Indigenous Economics Image: Two tepees in the desert on a background of dollar bills.

Indigenous economics is an approach to economics that aims to build an economy centered in Indigenous values—including multigenerational thinking, a relational focus, and a commitment to environmental restoration and regeneration.

A leading advocate is Carol Anne Hinton of the Hesquiaht First Nation on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, who heads the Indigenomics Institute and has written a book on the topic.

This work to build an Indigenous economy is part of a broader movement to restore Indigenous sovereignty and culture. As Lakota Vogel (Cheyenne River Sioux), a Native community development financial institution leader, has noted, in Indian Country “economic development is nation building.” There are many aspects to this movement, including the development of relation or “trust-based” models of lending. Part of this work too involves restoring Indigenous ecological knowledge, technologies, and sciences—including fire management and aquaculture practices—that play a critical role in addressing the global climate crisis.