LeFLORE COUNTY, Okla. (KOKH) — A $22 million grant investment to provide high-speed internet to Choctaw Nation in LeFlore County has been announced.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced on Tuesday at the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas that USDA is making the $22 million investment.

“President Biden has put tribal sovereignty and indigenous prosperity at the forefront of his agenda and is continuing to deliver on his promise to tribal leaders in Oklahoma to ensure all native persons have the right to live fulfilling and prosperous lives on their tribal homeland,” Corn said. “I couldn’t be prouder to be here with Secretary Vilsack today to reaffirm the President’s commitment to rebuild our economy from the middle out and bottom-up by bringing high-speed internet, clean water, and critical infrastructure to people in communities everywhere, especially in places like rural Oklahoma that have been underserved for far too long.”

During the summit, Secretary Vilsack also announced a $34.7 million grant investment to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota for high-speed internet and a $772 thousand grant investment to the Yomba Shoshone Tribe in Nevada for improvements to bring clean drinking water to the tribal community.

The projects are being financed through the ReConnect Program and the Water and Waste Facility Loans and Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands Program.

The funding is said to advance President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to ‘grow the nation’s economy, create jobs, and spur economic growth across the nation, even in the most remote parts of the country.’

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to Tribal economic development and removing barriers for Tribal nations,” Secretary Vilsack said. “When we invest in modern infrastructure for people who live in Tribal communities, we create a ripple effect that impacts everyone.”

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