New Media, Technology & Internet Use in Indian Country Report Release and Breakfast Roundtable Hosted by Native Public Media and the New America Foundation

On November 19, 2009, Native Public Media and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative will release New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country:  Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses, one of the most extensive studies of on the ground technology use, access, and adoption in Native American lands.  Demonstrating the great need to include Native Americans in the discourse around the National Broadband Plan, the report combines both a survey of Native American technology use amongst 120 tribes, normed against other national surveys, and in-depth case studies of six successful projects exhibiting Digital Excellence in Native America.

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) noted in 2004: “By virtually any measure, communities on tribal lands have historically had less access to telecommunications services than any other segment of the population.” Today, many Native American lands tribes have little or no affordable access to broadband – putting Internet connectivity and its associated benefits out of reach for many of these communities. Until now, the lack of data about the Native American telecommunications landscape has been a considerable barrier to developing informed policies to drive Internet deployment, access and adoption in tribal communities.

Propelling Native voices into the national broadband discussion, New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country:  Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses lays the groundwork for Native deployment, access, and adoption of digital communication that is driven by and serving the needs of Native America.  This work is authored by Traci L. Morris and Sascha D. Meinrath.

featured speakers
Loris Taylor
Executive Director
Native Public Media

Traci Morris
Policy Analyst
Native Public Media

Sascha Meinrath
Director, Open Technology Initiative
New America Foundation

Blair Levin
FCC National Broadband Plan (invited)

Geoffrey Blackwell
Native Public Media Advisory Council and Chair
Telecommunications Subcommittee of the National Congress of American Indians (invited)

Patricia de Stacy Harrison
President & CEO
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (invited)

For questions, contact Stephanie Gunter at (202) 596-3367 or

For media inquiries, contact Kate Brown at (202) 596-3365 or

Published by Traci L. Morris

Dr. Morris, the Director of the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Under her leadership, the AIPI has grown and diversified its service to Indian Country via an MOU formalizing a long-standing partnership with the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) and forming the Tribal Economic Leadership Program offering training in Tribal Economic Governance and Tribal Financial Management; access to Entrepreneurship training and tribal business support through Inno-Nations; and Economic Development Consulting; and, the formalization of the Institute via by-laws and an advisory board comprised of both internal ASU leadership and external tribal and non-tribal leadership. In her work at both ASU and prior, Morris has worked with Native American tribes; Tribal businesses; Native American non-profits; Native media makers, artists, and galleries; written a college-accredited curriculum in Native American new media; and has advocated for digital inclusion at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill. Morris’s research and publications on Native American media and the digital divide is focused on Internet use, digital inclusion, network neutrality, digital and new media curriculums, digital inclusion and development of broadband networks in Indian Country. Her book, Native American Voices: A Reader, continues to be a primary teaching tool in colleges throughout the country. Dr. Morris is Affiliated Faculty at ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, an Affiliate of ASU's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, a Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, President of the Board of the Phoenix Indian Center, Board member of the Arizona American Indian Chamber of Commerce, and on the Advisory Council of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. Formerly, Morris served member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Labor's Native American Employment and Training Council and served a two-year appointment (2014-2016 and 2010-2012) on the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee. As an entrepreneur prior to her ASU appointment, Morris founded Homahota Consulting LLC, a national Native American woman-owned professional services firm working in policy analysis, telecommunications, education, and research assisting tribes in their nation-building efforts and working with Native Nations, tribal businesses and those businesses working with tribes. Morris has an M. A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies, in addition to a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University.

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