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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country recently.

Nearly $500,000 High-Speed Internet Grant to Go to Ione Band of Miwok Indian

On Friday, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that the Ione Band of Miwok Indians will be awarded $459,000 through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. This program stems from the Biden-Harris Administration’s ‘Internet for All initiative’ to invest in rural infrastructure and affordable high-speed internet. 

The Miwok will use this grant to fund a study to develop a comprehensive high-speed internet infrastructure deployment plan that will encompass Tribal Lands in rural Amador County, California. 

​​“Our Tribal communities badly need better connectivity to thrive in the modern digital economy. This grant demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to supporting and expanding Internet access for Tribal Nations,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “The Ione Band of Miwok Indians’ plan to connect their critical wellness, housing, and community centers is a testament to how high-speed internet service can uplift entire communities.” 

Sen. Schatz Praises New Tribal Energy Development Direct Loans

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, released the following statement on the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) announcement of new direct loans for Tribal energy developmentas authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022.

“Energy is a significant and growing economic powerhouse for many Tribes, which is why Congress acted to open up Tribal access to lower interest rates and more capital for energy projects,” said Chairman Schatz. “Today’s announcement is the next step in advancing Tribal energy development. I look forward to building on this progress through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes additional funding and loan guarantees to support energy development for Tribes.”

DOE published a supplement to the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) solicitation to implement the new direct lending authority. The solicitation update provides eligible Tribes and other organizations the ability to apply for direct loans for eligible energy projects through the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank. More information on the TELGP can be found here.

Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.Neely Bardwell (direct descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), a Michigan State University student who is interning with Native News Online, contributed to these briefs.

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