Entrepreneurship

Connectivity provides entrepreneurship opportunities to Native American communities. It gives communities the ability to take their trades and crafts and put them in marketable places. 

“While the best-known tribal business in the modern era is gaming, indigenous entrepreneurs are increasingly creating a diverse range of companies, such as telecommunication firms, digital enterprises, federal contractors and producers of fashion and art.” (Ways Native American Entrepreneurship Is Expanding, by Chris Farrell Contributor and Next Avenue Contributor Group)

For information on Exploring the Relationship Between Broadband and Economic Growth by Michael Minges for the World Bank, click here.

For business resources and information, click here for the Native Business Magazine.

Here is a great example of an ingenious marketplace brought to you by The Centre for Indigenous Initiatives.

Benefits of Digital

2020 and 2021 showed many communities the importance of reliable internet connection. Many families were dependent on internet connection for distant learning and for work. However, there are many more benefits of the internet for your community. On this page you can explore some benefits connectivity has to offer as well as some examples of how Native American communities use internet access to serve and better their community.

For an overview of findings and guidelines for research on The Impact of Internet Access in Indigenous Communities in Canada and the United States by Dr. Heather E. Hudsen click here.

Community broadband and economic development

Public Safety

Connectivity can greatly enhance tribal justice systems. Connectivity aides tribal police officers, court systems, foster care facilities, aiding background checks, as well as the ability to broadcast missing and murdered indigenous women and children. It can also be used for community communications to provide emergency alerts, important tribal information and updates. It can be used to stream panels and tribal meetings as well. For more information, click here.

For The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Tribal Access Program for National Crime Information (TAP) click here.

Telehealth

Telehealth is another invaluable resource, community members can easily seek virtual health services for things like diabetes control, mental health and many other crucial services our communities need. Going digital assists in connecting existing medical facilities as well. Echo is a program that helps existing facilities. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a great example of telehealth programs.

Education

As the past year has shown us, distance learning is a valuable tool. Connectivity  also presents an opportunity for tribal curriculum to be more culturally inclusive, making it easier to teach Native American history, traditions, and values.

Advantages and importance of internet in education

Realizing the promise: How can education technology improve learning for all?

E-rate is a Universal Service program designated by the Federal Communications Commission that provides discounts on connectivity costs for K-12 schools and libraries. For an example, click here. For more information, click here.