Indian Country Blog Posts

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, and Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the launch of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The program consists of $1 billion in grants from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and will be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration(NTIA). Grants under this program can be used for broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.

  • .Applications are due September 1, 2021 at 11:59pm PDT.
  • Eligible entities must submit a single application by the application deadline to be eligible for program funding.

  • The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is not a formula or block grant program and a single application for

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As AIPI grows, I think a lot about building the next generation of leaders. I think about who will replace me and my colleagues, as well as who will do the hard work on behalf of Tribal Nations in 10 years. I think a lot about not only building on this foundation, but also scaling it. I feel a great responsibility to create a pipeline of learning and mentorship. I am grateful to ASU leadership for their support of this vision, including President Michael Crow, Vice President Bryan Brayboy; Asst. Vice President Jacob Moore; Dean Koppell, and Dean Lietz. I am grateful for funders who also support this vision including...

Like the rest of Indian Country, I was excited when I saw the trailer for Rutherford Falls. What initially stood out to me is that the show takes place in the present day. This represented a welcome change from the way I’m used to seeing Native Americans represented in mass media. Unlike other forms of Native representation, Rutherford Falls illustrates the modern Native American experience in all its complexity. By developing a wide range of characters, the show works to diminish the one-dimensional way Native Americans are generally portrayed: either in Western films and TV shows, or as people who are only defined by our historical trauma.

 Just when I...

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) granted a total of $31.2 billion to Indian Country, including the agencies that serve Tribal nations. The bill was signed on March 11, 2021 and directed the U.S. Treasury to distribute $20 billion directly to Tribal governments through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. The legislation gave broad discretion to the Treasury by stating that, “(i) $1 billion is to be allocated equally among eligible Tribal governments and (ii) $19 billion is to be allocated to Tribal governments in a manner determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.”

The Treasury held five Tribal consultations on the distribution of ARP funding throughout March and...

Wow! Broadband is a “thing.” I know, I know, it has been for a while now, but the fact that it still is a thing a year later is remarkable. It may sound silly, but it used to be that broadband was such an esoteric topic only discussed in the realm of computer science and IT. Now, broadband is in the top three topics that are important to Tribal communities, Tribal leaders, and pretty much everyone else. After the pandemic and the lockdown, everything has changed. And as someone who specializes in broadband research, it’s still surprising. But then, the world has changed. I am thankful that AIPI was in a...

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a temporary program offered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide affordable access to internet service. The program works with participating internet providers to offer a monthly discount of up to $50 for a single internet connection to qualifying households. This discount may be up to $75 per month for a qualifying household on Tribal lands. Participating internet providers may also offer up to a $100 one-time discount on a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet through the program.

In order to promote the EBB program, the FCC created the EBB Outreach Toolkit with many helpful resources to assist Tribal organizations, community...

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) granted a total of $31.2 Billion to Indian Country, including the agencies that serve Tribal nations. The bill was signed on March 11, 2021, and federal agencies are still currently working on the disbursement formulas for the ARPA funds.  However, on Friday, April 30, 2021, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced their plan to disperse the $900 million appropriated to them in the ARPA.

ARPA funds are intended to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the BIA’s disbursement plan goes to address many of the necessary services that arose during the pandemic. The disbursement plan consists of:

  • $20 million for potable

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Earlier this year, the AIPI was a partner with the Virginia G. Piper Center For Creative Writing under their prestigious award from the National Institute of the Arts Grant The Big Read.  The goal of this program is to expose communities to diverse books and perspectives they may never have otherwise discovered. So, as a newcomer to Phoenix, when I saw that the Phoenix Indian School was one of the locations and a  part of The NEA Big Read: Phoenix I immediately jumped at the opportunity to view the webinar, and later, tour the school. After listening to the stories from two former students, and...

You may have heard that AIPI is creating an Indigenous Leadership Academy.

Last week on social media, we asked how you say the word, “leader” in your Indigenous language. We heard the word “nongialam” in the Khasi language, “sogemo” in the Abenaki Penobscot language, “nat’aani” in the Navajo language and “tikba’ ishtaya” in Chickasaw . Being from Minnesota where the Dakota and Ojibwe people are, “ogimaa” is leader in the Ojibwe language, and “itancan” is a leader in the Dakota language. As a student of the Dakota language, I encourage Indigenous people to speak their language whenever possible. 

My family and I use “itancan” when hiking. To elaborate, when we start the...

President Biden announced the American Jobs Plan (AJP) on March 31, 2021 to address the longstanding needs facing the U.S. in the areas of infrastructure, jobs, and the economy. These needs existed before the pandemic, but their negative impact was felt much more in the last year. The great and immediate need to solve these issues also presents a unique opportunity to usher society into the future. The ideas that come to mind when one thinks of infrastructure are roads, railways, bridges, and other steel and concrete structures. However, the Biden administration is working to change that notion and expand the idea of infrastructure to include digital connectivity, mitigating...

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