Many tribes are looking for ways to diversify industry in their Nations or Communities. Knowing that the cost of utilities can be a deciding factor in business attraction efforts, some tribes have taken the innovative step of forming their own electrical, water, and/or telecom/broadband utilities.
Building utility infrastructure takes substantial capital investment and staff responsibility. While some tribes may choose to build some of their own infrastructure, others will negotiate a percent ownership in existing facilities, or in the case of electric utilities, purchase power from a third party. The latter two of these options enables small utility authorities to avoid the need to hire and maintain a large skilled staff and preserve precious capital for other needs.