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This week in Tribal Business News, a new Indigenous small business incubator launches in Arizona; a tribal enterprise will bring connectivity to underserved regions of the Pacific Northwest; and Cherokee Nation opens a new meat process plant to bridge gaps in tribal food access. 

Native FORGE kicks-off first entrepreneurial cohort in partnership with San Carlos Apache Tribe
Small business incubator Native FORGE has launched its first cohort in partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona. The initiative of the University of Arizona will focus on serving the specific needs of Native entrepreneurs in the state. For each year-long cohort, the incubator will target its efforts to entrepreneurs from a single tribe. 

Quinault Tribe launches technology enterprise, planned cable landing station on Washington coast
A new cable landing station established on the Quinault Indian Nation reservation will bring internet connectivity to underserved markets across Washington and Oregon. The station will be managed by a new tribal enterprise that will use tribal funding to establish new subsea fiber along the reservation’s 30 miles of Washington coastline — the first such new fiber in the area in 20 years.

Cherokee Nation opens meat processing plant in Eastern Oklahoma
Cherokee Nation leveraged $8.5M in American Rescue Plan Act funding to build the new 1839 Cherokee Meat Co. processing plant, where it aims to process excess bison from the tribe’s growing herd as well as create new revenue streams by serving ranchers in eastern Oklahoma. As well, the new meat processing plant will help improve tribal food access issues. “The pandemic showed us these gaps we had,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner.  

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Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards more than $5.9 million to support tribal conservation efforts; three Native CDFIs earned recognition for driving economic development in Indian Country; and Alaska tribes ask the state to halt a gold mine project that threatens the region's natural and cultural resources. 

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