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Growing the Internet 18 October 2017

Indigenous Connectivity Summit Sheds Light on Ways in Which Indigenous Communities Bridge the Digital Divide

Two-day Event will Facilitate Conversation between Individuals and Organizations Committed to Bringing the Internet to Indigenous Communities Throughout North America

SANTA FE, NM— (October 18, 2017) – Community development, sustainability and creative problem-solving are the hallmarks of the Indigenous Connectivity Summit, a new community-led forum taking place November 8-9 in Santa Fe. Presented by the Internet Society, in partnership with the New Mexico Chapter of the Internet Society, the 1st-Mile Institute, New Mexico Techworks, and the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, the event will examine the challenges, successes and best practices of bringing the Internet, by way of community networks, to indigenous communities throughout North America.  New Mexico Senator Tom Udall will serve as the event’s Honorary Co-host.

The Summit, which will be held at the Hotel Santa Fe, is designed to facilitate conversation between community network managers/operators, Indigenous-owned Internet service providers, community members, researchers, policy makers and Indigenous leadership. Its goal is to ensure Alaska Native, American Indian, Inuit, First Nation and Métis communities have affordable, high-quality and sustainable Internet access, and examine how that access can, in turn, support social and economic development.

Summit sponsors include ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN).

The event takes place in conjunction with the launch of the New Mexico Chapter of the Internet Society, which was created to foster a strong cross-cultural and intergenerational Internet networking community in the U.S. Southwest.

“The Indigenous Connectivity Summit will bring together a hugely influential cross-section of people from different organizations around the world who have built some of the most successful community networks in the world,” said Mark Buell, the Internet Society’s regional bureau director for North America. “The goal of this is to help spur the development of new networks where there is grassroots interest and inclination to build them. We want people to know this is an option, and to be able to find out more about how to do it.”

The Summit will be divided into two topics: “Building a Network” on November 8, and “Using a Network” on November 9. Over the course of the Summit, a range of high-level individuals will lead and participate in sessions, including Kathy Brown, president and CEO of the Internet Society; Madeline Redfern, Mayor of the City of Iqaluit; Erick Huerta of Redes Communica; Peter Bloom, founder of Rhizomatica; and Matthew Rantanen, technology director of the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association.

Visit the Internet Society’s Community Networks page to learn more about the organization’s community networking initiatives.

If you are interested in registering to attend the Indigenous Connectivity Summit in person, you can do so here, or you can register to watch it remotely. If you or your company want to learn more about becoming a Summit sponsor, click here. If you are interested in joining the New Mexico Chapter of the Internet Society, you can find more information here.


About the Internet Society

Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet. Working through a global community of chapters and members, the Internet Society collaborates with a broad range of groups to promote the technologies that keep the Internet safe and secure, and advocates for policies that enable universal access. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).


Media Contact(s)
66+ Co
Merridith Ingram
(845) 674-3103


Krista Van Lewen
(415) 608-0263

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