The Native Nations Communications Task Force's mission is to provide guidance, expertise, and recommendations to specific requests from the Commission on a range of telecommunications issues that directly or indirectly affect Tribal governments and their people. This will enhance the Commission's ability to carry out its statutory responsibilities to ensure the availability of communications by wire and radio, and encourage broadband deployment, to all Americans.

Image of Task Force Members at meeting with FCC staff
The Native Nations Communications Task Force met at the FCC with Commission staff on Nov. 5-6, 2019.


December 4, 2019: The FCC posted a report from the Tribal members of its Native Nations Communications Task Force entitled "Improving and Increasing Broadband Deployment on Tribal Lands" (download: Word | PDF). The report addresses how to close the persistent digital divide between Indian country and the rest of America. It highlights Tribal success stories and provides potential solutions for policymakers that could benefit residents of Indian Country.

October 24, 2018: Chairman Ajit Pai announced the appointment of 19 Tribal members and eight FCC members to the FCC's renewed Native Nations Communications Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of elected and appointed leaders, or their designees, from a broad cross section of Native Nations, as well as senior staff and decision-makers from across the Commission. Chairman Pai also named Matthew Duchesne, Chief of the Commission's Office of Native Affairs and Policy, as Co-Chair. The Task Force helps the Commission fulfill its commitment to increase access to broadband and other communications infrastructure deployment and services on Tribal lands.

February 8, 2018: The Commission issued a Public Notice announcing the renewal and renaming of the Task Force and seeking nominations for membership from Tribal Nations. Originally created in 2011 as the Native Nations Broadband Task Force, the Task Force was renamed to reflect its involvement in issues including, but also reaching beyond, broadband deployment. Members serve for three years.


Honorable Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)

Honorable Michael Conners, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Honorable Joe Garcia, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo

Honorable Frankie Hargis, Cherokee Nation

Honorable Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw Nation

Honorable Andy Teuber, Tangela Native Village

Honorable Joey Whitman, Gila River Indian Community

Bill Bryant, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Crystal Hottowe, Makah Tribe

Kristan Johnson, Tohono O'odham Nation

Donald Long Knife, Fort Belknap Indian Community

Robert A. Lucas II, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Peter McCaslin, Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Will Micklin, Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Theron Rutyna, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Danae Wilson, Nez Perce Tribe

Karen Woodard, Morongo Band of Mission Indians

The Federal Communications Commission members are:

Matthew Duchesne, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Commission Co-Chair

Janet Sievert, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau

Sue McNeil, Wireline Competition Bureau

Suzanne Tetreault, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

Lisa Scanlan, Media Bureau

David Furth, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

Lisa Gelb, Enforcement Bureau

Jim Schlichting, International Bureau


Pursuant to the "intergovernmental communication" exemption of UMRA,[1] the Task Force is not subject to, and is not required to follow, the procedures set forth in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App 2 (1988).[2]


To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).


For further information, please contact:  Janet Sievert, Legal Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and Policy, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-1362,


[1] See 2 U.S.C. § 1534 (b).

[2] See 47 C.F.R. § 0.701 (a)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019