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Economic Development

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More than a quarter of California’s households lack internet access, per a report from the California Public Utilities Commission published in 2021. Many of those households are Native people located in rural areas where middle-mile fiber is expensive because of geographic and infrastructure challenges.  

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Kauffman and Associates, Inc., a national consulting firm that works to improve the well-being of vulnerable populations, has hired two Native American leaders as vice presidents. 

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A $625,000 federal grant will fund a new tribal technical assistance center in Wisconsin. The center will be located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will provide training, technical assistance, and technology services to 65 tribal nations across 30 states, including Wisconsin.

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The USDA's ReConnect Program announced this morning that it is investing $667 million to build broadband infrastructure in underserved areas and communities. The funding will support 37 projects in 22 states, including five projects in tribal statistical areas across Alaska and Oklahoma. 

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Senior officials from the Federal Reserve visited two Montana reservations in August to learn more about economic development efforts among the region’s tribes. The trip revealed a general optimism for tribal economic development, despite ongoing challenges.

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Economic development in Indian Country has taken new turns in the years since the pandemic, with tribes across the country diversifying their economies beyond casinos and seeking out growth in new business sectors. 

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 Mohawk Networks, LLC

Location: Akwesasne, New York

Award Amount: $499,999.22

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The Potawatomi Business Development Corporation (PBDC) has named Kip Ritchie its chief executive officer. 

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It’s a different world out there for broadband advocate Matthew Rantanen. Pre-COVID, work on getting Indian Country online moved slowly — one $100,000 tower a time, he told Tribal Business News. 

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The Cherokee Nation has launched a new company called Cherokee Film to consolidate its film industry endeavors and create an ecosystem for film and media production.