The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a part of the Department of Commerce, has awarded 19 grants in the Tribal Connectivity Program.
The grants total $77 million and cover tribal communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington.
The program funds broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
“For far too long, Tribal Communities have been cut off from the benefits of high-speed internet, as well as the associated economic benefits that come with it. From running a business to taking online classes to scheduling a doctor’s appointment, the internet is a necessary tool for participating in our modern economy, and it’s an absolute injustice that this resource has been deprived from so many Native Americans across our country,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in a press release about the Tribal Connectivity Program awards.
Grants were made to the Alaska Federation of Natives (AK); Cape Fox Corporation (Ketchikan, AK); Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority (Eagle Butte, SD); Cowlitz Indian Tribe (Longview, WA); Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians (Redwood Valley, CA); Delaware Nation (Anadarko, OK); Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (SD ); Gila River Indian Community (Gila River, AZ); Kotzebue IRA (Kotzebue, AK ); Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (Mashantucket, CT); Narragansett Indian Tribe (Charlestown, RI); Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (Fulton, MI); Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians (Pauma Valley, CA); Samish Indian Nation (Anacortes, WA); Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation (Agency Village, SD); Skagway Traditional Council (Skagway, A ); Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana (Marksville, LA); United Urban Indian Council Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK) and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians (Alpine, CA).
The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program has made a total of 34 grants totaling $83 million in funding, according to the press release. The program, which is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, makes $980 million available to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian entities.
On February 28, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program awarded grants totaling almost $1 million to the iPinoleville Pomo Nation (CA) and the Ketchikan Indian Community in (AK). The awards were made under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.