Indian Country Blog Posts

During this year's Native American Heritage Month, Tribal leaders and high-level White House Officials constructed discourse with respect to issues important in Indian Country.  The 2021 Tribal Nations Summit (the Summit), hosted by the White House, was held on November 15th and 16th. This is the first time the Summit has taken place since 2016. The Summit presented a unique opportunity for nation-to-nation dialogue on support to Tribal communities to create opportunities, advance equity, and address new and long-standing challenges. Topics addressed included Infrastructure, Native languages, climate change and COVID-19. Several members of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) attended the Summit.

The Summit commenced by releasing the “White House Tribal...

 It was a whirlwind of a month at AIPI. It is exciting when we’re able to fulfill our mission of service to Indian Country as an Indigenous-led and staffed non-teaching research institute. It is exciting to be a part of the solution.  

As subject matter experts on Tribal Digital Equity and Broadband in Indian Country, we are leading the dialogue and discourse in many arenas. My staff has been busy representing AIPI well. Our Policy Analyst EJ John and Policy Research Assistant Sadie Vermillion, lent a supportive hand to NCAI on broadband issues and participated in the Telecommunications and Technology Sub-Committee at the Annual Convention. They participated in conferences and were interviewed...

The American Indian Policy Institute has launched the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) application! The application is now live and will remain open until November 15, 2021. Click here to start the application process. 

Being that we are now in November, which is recognized as Native American Heritage Month, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center (Labriola Center) student archivist, Elizabeth Quiroga, and I decided this reading list would focus on Indigenous policy, politics, and activism. This list was very hard to narrow down. We tried to stick to the same criteria that no book is more than $40 (US) and all books can be found at the Arizona...

After years of advocacy, the FCC is finally taking action to make needed improvements to the The Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries, also known as E-rate. On October 14, 2021, the FCC published a notice in the Federal Register of a proposed rule to make Tribal libraries eligible to participate in the E-rate program. The program was established under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This program uses funding from the Universal Service Fund to increase internet access to qualifying schools and libraries by assisting with discounted telecommunication service. Internet access in schools and libraries is a crucial service offered...

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...

The American Indian Policy Institute has launched the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) application! The application is now live and will remain open until November 15, 2021. Click here to start the application process. 

The Indigenous Leadership Academy is now looking for emerging leaders who have an understanding of Tribal sovereignty and Tribal communities. The ideal applicant should look to expand their knowledge on issues involving Indigneous people and obtain the tools to positively impact their community. They must also be excited to work with a diverse group of people. The inaugural cohort is for Arizona residents only, however, we are hoping to have it open outside of Arizona...

This is an important reminder that the deadline for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) is coming up tomorrow, September 1 at 11:59 PM PDT. This is a statutory deadline and cannot be modified. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) held a TBCP webinar on August 24, 2021, in which they highlighted the following points:

  • Make sure that applications uploaded to grants.gov are submitted. You must go into the system and hit the submit button.

  • There may be a possibility for other forms of submission, but you must contact NTIA ASAP.

  • Applications that may not be perfect but still contain all of the required information should still be submitted. Applications can

  • ...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA)  is excited to announce the hiring of Dr. Denise Bates, PhD as the ILA Curriculum Writer! You can read more about Dr. Bates here

Have you ever been given a responsibility that you felt was out of your depth? Did you apply to a program and thought, “now what?” as you waited to hear back from the program? Did you ever wish you had an extra set of eyes and someone to bounce next step ideas off of and gain their insights? If you answered “yes” to any of the above mentioned questions, mentorship is the answer. Mentorship is a wonderful tool to...

Image Credit: Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, for the Internet Society

Knowing how technology works on the ground is key to successful broadband policy and research. To increase my own knowledge to better serve Tribal Nations through AIPI’s work, I spent the July 4th weekend at the Tribal Wireless Bootcamp at Rantanen Ranch in Southern California. The bootcamp was a chance to learn firsthand how Tribes can deploy their own wireless internet networks.

The Tribal Wireless Bootcamp was funded by the Internet Society, and my role was to determine the replicability of the bootcamp. To gather more information and insight, AIPI is surveying...

July is upon us and it is my work anniversary at ASU. I’m now starting my eighth year at AIPI and ASU. As I reflect on the last seven years, I’m astounded at the changes in our lives, at the university, and at AIPI, all while being thankful for all the folks who’ve helped and supported my vision along the way.  I’m also excited about what’s to come as we’re hitting our stride with more growth on the horizon.

First, I have to convey my gratitude. There are some colleagues at ASU that made it possible for me to do what I’ve envisioned including Jacob MooreBryan BrayboyKaren Mossberger, former Dean...

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