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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

May 8, 2001

News Media Contact:
Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654
e-mail: mmccarri@fcc.gov

"Doing Business in Indian Country"

Washington, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission today announced the names of over 30 speakers for the FCC's Indian Telecom Training Initiative (ITTI) 2001 Industry Conference entitled "Doing Business in Indian Country." The FCC in cooperation with the National Exchange Carrier Association and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and with program support from National Indian Telecommunications Institute, is hosting this exceptional event June 3-5 at the Radisson Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"I encourage business leaders in telecommunications and utilities to attend this event in order to learn from Native American experts how to successfully develop business ventures in Indian Country," said Tom Sugrue, Chief of the FCC's Wireless Bureau. "Business opportunities exist where telecommunications companies can work with tribal governments to provide service and increase access to all types of telecommunications services."

The exceptional group of speakers at this event includes leaders of tribal governments such as Kelsey Begaye (Navajo), President, Navajo Nation; Tex Hall (Mandan-Hidatsa) Chairman, Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota; A. Wayne Taylor (Hopi), Chairman, Hopi Tribe; and, Brian Wallace (Washoe), Chairman, Tribe of Nevada and California.

Other Native Americans leaders in business and education speaking at this event include: Susan Masten (Yurok), President, National Congress of American Indians; Dr. Lionel Bordeaux (Lakota), President, Sinte Gleska University; The Honorable Lynda Lovejoy (Navajo) Commissioner, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission; Mark Van Norman (Cheyenne River Sioux), Executive Director, National Indian Gaming Association; Karen Buller (Comanche), President, National Indian Telecommunications Institute; Joe McDonald (Salish Kootenai), President, Salish Kootenai College; Lance Morgan (Winnebago), President, Ho-Chunk, Inc.; Roger Boyd (Navajo), Program Manager, Department of Treasury, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; Jacqueline Johnson (Tlingit Tribe), US Department of Housing and Urban Development; and, Ken Robbins (Lakota), President, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In addition, Wallace Coffey (Comanche), who is the Tribal Liaison for the Institute of American Indian Arts, will be the conference's master of ceremonies.

"Doing Business in Indian Country" is specifically targeted to business leaders in the telecommunications and utility industries. Native American business leaders will discuss business opportunities in Indian Country and present success stories. In addition, attendees will learn how tribal governments work and the "Do's and Don'ts of Doing Business in Indian Country." The conference will address industry questions and educate attendees on how to initiate contact and develop programs with tribal governments. The conference will cover topics such as: business opportunities in Indian Country; how to work with tribal governments; tribal sovereignty issues; and, community protocols and concerns as they relate to building telecommunications and utilities infrastructure and markets.

The FCC's ITTI conferences are part of various efforts at the Commission to address the lack of access to telecommunications services in Indian Country. For more information regarding Indian Initiatives at the FCC please visit the FCC's website at: http://www.fcc.gov/indians/ITTI

For more press information on this event, please contact Atif Harden at (202) 418-7931 or Dan Rumelt at (202) 418-7512.

For FCC ITTI Seminar Contact : Kathy Garland at (717)338-2888 or Nancy Plon at (202) 418-2899; TTY at (202) 418-8233.

To register for this event contact NECA-ITTI 2001: at 1-800-351-9033.