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“I have really slow internet at my house,” Alaska Native Iñupiaq seventh grader, Kaden Kulukhon, wrote in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Kulukhon was among a handful of middle schoolers and educators beseeching the FCC to approve a licensing modification to send satellites into polar orbit, effectively offering remote Alaskan villages access to broadband internet. “All the people in my house use the internet. When COVID hit all the websites that I used at school could not load at my house,” he wrote. “Even at our school some websites won’t load properly and we consider the school internet ‘fast.’”

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Growing up, when Harlan Kingfisher (Plains Cree from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation) would leave the house for big hockey games, his grandfather, or Mushum, would instruct him to smudge his blades and hockey stick. “Smudging” is the Indigenous practice of burning sweetgrass or sage in prayer to summon positive energy and cleanse one’s spirit. 

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The digital divide is great in the United States, often separating the rural from the urban, the rich from the poor. Indian Country is no different, with just 60 percent of residents living on tribal lands in the lower 48 states having access to broadband internet at the end of 2018. That was tough enough pre-pandemic. Today, not having in-home access to the internet can mean long drives to places like McDonald’s for internet service, just so children can do homework assignments.

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — TikTok sensation Nathan “Doggface” Apodaca’s star continues to rise with a slew of business partnerships including Xbox, LG, Sector 9 Longboards, Zumies and many others. One partnership in particular, The Gold Michi Co., has Apodaca (Northern Arapaho and Mexican) on more than 100 full-size billboards in Southern California. 

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TULSA, Okla. — When an unprecedented winter storm bringing freezing temperatures rolled through the Midwest earlier this week, Cherokee Nation Businesses answered the call from energy companies to conserve power to protect against cut-offs.

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In early September, when a shortage of medical masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 swept the country, the Cherokee Nation decided it was time to make its own.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU, Wis. — A brewing company in northern Wisconsin recently partnered with the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to sell what Minocqua Brewing Company owner Kirk Bangstad calls “progressive beer.” 

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SpaceX Starlink, an upcoming satellite-beaming internet service, has begun its testing to offer high-speed internet to remote tribal areas in the U.S. where broadband is notoriously spotty, throttled and expensive.

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In a small warehouse near a busy intersection in Seattle’s industrial district, an assembly of animals is charging forward: A buffalo bursts forth. An elk gallops. A magpie spreads its wings amid running wolves and beavers.