Alaska tribes await word from FCC about broadband licenses

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This is national native news. Tony gonzales alaska. Tribes are awaiting word on scores of wireless broadband licenses by the federal communications commission. It's part of a push to improve internet access and underserved communities a startup called alaska. Tribal spectrum received a one hundred thousand dollar grant to register as many alaska tribes during the final months of last year's application period gym berlin. Heads the keybase nonprofit which has signed up nearly seventy tribes mcnally commission were set up to create a recreated website in an application process to make it very very simple to join the consortium application and get as many as many tribes to grab a hold of for free asset before before the window closed any unclaimed licenses will go to auction to private carriers berlin says it was a big push to get rural tribes with poor internet to enroll on their website and the struggles. They had were told the craziest stories. You'd ever wanna hear trying to get their application in some of them. We ended up faxing in in in in to get an in Somehow to handwrite it. You know and do paper applications. I mean it was. It's so challenging. One of those tribes as douglas indian association near juneau kamal lint off says the trip was happy to get assistance. We had no clue. You know what this really was. And then no clue on how to how we manage it or even get started We had probably a couple of different places contact us and we kinda jumped on board with that one stinking. I was all we needed to do. Some of the applications overlap the douglas tribes applications for coverage in an area also claimed by central council of clinton haida indian tribes. Overlapping claims are being negotiated. Tribes will still have to pay for infrastructure. The cares act created a one billion dollar broadband fund tribes can apply for alaska. Tribal spectrum has applied separately for a federal community connect grant to bring broadband service to villages and the bristol bay region montana state lawmakers heard two bills wednesday seeking to establish indigenous peoples day in october yellowstone. Public radio's caitlyn. Nicholas has more senate bill. One forty six brought by senator. Shane mauricio a democrat from missoula would replace columbus day with indigenous peoples day. Senate bill ninety four sponsored by democrat. Susan weber from browning in northern montana would also establish indigenous peoples day but does not remove columbus day. More support was shown for the proposal to remove columbus day. Even the other bill sponsor said she preferred it. But many proponents including jordan thompson confederated salem in kootenai tribal member spoke on behalf of both bills are believed that the first bill we heard today was kind of like inviting everyone to the same backyard for a barbecue. This one's more like waving at each other with fence in between so we support it. But i'd much rather be at the barbecue. Proponents of the bills spoke to the importance of celebrating. What they called true. Us history acknowledging olive montana's citizens and the harm of celebrating christopher columbus whose acts of genocide and crimes against native. Americans are well documented. No one opposed either bill. During the hearing similar montana legislation failed in twenty seventeen and twenty nineteen. No executive action was taken on either bill for national news and report for america. I'm caitlyn nicholas the. Us senate committee on indian affairs holding. Its first meeting of the new congress thursday. The committee will elect new leaders. Senator bryan shots democrat from hawaii. As chairman and republican senator. Lisa murkowski from alaska as vice chair cove in nineteen relief healthcare education sacred site protection and a long list of other issues are among tribal priorities. I man tonia

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