“I think we made the right decision,” said Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke. “I’m glad we made the right decision to forge ahead and make this happen. If we really support each other and rely on our employees and staff and our relationships … we can make this happen. “
Burke said there was a time when the tribal community debated whether to move forward with the project.
“We said we were either going to do this or not,” Burke said. “I’m really enthusiastic about getting this project underway. It’s a testimony to how the community can connect in the future. We’re able to provide more efficient technology and Internet service. The information we can provide will create jobs and development for our tribal community members, have impacts on public safety … it will be huge.”
The tribe recently made agreements with Storey and Lyon counties for emergency medical services.
“This is the first time this has ever happened this way,” he said.
The tribe also is moving ahead with an arsenic treatment plant in Sutcliff in the next few weeks.
Arsenic treatment plant in Sutcliffe in the next weeks
“It’s a testimony on how the community will connect in the future,” Burke said.
Being able to provide faster information and data for first responders, emergency medical technicians, nurses and doctors and health clinics will also be a big step forward, he said
The project will address the low-speed Internet in the area and general lack of access to online tools like distance learning, telemedicine and enhanced public safety services on the reservation. The contractor will install 40 miles of fibre, which will link together the tribal communities of Wadsworth, Nixon and Sutcliff with modern broadband technology.
The name of the project in Paiute is “Natukwena Nagwesenoo,” which translates in English as “To Weave Communities Together.” The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe was able to gain access to $9.5 million — a combination of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant funds from the Department of commerce and matching funds.
The new technology will also help schools, public safety and businesses on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation move into the “21st century” with new technology that will enable them to more effectively participate and develop economically and communicate.
The goal will also be to bring together 29 departments and businesses on the reservation.
“Our three communities are 20 miles apart,” Burke said.