BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards says the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe will be receiving a $2,499,947 grant to expand internet access.

“We are thrilled that the Tunica-Biloxi tribe recently won a competitive grant of $2.5 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of their Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program,” said Gov. Edwards. “It’s especially important that we work with underrepresented communities, like Tribal Communities who can benefit from a variety of federal funding resources. This investment from NTIA follows the recent $29 million grant to the Acadiana Planning Commission announced a couple of months ago to help over 22,000 unserved locations. Both awarded grants will accelerate our efforts to address our broadband challenges and is a testament to the leadership that a variety of stakeholders are playing to rapidly close the digital divide.” 

The program, according to NTIA, will “enable internet adoption activities, including telehealth, distance learning, affordable internet programs and digital inclusion efforts.”

“The Tribe has designed a three-prong approach to address the disproportionate challenges that prevent Tribal citizens from accessing and utilizing broadband services,” said Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. “With this grant, Tribal seniors can receive telehealth and social services virtually, Tribal youth can attend classes remotely and Tribal citizens can apply for jobs and participate in other workforce development opportunities online. We believe better internet access is imperative to the continued development and success of our Tribe.”

Last week, Gov. Edwards announced the state of Louisiana joined a national initiative to expand internet access to all Americans.

For more information about the grant to expand internet access to the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, click here.