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People We Love: Valerie Fast Horse

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Bringing technology to tribes


Valerie Fast Horse

Photo by Jack McNeel

After a stint in the Army and a corporate career in computers, Valerie Fast Horse returned to her Northern Idaho Indian reservation nine years ago and brought her knowledge home to her people.

Fast Horse and her staff built a $3.5 million broadband network from scratch, aiming to preserve Coeur d’Alene tribal history, language, and culture.

Internet technology, Fast Horse believes, can give voice to Native people and dismantle stereotypes., a website developed by Fast Horse and her staff, provides a space for Native people to express themselves while sharing ideas, language, and culture with others. 

A former member of the Coeur d’Alene tribal council, Fast Horse now wants to improve democracy on the 2,000-member reservation by broadcasting council meetings online. 

Fast Horse hopes to inspire a new generation: “I refuse to hear the word ‘no’; instead, I hear ‘not yet.’ ”

Heather PurserHeather Purser wrote this article for Learn as You Go, the Fall 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Heather is an editorial assistant YES! Magazine.




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