Native News Weekly (July 31, 2022): DC Briefs


WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a summary of other news from Washington, DC affecting Indian Country recently.

Nearly $500,000 High Speed ​​Internet Grant for Ione Band of Miwok Indian

On Friday, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the Ione Band of Miwok Indians will be awarded $459,000 through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. This program stems from the Biden-Harris administration’s “Internet for All” initiative to invest in rural infrastructure and affordable high-speed Internet.

The Miwok will use this grant to fund a study to develop a comprehensive plan for deploying high-speed Internet infrastructure that will include tribal lands in rural Amador County, California.

​​“Our tribal communities desperately need better connectivity to thrive in the modern digital economy. This grant demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to supporting and expanding Internet access for tribal nations,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “The Ione Band of Miwok Indians’ plan to connect their important wellness, housing and community centers is a testament to how high-speed internet services can empower entire communities.”

Senator Schatz praises new direct loans for tribal energy development

US Senator Brian Treasure (D-Hawai’i), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement of new direct loans for tribal energy development approved under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022.

“Energy is a significant and growing economic powerhouse for many tribes, which is why Congress acted to give tribesmen access to lower interest rates and more capital for energy projects.” said chairman Treasure. “Today’s announcement is the next step in advancing Tribal’s energy development. I look forward to building on this progress through the Anti-Inflation Law of 2022, This includes additional funding and loan guarantees to support energy development for tribes.”

The DOE released an addendum to the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) request for implementation of the new Direct Lending Authority. The tender update provides eligible tribes and other organizations with the opportunity to apply for direct loans for eligible energy projects through the US Treasury Department’s Federal Financing Bank. Further information on the TELGP can be found here.

Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student doing an internship at Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student doing an internship at Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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