Press Release

MARCH 21, 2024 —WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.), welcomed $10 million for multi-purpose facilities for Tribes under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF).

This investment will fund New Mexico’s Tribal Library Broadband-Ready Facility Improvement Program, which will construct a new childcare center and expand six libraries and family resource centers to help ensure access to educational programming, health and career services, and social supports in their communities.

Upon completion of the projects, all facilities will provide broadband internet and computers to directly enable work, education, and health monitoring within Tribes, currently among the state’s least served in terms of broadband access. The facilities will serve thousands of people annually across seven Pueblos, Tribes, and Indian Nations across the state.

“This critical investment, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, gets us closer to 100% connectivity by delivering $10 million in funding to support libraries on Tribal lands,” said Luján. “Senator Heinrich and I have long worked to expand federal support for broadband at Tribal libraries. Whether completing homework, conducting research, or operating in the digital economy, these libraries serve as an essential hub for communities around New Mexico. That’s why I’m honored to welcome this funding that will ensure seven libraries and family resource centers in Tribal communities have access to a reliable internet connection.”

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is a necessity to keep up with everyday life. But right now, too many Tribes in New Mexico lack access to this essential service,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to welcome $10 million from our American Rescue Plan to help Tribes and Pueblos close the digital divide and ensure that every family has the tools needed to thrive in their communities.”

“By expanding access to high-speed internet and enhancing broadband-ready facilities in tribal communities, we are nurturing educational advancement, fostering health and career services, and strengthening social cohesion,” said Leger Fernández. “This is more than a $10 million investment for internet infrastructure, it is a testament to the Biden Administration’s and the New Mexico delegation’s commitment to equity and opportunity for everyone in Indian country.”

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive and I am committed to honoring the unique needs of our Tribal communities,” said Stansbury. “I am thrilled to welcome $10 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, which will enhance childcare and family resource centers and expand broadband access so that every New Mexican has access to affordable, high-speed internet, no matter where they live.”

“I am honored to announce $10 million for New Mexico’s Tribal Library Broadband-Ready Facility Improvement Program–a vital step in bridging the digital gap across seven Pueblos, Tribes and Nations in our state,” said Vasquez. “By prioritizing broadband internet and computer access, we’re ensuring Native American communities have the tools they need to access education, health services and career opportunities. I stand committed to supporting the sovereignty and prosperity of Indian Country and ensuring they have equal access to essential resources.”

This $10 million investment is in addition to the $117 million in CPF funding for broadband infrastructure in New Mexico announced in 2022, which will connect over 40,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.

CPF funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan, legislation Heinrich, Luján, and Leger Fernández successfully passed in 2021 to deliver relief for New Mexico.

Press Release

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