THE 4 PILLARS OF NPM
Native Public Media values forging tribal centric solutions to Native communications needs and over the past seven
years concentrated on four quadrants of service to Native media makers and communities:
Providing Native Communities with the Access, Knowledge and Resources to Ensure that Native Americans Have a Voice to
Fully Participate and Benefit From the Information Age.
Creating A Digital Footprint For Media Growth In Indian Country.
Providing Information, Technical Support and Training to Build a Solid National Communications System in Indian
Producing proactive programs of policy analysis, representation and education, NPM works to secure a voice for Native America among policy-making bodies and among the media democracy movement, promoting greater access and larger audiences for Native American voices.
May 1, 2009
In a modern society, it is difficult to comprehend life anymore without access to spectrum based opportunities. Broadband has changed that. For Native America, spectrum based policy is no longer just about hardware (infrastructure) and connectivity, it is about a transforming technology that is driving radically new innovations and changing the way we live.
Today, medicine, government, education, and business have been transformed by voice, video and data. New services are reaching not only more people but across communities ranging from small tribal villages to large urban metropolitan centers, from our youth to our elders, and across different economic populations from the poor to the rich. Affordable access to spectrum based opportunities has opened doors to new economic activity, educational opportunities, telemedicine, government services and personal interaction with new virtual communities around the globe.
For Native Americans, broadband connectivity has changed the way tribal history is presented, revitalized the linguistic ability of tribes, renewed tribal identify, expanded the cultural and creative expression of tribal members, and engaged Native Americans with the rest of the world in unprecedented ways.
In recent years, Native nations have increasingly asserted their self-governing powers. Tribal sovereignty – the capacity of Native nations to decide for themselves how to provide for the health, safety and welfare of their citizens – has been the catalyst of economic and social improvement in Native America. In this environment, Native-owned and Native-controlled broadband plays a vitally important role in advancing education, business, communication, and citizen participation.
Native Public Media, the only organization in Native America dedicated to building Native American access to, control of and participation in media, is proactively leading the way to shape broadband policy that ensures the full inclusion of Native Americans. Currently, Native American access to media is sharply limited by factors including policies related to media ownership and spectrum allocation that are based on definitions and precedents that effectively exclude Native peoples.
Native Public Media believes that spectrum – like land and water – are vital resources for Native Nations. We believe that Tribal sovereignty can and must be actively considered in the creation and implementation of broadband policy. Further, we believe that sovereignty – and the media access, control and ownership that it implies – is critical to the health of Native communities and to ensuring that Native voices are heard.
The implementation of universal service programs is largely the joint responsibility of federal and state government. However, the sovereign status of Native nations raises critically important policy questions that have direct and real implications for how broadband is and should be allocated and controlled.
And, as in past debates over other valuable resources, there are competing forces lobbying for and against broadband policy that will expand Native broadband access, control and ownership. The test is simple. If Native Americans remain invisible, it raises important questions about whether the current models of access work for some of the most under-represented and un-served populations in this country.