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Digital inclusion is off and running for Umatilla Rez!

Cayuse Native Solutions has begun delivering digital inclusion services to the community, including help with accessing affordable high-speed internet, obtaining free technology devices, and improving digital skills.

Melinda Broncheau joined the CNS staff in October as a Digital Navigator, and she is leading the three-year program designed to advance “digital inclusion” for the Umatilla Indian Reservation community.

What is digital inclusion? It refers to the activity needed to ensure that all community members can access and use information technology, including affordable high-speed internet, internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user, and digital skills training. These are the areas of focus for Melinda and CNS.

As a Digital Navigator, Melinda will help demystify technology by providing free, one-on-one assistance to all residents of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Many of the services will be provided in-person but some services can be given over the phone.

Umatilla Reservation residents can learn more or sign up for services at the CNS website or by calling Melinda at 541-278-3517 (weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific time).

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) announced in September, 2022 that Cayuse Native Solutions is one of 18 organizations to make up the National Digital Navigator Corps with $10 million of support from, the giving division of Google. CNS is using its $380,369 award to hire, train, and support the digital navigator, purchase laptop computers and tablets to distribute to eligible community members, and provide essential digital services to Umatilla Indian Reservation residents.

CNS authored the grant application with support from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s broadband team and Tribal Administration. CNS will be coordinating closely with numerous CTUIR departments to deliver the digital navigator services.

Melinda brings to the role nearly 20 years of experience in the information technology field as a technician, project manager, trainer, and IT help desk supervisor. She has also had community facing roles including as a screener for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) during the pandemic. She owns a small business on the Umatilla Reservation, and she is an enrolled CTUIR tribal citizen.

Cayuse Native Solutions is a subsidiary of Cayuse Holdings, which is wholly owned by the CTUIR. CNS serves tribal governments, tribal entities, and Native American owned small businesses with technology and communication services, including Camp Crier mobile app, convention apps, graphic design, website development, social media management, and IT hardware and software.

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