Tribal Resource Center Launched to Support Broadband Initiatives in Indian Country

Indian-led and Indian-vetted website of trusted people and information is essential as tribes navigate how to allocate new available funding.

STANDING ROCK RESERVATION, US, March 30, 2022 / — The People-Centered Internet today announced that the Tribal Resource Center (TRC) has officially launched to help address longstanding connectivity issues on tribal reservations and empower tribal communities to utilize the benefits of broadband.

The TRC, is the culmination of years of real-world wisdom from digital tribal leaders, including Southern California Tribal Digital Village Chair Matt Rantanen.
“The TRC will be a one-stop shop for the puzzle pieces that a tribe would need to step into managing their own communications. A place to find answers, connect with other tribes, and share success stories,” Rantanen says.

The TRC is a hub of validated articles, links, videos, courses, and skilled people available to assist tribal nations with adopting broadband technologies. As the TRC matures, further resources will address broadband opportunities for community health, entrepreneurship, education, and cultural preservation, with added features for peer-to-peer learning across tribes as well as a help desk.

“As billions of dollars are becoming available for tribal broadband, it’s essential that we have trustworthy resources that help tribes make decisions and know who they can turn to for assistance,” says TRC Director, Brooke Munroe.

Weekly updates to the site will include a calendar of current funding opportunities and content across fourteen key categories. Internet connectivity helps support educational needs, telework, telemedicine, economic development, and vital tribal governmental functions. Currently, 32 percent of residents on tribal lands lack at-home high-speed internet access capable of handling data-intensive services. 18 percent of tribal reservation homes have no internet access according to the American Indian Policy Institute.

“Communication infrastructure in rural areas and on tribal lands is no longer a luxury, but a critical resource that is needed to operate daily life,” says Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District GM Linnea Jackson.

The TRC was formed with generous support from the Internet Society Foundation and Schmidt Futures, along with coordination from the People-Centered Internet, a 501(c)(3) organization. Other organizations have been instrumental in its launch, including the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, George Mason University’s Center for Resilient & Sustainable Communities, and Althea Networks.

The People-Centered Internet (PCI) works to make sure that the Internet is a positive force for good, improving the lives and well-being of people around the world. Through global initiatives, they promote connectivity, fight disinformation, add to the discussion about technology ethics, support the development of people-centered applications and initiatives, advise policymakers, and leverage technology to help communities be more resilient.

Brooke Munroe
Tribal Resource Center
+1 404-820-6904
email us here