It's That Busy Time of Year

Traci Morris blog

Traci Morris

Executive Director

Fall is always busy in Indian Country. But then Fall is always busy.  School is back in session, Congress is back in session, and conferences are in full swing.  This year, many conferences are virtual, but not all. AIPI attended and presented at many. 

Virtual conferences included NAFOA’s Fall Finance Conference, and the Internet Society’s Indigenous Connectivity Summit. But this year, we attended the AISES conference, our first live conference since March of 2020! This produced so many mixed feelings. It was so exciting to see everyone, but it was also stressful and exhausting.  We’re not used to traveling or that many people in the room! In the end, it was a great experience and we’re pleased and honored to be a part of it. As a board member, I am always inspired by AISES and the work that is being done in the STEM and STEAM fields. It’s terrific to be part of this organization.

I also presented at several different events where I was part of several panels educating funders about what’s changed in Indian Country, which by the way, is a lot.  We’ve had the opportunity to listen to close to a hundred tribal leader consultations and it’s given us a pretty clear roadmap of how much has changed and what Tribal leaders say is needed in this new era of governance.  

The top areas of importance to Tribes shouldn’t surprise anyone, they include Covid 19; telecommunications, broadband, technology, and cybersecurity; climate change and sustainability; economic transformation; Land and the Landback movement; and  MMIWG/P and Boarding Schools. Of course, there are other areas of interest, but we only need to look at the policy priorities of the current administration to see how these areas of interest by Tribes correspond.  As you might imagine, we’re focusing on these areas, but our significant expertise is in broadband and telecommunications and we are asked to speak on related topics often. In fact, we’ve got several papers forthcoming this year, two planned for next year, and I am in the beginning stages of writing a book on digital equity. So please, stay tuned.

As always #BeTheSolution