Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana receives grant for Tribal internet expansion
Grant will be used to expand access to internet services and increase digital literacy amongst Tribal citizens
Marksville, LA. – (May. 23, 2022) – The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana received a $2,499,947 grant through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand access to internet services and increase Tribal citizens’ digital literacy.
As part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, NTIA is distributing 19 grants, totaling nearly $77 million, across 10 states. According to NTIA, “the implementation of this project is expected to enable internet adoption activities, including telehealth, distance learning, affordable internet programs and digital inclusion efforts.”
“The Tribe has designed a three-prong approach to address the disproportionate challenges that prevent Tribal citizens from accessing and utilizing broadband services,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “With this grant, Tribal seniors can receive telehealth and social services virtually, Tribal youth can attend classes remotely and Tribal citizens can apply for jobs and participate in other workforce development opportunities online. We believe better internet access is imperative to the continued development and success of our Tribe.”
“For far too long, Tribal Communities have been cut off from the benefits of high-speed internet, as well as the associated economic benefits that come with it. From running a business to taking online classes to scheduling a doctor’s appointment, the internet is a necessary tool for participating in our modern economy, and it’s an absolute injustice that this resource has been deprived from so many Native Americans across our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.
To learn more about the allocation of funds to Native American Tribes for internet access expansion, visit – https://www.ntia.doc.gov/press-release/2022/biden-administration-awards-nearly-77-million-expand-internet-access-dozens.
About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana:
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,500 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunica.org and “like” us on Facebook.