I’m honored to introduce Henry Jake Foreman as Grow with Google’s first-ever Indigenous Community Digital Coach. As a Digital Coach, Jake will empower tribal small businesses with monthly digital skills workshops, local hands-on coaching opportunities, and events for businesses to come together and learn from one another. Jake is an Absentee Shawnee citizen who resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a Program Director at New Mexico Community Capital. As a trainer for NCAI’s training program, incubated with support from Grow with Google, Jake has helped hundreds of Native American entrepreneurs in New Mexico develop skill sets to support and build their businesses. We’re excited to see Grow with Google build on the success of that collaboration as they expand the Digital Coaches program. Jake will now bring these trainings directly to tribal communities across Indian Country and partner with NCAI to host monthly national webinars beginning in 2023.
In addition, Google.org is providing a $750,000 grant to support NCAI’s own institutional capacity and positioning in the Indigenous digital skilling space. NCAI will directly invest this into IT capabilities to foster a community of learning and distill best IT practices to contribute toward the broader ecosystem. This investment builds on the previous $1.25M in grants used to help support Native-owned businesses — all done in service of helping more Indigenous people to achieve success and help bridge Indian Country’s digital divide.
Because Native-led businesses serve as the backbone for many tribal communities, it was a very special moment to first share this news with tribal leaders, NCAI members and Native youth at our NCAI 79th Annual Convention & Marketplace earlier this week. At the conference, we also had the pleasure of hosting Jake’s first digital skills workshop as a new Digital Coach. Undoubtedly, these tailored workshops and resources will help our businesses thrive online and grow tremendously. To learn more and sign up, visit g.co/grow/digitalcoachIC.