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READOUT: Heinrich Highlights Efforts To Increase High-Speed Internet For Native Students; Discusses Protections For Native Agriculture With Tesuque Pueblo Leaders

SANTA FE, N.M. – During a visit to Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) highlighted a federal investment of $57,298,683 he helped secure for the school through the Infrastructure Law. This funding will create more opportunities for Tribal students by connecting them to high-speed internet. The Infrastructure Law has already delivered a total of $146,987,149 to help Tribes in New Mexico deploy broadband infrastructure.
“Expanding access to high-speed internet is one of the surest ways to improve education and health outcomes, boost economic development, and strengthen public safety,” said Heinrich. “Thanks to the Infrastructure Law that infused $2 billion into the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, we are creating opportunities for Tribes by making these essential services more broadly available.”
Senator Heinrich is championing the bipartisan Tribal Connect Act to make it easier for Tribes to secure high-speed internet access at Native-owned libraries and public institutions.
Key attendees: 
  • U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
  • Kimball Sekaqauptewa, Tribal Broadband Connectivity Project Director, SFIS
  • Christie Abeyta, SFIS Superintendent
  • Kevin Shendo, Pueblo of Jemez Library
  • Kevin Lewis, SFIS IT Coordinator
Senator Heinrich also met with Tesuque Pueblo leaders on Tuesday to discuss the need to protect Native American seeds and traditional food products, and assist Tribes in ensuring that cultural practices and traditional ways of life are preserved.
“We must ensure that Native cultural practices and way of life are preserved for future generations,” said Heinrich. “Protecting Native seeds and traditional food products will allow Tribes to grow and create their own healthful food products and in turn spur economic development in Indian Country and provide new opportunities in the agriculture sector.”
The Pueblo of Tesuque has been supportive of Senator Heinrich’s efforts to craft legislation that would create a study of applicable trademark and intellectual property laws, the long-term viability of Native American seeds, and provide recommendations on how to ensure Native American seeds and traditional foods may be protected for future generations.
Key attendees: 
  • U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
  • Milton Herrera, Tesuque Pueblo Governor
  • Floyd Samuel, Tesuque Pueblo Lieutenant Governor
  • Joe Robledo, School Principal
  • Emigdio Ballon, Tesuque Pueblo Agriculture Director
  • Gailey Morgan, Tesuque Pueblo Agriculture Department Staff
  • Mark Mitchell, Tesuque Pueblo Councilman
  • Charles Dorme, Tesuque Pueblo Councilman
  • Rick Vigil, Tesuque Pueblo Councilman