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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 8, 2001 - Issue 44


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Scholarships will target American Indians


Press Release NCAI-August 30, 2001

(Washington, D.C.) In conjunction with ITTI 2001 -a four-day conference that will provide critical information to tribal leaders and others about ways to increase access to telecommunications services in Indian Country -, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will sponsor a scholarship program in an effort to attract the largest possible tribal attendance.

ITTI 2001 will take place Sept. 23-26 at Bally's Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference is co-sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA).

During a series of hearings held in 1999, the FCC determined that American Indian tribal nations have the least access of any U.S. population group to basic telephone services. Up to 70 percent of households on America's Indian reservations do not have basic telephone service or access to the most basic telecommunications services. At a time when the nation is embracing the benefits of advanced technologies and communities, and businesses are enjoying the fruits of connectivity and information, America's first communities are the last to be served.

"As the leading advocate for American Indian tribal nations, NCAI plays a key role in all issues affecting tribal communities in this country, including telecommunications and technology," said NCAI President Susan Masten. "ITTI 2001 will provide an unprecedented opportunity for our tribal leaders, even those living on the most remote reservations, to learn more about accessing the latest in telecommunications services, technology, resources, and much more."

Ericsson, a global telecommunications technology leader, is the first company to contribute to the program.
"Ericsson is pleased to take a leading role, supporting and encouraging the participation of American Indian people to this important conference," said Robert Elston, Ericsson External Communications Manager. "As believers in an'all communicating world,' it is a priority for Ericsson to provide access to telecommunications services to disadvantaged communities everywhere."

To make a contribution to the scholarship program, or for more information, contact NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Johnson at (202) 466-7767 or Nancy Plon, FCC liaison to ITTI 2001, at (202) 418-2899; NPLON@FCC.GOV.

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates for more than 250 tribal governments with the federal government and the Congress, promoting strong tribal-federal "government-to-government" policy and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.

National Congress of American Indians

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