal Hemp,” LaDuke also underscored that unlike tribal gambling, hemp offers an economic boon for indigenous communities with health and environmental benefits. “Wealth, after all, is more than money—it is wellbeing,” wrote LaDuke.

She referenced comments at a recent Native gathering at the NoCo Hemp Expo by Peck about the role CBD plays in alleviating withdrawals from opioid addiction. “It’s the future,” said Peck, according to LaDuke. “Hemp is what the world needs. Hemp is the way.”