How Certain Indigenous Communities Manage Broadband Needs?

Native American reserves are islands of culture. And in keeping their culture intact, many prefer isolation from the rest of the country around them. Of course, this is not to stereotype Native Americans as less capable. Many Native Americans can and do excel at nearly any profession that you could name. But they still need resources like education and transport to do so. Unfortunately, thanks to mistrust and isolation, many such communities still remain cut off from the modern world and useful amenities like But Native Americans that have seen the benefits of broadband access may be creating a gamechanger. 

How Native Americans Are Creating Community Broadband Networks?  

Native American communities are descended from the original inhabitants of North America. The great tribes once hunted and camped among the great forests and plains. There is no denying the bloody history of the continent of North America. Especially during the colonial power struggles, native populations were decimated. Several years later, during the gold rush era, settlers once again pushed out natives from the West onto reservations.  

So, it is hardly surprising that the old wounds haven’t fully healed. And that most communities still shun access with outsiders. Yet, younger natives with greater exposure may trigger a new kind of change. One that could start with community broadband.  

Tackling Poor Internet Access to Communities 

Native American communities often remain cut off from high-speed broadband. There is a mix of reasons for this. Most Native communities are typically small, so there are fewer homes needing broadband. This means most providers won’t be able to sustain the costs of supplying internet services. On the other hand, the communities themselves have understandable reservations about intrusions.  

However, many Native Americans travel to other places for work, education, or even relocation. Many of them grow accustomed to using high-speed internet in urban or suburban areas. They have seen, especially during the pandemic, just how useful high-speed internet access can be. That is why some have begun to create community broadband systems. Bruce Buffalo remains a pioneer in this approach. Using crowdfunding for the hardware, he was able to supply internet to around 20 to 30 homes in his native Mamawapowin. A few years later, the number was 150. 

Education and Learning Opportunities  

One of the biggest reasons to improve internet access to native communities is the increased learning opportunities. This can include remote learning platforms. Kids in these communities could gain access to a wider range of learning institutes and resources. They may then be able to reapply their knowledge to the growth and expansion of their community. 

Remote Working and E-Retailing Platforms 

Money buys commodities. While many native communities come close to being self-sufficient, they may need things they can’t manufacture on their own. From cars to computers, everything costs money. Of course, many native communities don’t have access to large cash funds. However, online business or employment over reliable internet could change that. Remote working could allow native workers many more income opportunities. And it could even be used to access e-commerce platforms to sell authentic native goods. All of these would increase the flow of wealth to the community.   

Content Creation and Monetization  

The world has never been as inclusive and open as it is today. So instead of isolating their culture to preserve it, young natives are broadcasting it all over the internet. There is no shortage of internet users fascinated by diverse cultures. Thanks to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, native creators can both spread their culture and monetize it ethically. The internet also offers new ways to draw attention to specific issues on a global scale. It can help many such communities petitioning for help in preserving their ecology and environmental balance.  

Multi-Culture Immersion  

Finally, the internet is not a one-way portal. Information flows in all directions, including into Native American communities. This could offer an unprecedented opportunity for many natives to broaden and diversify what they know. They can learn about other cultures, history, politics, social changes, pandemics, scientific breakthroughs, and even cooking recipes to add to their palette.  

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