ERIC Number: ED093515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Trading Post System on the Navajo Reservation. Staff Report to the Federal Trade Commission.
Federal Trade Commission, Los Angeles, CA.
Since the late 19th century, trading posts have been a prominant feature in Navajo economic life. Today, due to geographic isolation and an absence of economic alternatives, many Navajos are still dependent upon trading posts. This report of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation details the system on the Navajo Reservation, including the abusive and unfair practices used by many of the traders. FTC interest in trader conduct traces to a 1971 meeting between attorneys from the FTC Los Angeles Regional Office and staff attorneys from Dinebeiina Nahiilna Be Agaditahe (DNA), an Office of Economic Opportunity legal aid facility on the Reservation. The DNA attorneys cited 3 questionable practices: withholding government checks; alleged price fixing; and Truth in Lending Act violations, particularly in pawn transactions. In April 1972 the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) requested that the FTC, because of their expertise, conduct immediate investigations to promulgate revised Navajo trader regulations. FTC staff surveyed 95% of the trading posts on or near the Reservation. These interviews were directed at pawn practices, open end credit, and mail delivery. The staff also interviewed more than 100 Navajo consumers on the reservation. Public hearings were then held by the BIA and FTC in August 1972. The hearings concluded that one of the most onerous trader practices was "credit saturation" (extending credit up to the customer's known periodic income). (KM)
Descriptors: American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Consumer Economics, Credit (Finance), Economically Disadvantaged, Food Stores, History, Investigations, Life Style, Merchants, Rural Areas, Socioeconomic Status
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 (Stock No. 1800-00158; $0.85)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Trade Commission, Los Angeles, CA.