Canku Ota


(Many Paths)


An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 24, 2001 - Issue 30



StarBand Does it Again


 Students can learn to "Take Reservations from the Reservation" via satellite

McLean, Va., February 20, 2001 - StarBand Communications Inc. today introduced distance learning via its satellite-delivered, high-speed Internet service to the Fort Mojave and Colorado River Indian Tribes, located along the banks of the Colorado River in southeastern Arizona. The installation of the StarBand systems will enable tribal students to enroll and earn professional certificates at Northern Arizona University's School of Hotel & Restaurant Management (HRM) without ever leaving their reservations.

"StarBand is leveraging our technological breakthrough of satellite-delivered, high-speed, two-way Internet access to provide new educational opportunities to Native Americans who, until now, have been forced to leave their reservations if they wanted to pursue a college or professional education," said StarBand President David Trachtenberg. "In partnership with NAU, StarBand is enabling tribal students to take advantage of the first-ever, online hospitality training tailored to the considerations of Native American learning styles and cultural appropriateness. This training will include an introduction to hospitality careers, job readiness and cross-cultural awareness."

Tourism and hospitality are Arizona's largest industries. Many of the state's popular resorts and gaming facilities are located on Native American reservations, generating a growing need for a professionally skilled local workforce and creating potential career opportunities for tribal members. However, although Flagstaff-based HRM is credited as one of the nation's top 10 schools in hospitality related studies, many Native Americans find the financial requirements and the cultural adjustment of attending classes on campus to be a significant barrier.

"StarBand provides us with an important opportunity to develop the most critical natural resource on our reservation - our people," said Don Eddy, Director of Employment Development & Training Office for the Colorado River Indian Tribes. "The installation of the StarBand service and the classes provided by NAU will enable our people to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to successfully pursue career opportunities right here, without leaving our community."

"NAU has a long history of working to serve Arizona's Native American population," said Ed Groenhout, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for NAU. "Annually, more than 235 undergraduate and graduate courses are taught and delivered to fixed sites in the state through our integrated telecommunications network. Yet, it has become increasingly clear that we need to get even closer to tribal students living on remote reservations. StarBand provides a powerful new tool to bridge these financial and cultural divides and facilitate NAU's mission to serve the underserved where they live and work."

Last year, StarBand teamed with NAU, the Southwest Navajo Nation Virtual Alliance and Navajo Nation agencies to provide StarBand service to 120 locations within the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai Indian reservations in some of the most remote areas of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

About StarBand Communications Inc.
StarBand Communications Inc. (formerly known as Gilat-to-Home Inc.) is America's first nationwide provider of two-way, always-on, high-speed Internet access via satellite to residential and small office/home office customers. Founded in early 2000, StarBand's investors and strategic partners include Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., Microsoft Corporation and EchoStar Communications Corporation. StarBand Communications is based in McLean, Virginia. Visit StarBand at StarBand is a trademark and service mark of StarBand Communications Inc.





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