Blackfeet Indian Tribal lands to be next home to expanding Blue Ray
By Jeffrey Jolson
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 11/4/08 – For those that thought India was receiving too much high-tech outsourcing or that Native Americans will be living off casinos, there is a new sheriff in town.
Spokane, WA-based Blue Ray Technologies, the largest U.S. indie Blu-ray manufacturer, is planning its next plant to be on Blackfeet Indian land in Montana, said reps for the tribe and the company. The plan to build next-gen plants on Indian land will help the Blackfoot Nation and soon other tribes to evolve into the 21st Century with a technological source of income and educational skills.
“This is about ‘No American left behind,’” said DVD pioneer and Blue Ray Technologies founder Erick Hansen. “Schools, especially those on tribal lands, are just not preparing kids for the future. It’s not only the outsourcing to China and India in the new tech industries, it is more important. No American left behind. Period.”
“Bringing BRT here is a giant step in moving in the direction to the new world of technology that links all people,” said one Blackfoot member. “We have 70% unemployment in the winter and 50% in the summer.”
Hansen was made an honorary member of the tribe at an event in Browning, Montana this past week, with a full house of tribal members as well as school and governor’s office reps. The plant, which will create the vastly growing high-def Blu-ray discs of movies and games, will likely start with 50-60 new jobs in the area, and could grow to 150. It may well also attract other tech companies to the area – and every community in the world wants to become another Silicon Valley, with little pollution and great wealth.
According to the Blackfoot member in Montana, there are misconceptions about Indian casino wealth. They do have a casino, but unlike those near large urban areas, there is not much income from them. “There 552 tribes in the nation, less than 10% are making money from casinos,” he said. “We are barely holding — and look forward to the next step in our future with Mr. Hansen and other visionaries like him.”
“We have the technology to take them into the future,” said Hansen. Why does it always have to be China and India? The tribes here don’t need help, just a little boost. It is my job to keep jobs in America, and what better place to do it than with the original Americans?”