Indian Country Blog Posts

At long last, Tribal libraries fully qualify for E-Rate broadband internet subsidies.

Tribal libraries are often located in remote areas and can serve as community institutions expanding broadband access. Only about 21 percent of people on Tribal lands have broadband access.

Tribal libraries vary across the U.S. and are often defined by the communities in which they reside. In its most basic definition, a Tribal library is a space on a reservation, in which a concept of a library exists and Tribal members acknowledge and recognize it exists. Tribal libraries function to support the unique needs of the community. It can range from a small shelf of books in a...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy is currently ongoing. Stay tuned to see updates about the program!

Kristen: When planning this next reading list, Elizabeth Quiroga, student archivist at the Labriola National American Indian Data Center (Labriola Center)  and I had something completely different in mind. After some discussion, we decided that Indigenous STEAM would be our next reading list. 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 State University library. Whenever possible, we link the books to the publisher and the Labriola Center, some of which are available through Open Stack.

Elizabeth: When...

As we dig into this new year, I see the seeds of opportunity bearing fruit.  Just over a year ago, we had the opportunity to envision a leadership program for Indigenous people in Arizona. Knowing nothing like this existed in the Nation, we jumped at the chance to build it.  We hosted listening sessions with the community, hired Native staff, contracted with Native curriculum writers, hired indigenous facilitators,  found partners at the university, and began the process of designing an indigenous-created curriculum for leadership.  On Saturday, January 29th, 2022, we launched the inaugural cohort of our Indigenous Leadership Academy

Watching the group take shape as our facilitator implemented the curriculum, as...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy is thrilled to announce the co-facilitators for modules two through nine, Kris Beecher and Jolyana Begay-Kroupa. Kris is an attorney at the leading global law firm Dickinson Wright. Jolyana is currently Interim CEO of the Phoenix Indian Center. Both are heavily involved in the Phoenix American Indian community and are excited to be co-facilitating the Indigenous Leadership Academy. You can read more about the co-facilitators below.

Kris Beecher is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and is a graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and holds a Juris Doctor/MBA joint degree. Kris...

The Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) is delighted to announce the facilitator and guest speaker for the first class. Dr. Angela Gonzales, who is a Thought Leaders Fellow at the American Indian Policy Institute, will be the facilitator. Monica Nuvamsa will be the first guest speaker for ILA. You can read more about the facilitator and guest speaker below.

Angela Gonzales (Hopi), is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation and inaugural Fellow in the American Indian Policy Institute’s Thought Leaders Program at Arizona State University. As a community-engaged, interdisciplinary scholar, her research interests cut across and integrate the fields of Sociology, Indigenous Studies, and Public Health. Over the past two...

This update summarizes the very busy last two months of the year. November and December saw AIPI participating in multiple events with our expertise in broadband and digital equity with EJ a panelist at the 39th Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy and Regulation and H a panelist at the NASIG Virtual 2021 Conference. Dr. Morris represented AIPI at the Aspen Data as Infrastructure Roundtable, National Academy of Public Administration 2021 conference, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Center for Indian Country Development Research Summit as well as participated in a funder retreat with the Ford Foundation. 

Additionally, much of the heavy-lift was done by Kristen Talbert in the last...

Program Overview

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) is now the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP replaced the EBB on December 31, 2021. An additional $14.2 billion was appropriated to the ACP to continue offering broadband service discounts and device reimbursements for qualifying households. The main changes to the program are:

  • The benefit amount will change from $50 to $30 a month on non-Tribal Lands

  • Households on qualifying Tribal Lands will still receive a monthly benefit of $75 a month

  • Changes in eligibility criteria: Loss of income and eligibility through their provider’s COVID-19 program will no longer be considered

New enrollments for the ACP will began on December 31, 2021. However, there...

As the Federal government transitions to the Affordable Connectivity Program, it is worth analyzing the impact of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBB), established under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, began accepting applications on May 12, 2021. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the program to establish greater accessibility to broadband internet by providing discounted broadband service as well as discounts on broadband enabled devices to qualifying low-income households. Broadband access arose as a top priority in the last two years and accessibility inequities across the nation were especially highlighted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This update will offer insight into...

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...

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