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Blog // Connect Michigan

FirstNet Strengthens Commitment to Native Americans

By Jessica Denson

The First Responder Network Authority demonstrated its commitment to Native Americans this week with the announcement of a Tribal Consultation Policy. The policy means tribal leaders will be able to share their public safety needs through a nation-to-nation relationship between FirstNet and the country’s 567 federally recognized tribes.  

“This policy recognizes the importance of working directly with [Native Americans] for the deployment and operation of the Network and being responsive to the needs of public safety communications on tribal lands,” said FirstNet Board Member Kevin McGinnis, who is also the FirstNet Board tribal liaison.

The policy was developed with the assistance of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Tribal Working Group as well as through engagement with tribal leaders, intertribal organizations, and public safety associations across the country. 

Right now, governors across the U.S. are deciding if they will opt-in or opt-out of FirstNet’s proposed state plans. So far, more than half have decided to accept the plans.

During the opt-in/opt-out decision period, FirstNet will continue to engage with tribes through the 56 state points of contacts (SPOC). However, if a governor chooses to opt-out, then FirstNet will consult directly with tribal government officials.

To learn more about how the new policy will work, read FirstNet’s full press release

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