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What They're Saying: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $5 Million in Internet for All Grants to Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded grants totaling $4,997,592.68 to 10 tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).

These grants from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will help reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.

Here’s what they are saying about today’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grants:





Hoonah Indian Association

Mary Peltola, U.S. Representative, Alaska-At Large

“Internet connectivity is an essential part of modern life, providing access to education, job opportunities, and more. This grant is one more example of how the broadband investments Congress made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are paying off. I am glad to see this award to the Hoonah Indian Association. It will enable faster Internet speeds and more capacity for the community, and I look forward to seeing all the different ways that it will be put to use.”

Nathan Moulton, Hoonah Indian Association, Tribal Administrator

“The Native Village of Hoonah, Alaska, is the largest Tlingit Village in SE Alaska. We are experiencing tremendous growth from the tourism industry but have been essentially left behind in terms of broadband accessibility. The Hoonah Indian Association’s Broadband Use and Adoption award will help in several areas of deficiency.

“First, we will be creating a community Vocational and Technical Rehabilitation Center for individuals who desire to take coursework in emerging industries to better prepare them for the ever-expanding opportunities that increased tourism has brought. 

“Second, we will expand our service offering for youth who wish to get a head start on college through dual-enrollment credits (College/High School), drivers’ education, and will offer adult coursework for GEDs, trade work, and post-secondary education. The NTIA award has the potential to change lives and allow for upward mobility in the many career pathways available. 

“Third, we will offer an additional avenue for community members to access medical assistance through tele-med providers should they desire to have a more private setting outside of the traditional clinical setting at SEARHC. 

“Last, we will be able to offer incredibly fast Internet speeds combined with stabilizing the network to not be so dependent on local utility outages through placing standby generators and network upgrades for increased speed and reliability.  We are truly grateful for this opportunity and appreciate the hard work from all the staff at NTIA.”




Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians (EBKI)

Robert Pinto Sr, EBKI Tribe, Chairman

“I am excited about the opportunity to finally advance our Reservation infrastructure from the 19th century to the 21st Century.”

Michael Garcia, EBKI Tribe, Vice Chairman

“Access to the digital, online economy will fulfill a basic human right that protects the general welfare of our tribal citizens.”

Will Micklin, EBKI Tribe, CEO

“This grant will help fund the technical fiber network design, the solicitation of an environmental contractor, and completing the environmental studies necessary to deploy broadband to the Ewiiaapaayp Indian Reservation that is off-grid to all wireline, fixed wireless, and mobile wireless services.”

Guidiville Indian Rancheria

Donald Duncan, Guidiville Rancheria, Chairman

“The NTIA grant award is a good first step in laying the groundwork for our disadvantaged community to realize affordable, reliable broadband services. These future broadband services will support public safety, Tribal commerce, healthcare, education, and communication services for the long-term benefit of our Tribal government and our members. We will continue to work with the United States and NTIA, in implementing these first steps, and then walking together to achieve our goal of affordable, reliable broadband services for our Tribe.”

Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians

Isaiah Vivanco, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, Tribal Chairman

“Modern-day Internet access has become an essential infrastructure component, allowing access to information and services beyond the reservation itself. This powerful tool allows for continued education, job opportunities, tele-medicine, and much more.

“The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians is thrilled to have been selected for the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. These funds will allow Soboba to continue its agreement with Frontier in order to provide Soboba residents with a base Internet speed of 50/50Mbps in addition to one wireless router per household. Additionally, FiOS offers next generation, state-of-the-art fiber network that provides connection speeds greater than many others currently. This grant award will ensure Soboba is afforded all online services and opportunities.”




Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake)

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor, Michigan

“Connecting Tribal communities to reliable, affordable high-speed Internet is vital for education, economic opportunity, and several essential services. Today’s investment will connect members of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians to gigabit speed Internet, an exponential upgrade from current connectivity in the area. 

“Since I took office, we have connected over 23,000 homes and businesses in Michigan to high-speed Internet and as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, transformative upgrades to Internet infrastructure are being made across the nation, helping even more people get online.”

