IBM and SeniorNet Bring Technology to Rural, Low Income Native American Reservations
Grand Opening of FourthNativeAmericanAchievementCenter to Take Place on April 24th, 2008 at Houlton Band of Maliseet in Maine
HOULTON, ME, April 15, 2008 – Together, SeniorNet, the world’s leading technology educator of older adults, and IBM Corporation are set to bring technology access and education to the fourth rural Native American reservation in the United States. On April 24th, 2008, SeniorNet and IBM will conduct the grand opening of the MaliseetTechnologyAchievementCenter at the Houlton Band of Maliseet in Houlton, Maine.
This grand opening is part of the ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity Initiative’ sponsored by IBM, led by SeniorNet, and in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) and the Native American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).
Members of the community and media are invited to attend.
The agenda for the grand opening events is as follows:
Houlton Band of MaliseetTechnologyAchievementCenter Grand Opening MaliseetRecreationCenter - 568 Foxcroft Road, Houlton, Maine Thursday, April 24th, 2008 Grand Opening and Welcome SpeechesRefreshments and Tour of AchievementCenter
‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’ is a grant-based initiative designed to bring computer access and education to five low-income and remote Native American reservations across the United States in an ongoing effort to bridge the ‘Digital Divide.’
”We appreciate having been chosen as one of the five tribal communities selected to develop this center,” said Brenda Commander, tribal chief, Houlton Band of Maliseet. “This is a great opportunity for our members to have access to state-of-the-art computer equipment and training. Members of all ages will benefit by acquiring the technical skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. I would like to thank all the project partners for their outstanding efforts.”
The MaliseetAchievementCenter opening on April 24th will offer computer and Internet access, education and training for reservation residents of all ages. The MaliseetAchievementCenter will also feature a special program to educate the Maliseet tribal elders, most of whom have never used a computer, on computer skills and applications.
“The ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’ initiative has broken new ground in bringing technology to rural and low-income Native American communities, including the Blackfeet Nation, the LeechLake Band of Ojibwe, the Tigua Tribe at Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, and now also the Houlton Band of Maliseet,” said Leslie M. Smith, IBM business development executive and SeniorNet board chairman. “We are very pleased by the successes each tribe is experiencing with their new technology achievement centers, and SeniorNet is honored to work with IBM and other partner organizations on such a worthwhile and pioneering initiative.”
The first TechnologyAchievementCenter was opened at the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana in September 2006. Since then, the ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’ collaborative has opened additional Technology Achievement Centers at the Leech LakeBand of Ojibwe in Cass Lake, Minnesota and at the Tigua Tribe in Ysleta del sur Pueblo, Texas.
“Through ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity,’ SeniorNet has extended its mission of bringing computer access and education to older adults to also include underserved populations,” said Kristin Fabos, SeniorNet chief operating officer. “These Technology Achievement Centers will not only serve the needs of seniors, but will bring the empowerment of computer literacy to all on the reservation. SeniorNet is extremely grateful to IBM for their generous support.”
In addition to computer training ranging from introductory to advanced courses, the AchievementCenter will serve as an education center for the Maliseet community, offering classes on topics such as Family History and Genealogy, Health, Language Training, Work Skills, and Tutoring, as well as a host of life skills and enrichment curriculum.
About IBM IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with over 90 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.
About SeniorNet Founded in 1986, SeniorNet is an international non-profit organization that has taught hundreds of thousands of adults age 50+ to use computers and the Internet and has enriched the lives of millions through its award-winning website, www.seniornet.org. With a thriving online community and a network of more than 130 locally run Learning Centers in the U.S. and abroad staffed by more than 3,500 volunteers, SeniorNet offers both offline and online destinations to a population that was originally neglected in the information revolution. With sponsorship by major corporations and foundations, private and public donations, and a backbone of individual members and contributors, SeniorNet continues to grow and offer new opportunities to those touched by its mission. SeniorNet headquarters is located in Santa Clara, CA.
For more information, contact: Kristin Fabos SeniorNet 900 Layette Street, Suite 604 Santa Clara, CA95050 Tel: 408-615-0699 Email: