NDIA Receives Grant for Digital Inclusion
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) will use a $10 million grant to support a national digital equity program, with a focus on rural and Tribal communities.
At the 2022 Net Inclusion conference in Portland, Oregon, NDIA announced that they had received a $10 million grant to create a National Digital Navigator Corps. A portion of the funding will also go to AMERIND to support a digital navigator program on Tribal lands.
The National Digital Navigator Corps is a program long in the making. Digital navigators are people who offer one-on-one support to community members accessing the Internet or using devices like phones or laptops. They offer on-the-ground support for digital inclusion. NDIA has spent years developing a digital navigator model which is used at more than 20 digital navigator programs across the U.S. The funding will enable NDIA to formalize this model and offer trainings and outreach materials to a proposed 18 community organizations.
AMERIND will be supporting the digital navigator program on Tribal lands. AMERIND is a 100% Tribally owned business that provides insurance solutions and services to Indian Country. The NDIA grant will enable AMERIND to dedicate a staff member to focus on digital inclusion on Tribal lands.
Geoffrey Blackwell, Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel at AMERIND, is also on the board here at the American Indian Policy Institute. In the press release, Blackwell described the impact of the program:
"This program will bring a grassroots focus to our nation’s Indigenous peoples, so that they can fully utilize all of the benefits of high-speed internet. The National Digital Navigator Corps will embed digital inclusion advocates across Indian Country."
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