New project to serve over 3,000 Tribal members

The White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians was awarded $500,000 from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program on Thursday, May 18, according to a press release from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians is one of 10 tribes receiving funding totaling nearly $5 million as part of the program and these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities.  

“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,” said White Earth District II Representative Eugene Sommers. “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.”

These record investments in high-speed internet deployment are a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.     

This Broadband Use and Adoption project will equip six community centers/business incubators with computer stations and online training courses for the approximately 3,343 White Earth Tribal Members. 

“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,” said Sommers.