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

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WASHINGTON — In addition to stories already covered by Native News Online, here’s a roundup of other news from Washington, DC that has impacted Indian Country recently.

Nearly $500,000 high-speed internet grant to go to 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 would receive $459,000 under 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 access.

The Miwok will use this grant to fund a study to develop a comprehensive broadband internet infrastructure deployment plan that will encompass tribal lands in rural Amador County, California.

“Our tribal communities are in dire need of 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’ project to connect their vital welfare, housing and community centers is a testament to how high-speed internet service can elevate entire communities.”

Senator Schatz Praises New Direct Loans for Tribal Energy Development

US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement on the Department of Energy (DOE) Announcement of New Direct Loans for Tribal Energy Development, as authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022.

“Energy is an important and growing economic powerhouse for many tribes, which is why Congress has acted to open up tribes’ access to lower interest rates and more capital for energy projects,” said the president Schatz. “Today’s announcement is the next step in advancing tribal energy development. I look forward to building on this progress through the Inflation Reduction Act 2022, which includes additional financing and loan guarantees to support tribal energy development.

The DOE has issued a extra charge to the solicitation of the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) to implement the new direct lending authority. The updated solicitation offers eligible tribes and other organizations the ability to apply for direct loans for eligible energy projects through the Federal Treasury Financing Bank. More information about the TELGP can be found here.

Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning at Native News Online, contributed to these memoirs.Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning at Native News Online, contributed to these memoirs.

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