The Suquamish Electronic Nation Mobile Project, or RezNet, will allow greater participation by elementary-aged children in the Tribe's technological and educational services. RezNet uses both fixed and mobile wireless technology and includes a recreational vehicle (RV) equipped with computers and a satellite downlink that will travel to four tribal housing developments and Early/Head Start programs on a regular schedule. The RezNet bus will visit neighborhoods and schools to use technology to excite young people about learning. The project is a collaboration among parents, students, teachers, and Native American liaisons of the Head Start Programs and the North Kitsap School District (NKSD) to encourage Internet-based curriculum learning, homework clubs, and other computer and education services. RezNet will be designed as an extension of the Suquamish Computer Learning Center enabling youth to access its learning programs as well as to broadband Internet connections. The project will also involve the development of the Virtual Longhouse, an Intranet that has community and curriculum information.
The Suquamish Tribe has made a great effort to ensure public access to technology. The Suquamish Tribe's adult population is taking advantage of the Tribe's Learning Center, but waiting lists for computer classes are long. School-aged children, however, face greater barriers to technology, including lack of transportation to and from the Center and lack of supervision for the youngest children. The RezNet project will help to overcome the barriers to access for the Tribe's school-aged children and will serve as a model for developing creative solutions to ensure that children in low-income rural learning environments are provided access to the same learning tools as their suburban and urban counterparts.
The partners involved in bringing RezNet to Tribal neighborhoods include the Head Start Programs, North Kitsap School District, and the Inter-Tribal Parent Education Committee.