This Thanksgiving holiday week, Willie Robertson, reality TV star of “Duck Dynasty” on A&E and author of the new book “American Entrepreneur,” told Bold TV that America’s understanding of Native Americans should include appreciation for their entrepreneurial nature.
Robertson calls Native Americans “the founding entrepreneurs,” in his new book, co-authored with William Doyle, and includes a chapter about Native Americans’ innovative, risk-taking and visionary business skills that helped fuel the rise of a new country.
Robertson, the CEO of family-owned Duck Commander, said there was a lot of barter and trading taking place among different Native American groups. As pilgrims came to what eventually became the United States, they opened up new transportation methods, which opened up more trade for Native Americans.
“There were fairs that went on, where they would go and collect their goods, and so we’ve been able to find all these things, over states. Things that were in Texas and then they end up in Mexico, and so there was a lot of trading going on, all the way back then,” Robertson said.
“Historians Emory Dean Keoke and Kay Marie Porterfield wrote that ‘by between 500 and 200 B.C.E., North American Indians had established a vital network of trade,'” Robertson and Doyle write in their book. “Native Americans trafficked in flint, knives, arrowheads, animal products, vegetables, copper, marine shells, pottery and countless other types of goods.”
Robertson’s book, “American Entrepreneur,” profiles numerous trailblazing groups and individuals who have overcome numerous obstacles to achieve business success.
“I do want this to be inspirational for people today, so I think some people get down, and say ‘Oh, I can’t do that because I screwed up before, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the income, or maybe they missed the opportunity,'” Robertson said. “But as you go through the book, you see that all these people came from different backgrounds. Some were rich, some were really poor, some were immigrants that came in, some were from here, some were older, some were younger. But I did find that all of them did have the trait of having a really strong work ethic.”
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