than 2,000 families are now enjoying in-home computer access thanks
to the Chickasaw Nation Computer Literacy and Distribution program,
which refurbishes and distributes excess tribal computers as well
as computers donated by businesses and government agencies.
to the director of the program, Cliff Jones, it was implemented
in February 2002 to make computer equipment available to students,
elders and others, who may be unable to afford it. The program
is providing a much needed service.
far as I know, this is the largest program of its kind in the state,
and maybe in all of Indian country," said Jones. "I think
we're at the cutting edge of getting technology into the hands of
people who need it. If you multiply that 2,000 by the two or three
family members who commonly use a home computer, we have had a positive
impact on 5,000 to 6,000 individuals."
most equipment is distributed in Oklahoma, computers have also been
distributed to Chickasaw citizens as far away as the state of Washington.
approximately 54 percent of Americans are online, it is estimated
that only about 9 percent of Native Americans can afford computers
and only about 8 percent are actively on the Internet.
many Native Americans who are using the Internet are making use
of facilities at school or community access centers.
ready in-home access to computers makes it much easier to become
familiar with the equipment and develop the kinds of skills that
can make a meaningful difference in the quality of life and lead
to expanded employment opportunities," said Chickasaw Nation
Gov. Bill Anoatubby.
credits much of the success of the program to cooperation within
the tribe and to the generosity of other donors. Chickasaw Enterprises
has made financial contributions and the Chickasaw Foundation has
helped facilitate donations from outside entities, while the property
and supply, maintenance and nutrition services divisions have all
helped transport and deliver computer equipment.
corporation donated $15,000 to the program earlier this year. That
grant money will be used to provide computer training for recipients.
It will also be used to develop materials to encourage other companies
to participate in the program.
Chickasaw Nation, the state of Oklahoma, East Central University
and Gateway stores of Norman are among those who have donated equipment
to the program.
of equipment have also come from as far as Nebraska, Iowa and Florida
and while donation of computer CPUs (central processing
units), is currently keeping pace with demand, Jones says the program
is now in need of computer monitors.
may go through several CPUs before they buy a new monitor, and monitors
are a little more difficult to ship and store, so that is probably
our greatest need right now," said Jones.
also points out that any and all donations are needed to keep pace
for the current fiscal year show applications, at 117 per month,
are still outpacing distributions, at 86.3 per month.
to the program not only benefit those who receive the equipment,
they can also benefit the donor's bottom line.
of the costs associated with disposal, storage, handing down to
other employees or selling used equipment range up to $400 per computer.
donating to the program, companies can save time and disposal costs,
and receive a tax deduction.
is also environmentally friendly, as reuse is preferable to disposal
or even recycling of toxic materials contained in computer equipment.
said used computer equipment can be picked up free of charge within
the state of Oklahoma, and the program can often pay freight charges
for out-of-state donations.
donate equipment to the program, or for more information call (580)