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Ensuring Tribal Communities Have the Resources Needed for Economic Growth

Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and honor the rich history and heritage of Native Americans and recognize their vast contributions to our country’s progress and to our economy.

The Commerce Department is committed to ensuring that Tribal communities have the resources they need for economic growth. That commitment starts with high-speed internet. For too long, Tribal communities have been cut off from the benefits of reliable, affordable internet connections. But that’s changing. Through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, we have awarded over $1.5 billion to more than a hundred Tribal entities to expand high-speed internet network deployment and digital skills training.

These grants – made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – underscore the Biden Administration’s unprecedented commitment to closing the digital divide in Native communities.

Our department’s commitment to Tribal communities doesn’t end there. Our bureaus are working on multiple fronts to connect Tribes to funding for long-term, sustainable economic development. Our goal is to serve as many Tribal nations as possible with the funding we have. We look forward to working with the Tribes, industry, and across governments to create the conditions to foster economic growth in Tribal jurisdictions.

As we come to the end of Native American Heritage Month, I want to thank our employees who work hard every day to support and invest in the Native American business community. I encourage everyone to continue to embrace diversity and celebrate everyone’s potential. Together, we can bring opportunity to our Tribal communities and ensure that Tribal businesses and workers are equipped for success. A healthy and successful Indian Country is at the heart of a prosperous American economy.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, several of the Commerce Department’s bureaus worked together to recognize and celebrate the Native American community’s wide range of accomplishments by highlighting leaders who have made a lasting impact in STEM, invention, entrepreneurship, and protecting our nation’s waters.  

Take a moment to read these powerful blogs.

Leaders in NOAA Elevate Native American Voices to Foster Education and Indigenous Issues and Culture

Increasing Representation of Native Americans in STEM and Innovation

Breaking Ground in Design: MBDA Helps Support New Indigenous Projects

Please also see some of the outstanding Native American employees highlighted this month in our spotlight series.