Garlin Gilchrist II, Lt. Governor, Michigan

“Using affordable high-speed Internet as our tool, we can connect more Michiganders to economic opportunity, healthcare, education, and more. This $500,000 grant award to the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians will make a transformational difference for this community, connect households to first-in-class gigabit Internet, and build on the work we’ve done to connect Michiganders in every corner of our state. Governor Whitmer and I will continue working to bridge the digital divide for every Michigan community.”

Statement from the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians

“The pandemic has shown us that the need for real-time communications has become a vital necessity in everyday life. The new infrastructure for the settlement will enable remote work and online education. With this grant, the Tribal Government will now have the means to provide the necessary infrastructure for its Citizens to thrive in today's digital world.

“We anticipate a greater interest from younger families to occupy the settlement since this has removed a significant barrier for those families. The Gun Lake Tribal Government is committed to advancing the well-being of its Citizens, and this grant will go a long way in achieving that goal.”




White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians

Eugene Sommers, White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians, District Representative

“Broadband development is crucial for underserved communities on the White Earth Reservation in order to overcome the digital divide and support economic and social progress. Access to reliable high-speed Internet is essential for education, telemedicine, and online job opportunities. In rural areas like the White Earth Reservation, where traditional jobs are limited, broadband connectivity can promote entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as attract new businesses and investments. 

“Furthermore, broadband development can provide access to critical services like emergency response systems, and improve communication and access to information within the community. By increasing access to broadband Internet, underserved Indian communities on the White Earth Reservation can break down barriers and unlock new opportunities for growth and development.”




Chickahominy Indian Tribe

Mark Warner, U.S. Senator, Virginia

“Access to high-speed Internet is essential in today’s connected society, but oftentimes our tribal communities in the Commonwealth, and across the country, lack the necessary infrastructure to deploy broadband,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m glad this grant, made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I was proud to negotiate, will give the Chickahominy Tribe the resources they need to expand their broadband capabilities.”

Tim Kaine, U.S. Senator, Virginia

“Access to high-speed Internet expands opportunities and is essential for remote work, distance learning, telehealth, and more. I’m glad that the Chickahominy Indian Tribe is receiving federal funding to help deploy broadband to more Virginians.”

Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chief

“The NTIA Grant Funding will provide the Chickahominy Indian Tribe the resources to develop a sustainable broadband infrastructure plan to address deployment needs and offer a solution for our unserved tribal citizens, tribal properties and community anchor institutions. 

“Ultimately, broadband access translates to improved health and wellness via telehealth, better educational outcomes for our citizens, increased economic security for our tribe and citizens, better community connection for our citizens, and better citizen services due to increased governmental efficiency and coordination.”




Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation

Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington

“The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program serves an important purpose in bridging access gaps to high-speed Internet deployment for tribal nations in Washington state. Federal funding opportunities like this one will make it easier for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe to provide more reliable Internet to households, businesses, and schools across the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation. I thank the National Telecommunications & Information Administration for awarding this important grant.”

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, U.S. Representative, WA-03

“I get my Internet from a radio tower – I know firsthand how important broadband access is. This investment is critical for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe’s efforts to expand broadband access, connecting tribal members to vital employment opportunities and telemedicine services.”

Charlene Nelson, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, Chairwoman

“Our Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribal Leadership is grateful to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for this funding. It will provide broadband fiber that is essential to supporting our anchor government services and to our future uphill home. This project is an investment in our continuing effort to eliminate disparity in our community, and to become a cornerstone for uphill community development.”




Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Shannon Holsey, Stockbridge-Munsee Community, President

“Native American tribes throughout the United States often lack the critical infrastructure to provide the resources necessary for their communities to thrive.  At no point in history was the digital divide in Indian Country more apparent than during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Through the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community is taking a massive step towards closing that digital divide by providing 12 months of free broadband services for 650 Native American households.  

“In addition, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community is providing tablets for the elderly and immunocompromised for telehealth purposes, closing yet another barrier to quality care in the community. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community is so thankful for the assistance provided and the NTIA’s continued commitment to providing essential resources to Native American communities.”


About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration   

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.