CALVIN HELIN is a bestselling author, international speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, and activist for self-reliance. It’s an unlikely success story, from someone with an impoverished childhood, growing up in a remote Native American village.
The son of a hereditary chief, Helin’s first book, Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty through Self-Reliance, was based on his own experiences, and written to help eradicate the kind of poverty he faced as a child.
A six-time bestseller, Helin’s landmark guide provided a blueprint to help Native American populations break free from “the welfare trap” of government dependence. During his extensive research for Dances with Dependency, Helin learned that the corrosive effects of economic dependency are not limited to the poor, but apply to other social classes, businesses and governments.
With his new book The Economic Dependency Trap: Breaking Free to Self-Reliance (Ravencrest Publishing, January 2011), Helin speaks to what he calls “the most deceptive pandemic of the 21st Century,” providing a plan for transforming economic dependency into healthier outcomes across all echelons of society – from minority groups, to middle class Americans.
“Rather than eliminating economic dependency and poverty, many modern welfare programs and advocates inadvertently encourage and sustain them,” says Helin. “The situation of Native Americans is a prime example of how entire populations can be frozen in squalor by well-intentioned but flawed thinking. It is a microcosm of a larger trend happening in our society – from overextended mortgages, billion dollar bailouts of the financial industry, and the US government’s unfathomable level of debt.”
In The Economic Dependency Trap, he offers crucial and timely strategies to eliminate welfare dependency, advocating self-reliance, individual responsibility, policy reform and cultural awareness to reframe debilitating mindsets – across social, political and class lines. It is an urgent message, one that must be embraced to end our march toward third world America.
A leading authority on fiscal independence, Helin has been widely featured by national newspapers, radio and television addressing rising poverty and unemployment rates among Native American populations. He has hundreds of appearances as a speaker and expert source on destitution in the Native American community, which is said to rival conditions in third world countries.
Helin currently serves as president and CEO of Eagle Group of Companies, LLC, president of the Native Investment and Trade Association, and director of the Vancouver Board of Trade, GeoScience BC, and the Canada-China Resource Development Foundation. He has received numerous national distinctions as an entrepreneur, social activist and community leader.
Helin’s mission of economic independence and personal growth isn’t limited to adults, either: Helin also serves as ambassador of the SOS Children’s Village. In addition, as a third degree black belt he teaches at the Shudokan Karate and Education Society, a group he founded in 2002 that provides free martial arts lessons to hundreds of disadvantaged inner-city children as a way of teaching them discipline, manners, self-respect, and other important life lessons.
He is a U.S. permanent resident under the special Native American provisions of the Jay Treaty.