Pawnee Nation Awarded National Grant

Industry News
Student technology grant and computer lab to be established

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced Pawnee Nation as one of its grant recipients as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The grants, totaling more than $7.7 million nationwide, will support Pawnee Nation College in the establishment of a student technology grant and computer lab on its campus. 

“The computer lab will increase campus-wide internet services and equipment and expand the digital communications curriculum, which marks a huge milestone for Pawnee Nation College and its students,” Pawnee Nation College President Michael Burgess said. “Additionally, these new programs will further the success and education of generations to come. The grant provides an avenue for the school, which was once a symbol of cultural genocide to become a beacon for continuous learning and progressing of a Native American community for future inclusion in America.” 

Pawnee Nation hosted a press conference on Thursday, June 23, at the Pawnee Nation Round House to celebrate with its community and formally announce the next round of NTIA Broadband Use and Adoption Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grantees. Currently serving six tribes, Pawnee Nation is expected to be able to extend their services to 16 tribes with this grant. 

NTIA received more than 300 applications during the application window. The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will announce additional awards on a rolling basis as they move through NTIA’s review process. 

“Across the country, Tribal Nations have been disconnected from essential internet services for far too long,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson said. “These awards will allow Tribal communities to provide the necessary resources their members need to thrive in our evolving digital economy.” 

President Biden’s recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an additional $2 billion in funding for this program, as part of a historic $65 billion investment to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. Using resources provided by the law, NTIA has launched a series of new broadband grant programs that will build broadband infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost broadband service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities. 

 

About Pawnee Nation College

The Pawnee Nation College seeks to meet the higher educational and cultural needs of the Pawnee Nation, other surrounding Indian nations, and all who have the desire to engage in a life of learning. The intent of the College is to foster an awareness of rich cultural diversity in the region and its inherent complexities and vibrancies. While at the same time encouraging students to fulfill their potential through challenging academic or training programs that prepare them to matriculate to four-year institutions or to enter the workforce. As the tribal community college, the Pawnee Nation College is dedicated to promoting social responsibility, service to the community, and research that contribute to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the Pawnee Nation, other Indian nations, and the surrounding community. 

To learn more about Pawnee Nation College please visit pawneenationcollege.org.

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