- By Tripp J Crouse - KNBA
This story was originally published by KNBA on December 13, 2021. Read the original story at KNBA. Republished by Native News Online with permission.
In November, President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law.
The infrastructure funding package will deliver $550 billion annually over five years -- to support roads, mass transit, rail projects and renewable energy.
The funding will also help improve broadband in the state.
"There's about $1.5 billion coming just to the state of Alaska for broadband development."
Bissett also chaired Governor Mike Dunleavy's broadband task force. That task force provided recommendations to how the infrastructure could be spent.
"We want, you know, reliable fiber type connections to the home, and I think that, you know, most of our villages will show up on, you know, non-existent or what's considered underserved, which means they don't have 25-three basic broadband service. The list in the report is basically listing every single village."
The state will receive an allocation of about $65 million for water and waste treatment plans, but Bissett says it might not be enough.
"There is a village whose washateria burnt down. They still do not have running water, as do 30 other communities in Alaska. The cost of one wastewater treatment plant to have clean running water in the village of Stebbins is $57 million. For one village. So when the entire state gets 65 million to start thinking, how far does that really go in terms of capital projects and actually getting running water where it's needed?"
Various communities will be able to provide their input on the infrastructure funding during Day 2 of the Alaska Federation of Natives convention.
More Stories Like ThisNative Bidaské with Connie Johnson, Candidate in Oklahoma's Gubernatorial Primary
President Biden Signs New Gun Law Aimed to Keep Guns Away from Dangerous People
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Indian Country Responds
President Biden Nominates Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans
Ultra Meaningful: Running the Western States Endurance Run
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.