High-Tech Arrives in Indian Country

October 2006, CUJ

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

ROSEBUD, S.D. – The Defense Appropriations Bill passed by Congress Sept. 29 includes $2.75 million for the Advanced Electronics Rosebud Integration Center.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in partnership with Radiance Technologies, is working to develop the AERIC project to research, develop, test and demonstrate advanced electronics integration and fabrication technology on the Rosebud Reservation.

AERIC will seek to reduce the weight, size and cost of electronic circuit cards and components, wire harnesses and electronic cabling.

Cedar Band of Paiutes

CEDAR CITY, UTAH – A telecommunications company founded in 2003 by the Cedar Band of Paiutes has landed a five-year, $8 million contract to develop and maintain a fiber optic based telecom system for Dugway Proving Ground.

Suh’dutsing Technologies was launched with three employees and $8,000 in seed capital – half from the Utah Office of Rural Development and half from the Cedar Band of Paiutes.

Suh’dutsing is also fulfilling digital technology contracts in Hawaii, Houston, Tampa and for the National Park Service in Minnesota.

Other Tribal Technological Ventures

Several other Indian tribes have also turned to the high-tech arena as a source of jobs and economic development. Some examples:

  • The Ute Tribe in Fort Duchesne, Utah, launched Uinta River Technology as a data entry and processing company, landing contracts with Affiliated Computer Services and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, also in Utah, operates NWB Technologies, which started three years ago as an information technology company. It now has contracts to provide translation services for the nation’s intelligence agencies.
  • Uniband Enterprises, owned and operated by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, N.D., operates data management services in a 27,266 square foot facility with up to 365 operators per work shift. Uniband provides data conversion – organizing paper and voice communications into electronic information.
  • Lakota Technologies in Eagle Butte, S.D., owned by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, offers technology transfer services that include call center operations, help desk services, data entry, data conversion, document imaging, automated records management, etc. The company recently converted six volumes of medical journals in a contract with the National Library of Medicine.
  • The Zuni Indian Tribe in New Mexico created Information Technology to bring jobs to the reservation through federal grants for data entry, call centers and scanning.

This story originally appeared in the CUJ. The Confederated Umatilla Journal is the monthly newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon.