U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that the department is issuing grant assistance totaling more than $24.1 million to three Tribal Nations in Oklahoma to assist in high-speed internet, higher education, tribal language preservation, and STEM courses for high school students.
The grants will go to Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation, and College of the Muskogee Nation. Funding from these grants comes from USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning Grants Program, ReConnect High-Speed Internet Grants Program, and Distance Learning Grants Program.
“Recently, President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to our Tribal Nations in Oklahoma and across the nation, that the administration is prepared to deliver historic executive action to strengthen the understanding and respect for Tribal sovereignty,” Corn said. “Through these grants we are preparing to help deliver the preservation of Native Tribal history, improve access to education for Native families and deliver meaningful high-speed internet access across Indian Country in Oklahoma.”
Grants were awarded in the following areas:
- $1 million to deliver STEM and language courses delivered through Cherokee Nation
- $22.3 million to deliver high speed internet through Choctaw Nation
- $558K to deliver Choctaw language courses through Choctaw Nation
- $334K to support higher education at College of the Muskogee Nation
“The Biden-Harris Administration is bringing a historic level of funding and assistance for Tribal Communities, and I am committed to leveraging our resources within USDA to bring those investments directly to our tribal partners and friends in Oklahoma,” Corn said. “Tribal Nations who are interested in how USDA can be a partner in assisting their needs are encouraged to contact our State Office at 405-742-1070 to sign up for our upcoming Oklahoma Tribal Opportunity Partnership Summit. I want every Tribal Nation in Oklahoma to have the opportunity to share in this historic level of investment and opportunities of economic growth as well.”
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.