FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2019
Contact: Nicole Shaddy
GOOGLE, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP BRINGS HIGH-SPEED WI-FI TO CELILO VILLAGE
Wi-Fi Aims to Bridge the Digital Divide for Greater Educational, Business Opportunities
CELILO VILLAGE – Today, October 19, Celilo Village unveiled its new, high-speed wi-fi made possible by a grant from Google and in partnership with the Dufur School District. As part of the grant, all 16 homes in the village, the Celilo Education Center and the longhouse now have access to high-speed internet.
“More than anything, this wi-fi represents opportunity,” Celilo Village Chief Olsen Meanus said. “From entertainment, to taking online classes, to growing businesses, our residents now have the power of the Internet at their fingertips, and are more connected to opportunities throughout the state, the region and the world.”
The Celilo Village is home to nearly 100 Native Americans, including approximately 35 school-aged children that attend school in the Dufur School District. The school district operates the Celilo Pre-School and the village’s Education Center. Through this project, the community has come together to bring wi-fi to village residents who previously had sporadic or no internet access.
“Students today need reliable access to the Internet to compete on a global scale,” Dufur School District Superintendent Jack Henderson said. “We’re pleased to continue partnering with Google to bring educational opportunities to our students throughout the Columbia River Gorge.”
In addition to wi-fi access, this project enabled the development of a computer lab in the Celilo Education Center, including a printer, Google Chromebooks, new furniture and a modernized space. This computer lab will help Celilo residents bridge the digital divide, enabling students to complete school projects, families to pay bills online, residents to attain higher education and business owners to access global markets.
“Google strives to ensure all people have access to everything the internet has to offer,” Google’s Suzanne DePoe said. “With this project, our hope is that Celilo residents can expand their educational opportunities, grow their businesses and achieve greater connectivity through the online world.”
“Google employees are proud to have worked to make this computer lab a reality, as it aligns with our commitment to education and connectivity in the region that we call home” said Google Data Center Site Manager Richard Stillwell. “We applaud the efforts of school district leadership and the Celilo Village and are looking forward to volunteering on future efforts.”
Celilo Village unveiled its new wi-fi and computer lab with Congressman Greg Walden, Google representatives and Dufur School District Superintendent Jack Henderson. Attendees celebrated this community milestone with a tour of the space and interactive demonstrations.
“Kudos to Google for helping the families in Celilo get access to high-speed internet,” Congressman Greg Walden said. “The addition of high-speed wi-fi to Celilo Village will help shrink the urban/rural digital divide and bring residents greater access to telemedicine, remote learning, news, next generation emergency services, video streaming, and more.”
This project will be supported by the Google American Indian Network (GAIN) and was funded by a Google grant. GAIN is dedicated to leveraging Google’s resources and energy to make a positive impact in the Native American community. The group works to increase career opportunities at Google and promote STEM education for Native Americans. GAIN also builds partnerships between Google teams and initiatives with external Native American nonprofits and business groups. To learn more about GAIN, visit https://diversity.google/commitments/.
Celilo Village lies 15 miles east of Google’s Data Centers in The Dalles. Since 2008, Google has supported more than $2 million in data center grants to Wasco County schools and nonprofits. To learn more about the Data Center community grants program, visit google.com/thedalles.