WASHINGTON, DC – Efforts to create a Tribal Coalition that will elevate the voices of and strengthen Tribal Nation support of telecommunications and media was shared by Native Public Media staff Melissa Begay during the meeting of the Internet Rights Coalition in Washington, DC on November 15, 2018.
“The goal for the coalition is to maximize the effectiveness of Tribal and government affairs and to bridge the digital divide in Indian Country by increasing awareness of proposed reforms to telecommunications and communications policies,” states Begay who serves as NPM’s advocate for Indian Country.
Native Public Media is one of several organizations that makeup the Coalition membership. In 2018, the Coalition focused its efforts on getting signatures to pass the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission's decision to nullify net neutrality protections.
Until the end of this Congress, the Coalition will continue to work on securing Congressional supporters for the CRA resolution that will restore net neutrality. According to Begay, Net Neutrality played a significant role in the midterm election resulting in Democrats taking the House of Representatives as the majority.
“The Coalition remains optimistic yet skeptical that the CRA resolution will pass by December 10, 2018. However, we remain steadfast in our efforts to restore Net Neutrality which is extremely important to tribal sovereignty and our right to grow our own economy, have our schools connected, and to be self governing using the latest technology offered over a free and open internet,” concludes Begay.