Appointed to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for the project "Bridging the Digital Divide in Native Nations"


ACLS Leading Edge Fellowships

PhD field of study

PhD, Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Position Description

Founded in 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and technical assistance organization that constructs the foundation and frame upon which communities can take charge of their local resources, their economies, and their environmental future. Internet infrastructure in Native Nations has been underfunded and overlooked compared to elsewhere in the country, and the consequences have been significantly exacerbated by the current pandemic. Many of these communities have built their own broadband networks to provide essential service to their residents and assist in meeting the challenges in running small businesses, accessing telehealth, and working and learning remotely. ILSR has compiled the only known database of existing tribal broadband networks in the United States as a step toward understanding the unique challenges those communities face. With the support of ILSR’s broadband team, the Leading Edge Fellow will conduct original research and writing in service of developing policy narratives that can be used to support new and existing tribal broadband efforts.