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Tribal Resources

Mission Statement: Facilitate access to the full benefits of broadband to all Alaskans with improved quality of service and lower costs.

Introducing Melissa Kookesh

Image of Melissa Kookesh

Melissa M. Kookesh serves as the Tribal Liaison for the Alaska Broadband Office which is in the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Melissa was brought on to serve as the Tribal Liaison between the Alaska Broadband Office and Alaska’s 400 plus tribal entities including the 229 federally recognized Tribes, Alaska Native Regional Non-Profit Organizations and Tribal Consortiums as well as the ANCSA Village and Regional Corporations. In her role she is also responsible for continuity of collaboration with Tribal partners regarding Digital Equity and the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment. The state recognized the importance of having a Tribal Liaison to help maintain open communication on policies and to address the concerns of those being directly impacted by the broadband projects and programs.

Tribal Consultations

Alaska Broadband Office further recognizes the need to hold one Tribal Consultation that is inclusive of the federally recognized tribes, regional non-profits and tribal consortiums, and village and regional corporations. Considering the perspectives of the different Native entities combined with the Alaska Native people is the right thing to do to ensure successful broadband service can be deployed to reach the unserved and underserved populations in rural Alaska. The Alaska Broadband Office has, and will continue, to hold Tribal Consultation Meetings and facilitate on-going communication to further the government-to-government relationship between the state and federally recognized tribes, the village and regional corporations, and the regional non-profits and tribal consortiums. For more information or to set up a meeting, please contact Melissa Kookesh by email at or by phone (907) 465-6466 or (907) 891-3666.

For Your Information

08-07-23: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Round 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. This is a grant funding opportunity available to tribal governments to be used for broadband deployment on tribal lands. For more information, please see the button below.

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant Program