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A remote Native American tribe is among the first users of Elon Musk’s Starlink space internet project after it connected to SpaceX’s constellation of satellites.



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The Hoh Tribe in Washington State said Starlink’s high-speed broadband enabled remote learning and telehealth appointments during the coronavirus pandemic for the first time. 

“We’re very remote. The last eight years I felt like we’ve been paddling up river with a spoon and almost getting nowhere with getting internet to the reservation,” said Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe.

“It seemed like out of nowhere, SpaceX came up and just catapulted us into the 21st century.”

There are currently around 800 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit, offering internet connectivity to northern areas of the US and Canada. SpaceX eventually plans to launch tens of thousands more satellites to provide “near global coverage of the populated world by 2021”.

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A Native American tribe in a remote part of Washington has been “catapulted into the 21st century” after getting SpaceX’s Starlink internet.

SpaceX Is Trying To Launch 60 Starlink Internet Satellites Into Space

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The Hoh Tribe, which is based on the Pacific coast, roughly 23 miles south of the town of Forks, said on Twitter this week it was now receiving a high-speed connection from the constellation of satellites blasted into orbit by Elon Musk’s company.

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“What a difference high-speed internet can make. Our children can participate in remote learning, residents can access healthcare. We felt like we’d been paddling up-river with a spoon… SpaceX Starlink made it happen overnight,” it tweeted Wednesday.

Starlink is an ongoing SpaceX project creating a global network of satellites capable of beaming broadband internet to areas with unreliable or unavailable access.

Earlier this week, as the company

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“Hey you. Let me teach you something about braids.” Tiktok user @the_land sits facing the camera, brushing his hair and calmly plaiting three strands on either side of his head. He speaks softly and confidently, while words flash on the screen highlighting parts of his speech. “When braiding our hair, we’re supposed to have good thoughts, because we’re connecting with our body, mind, and spirit. That’s what the three strands are for.”

The video, tagged with #nativetiktok and #indigenous, has been shared more than 28,000 times. It’s one of the most popular videos that comes up when you search those hashtags on Tiktok, and @the_land is one of the app’s most prominent Native American creators.

But if everyone had universal internet – and not just access to pricy data plans from their phones, or patchy connections that take forever to load, but clear, high-speed, robust internet access – we would

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This story was co-published with The Arizona Republic, a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Aubrie Sloan expected to start sixth grade in a virtual classroom where she would learn from her teacher each day and engage with classmates for the first time since the coronavirus forced her school to close in March.

Instead, she marks her attendance at Kaibeto Boarding School, on the western side of the Navajo Nation, by texting or calling her teacher each morning. Then she dives into paper packets the school delivers to her home, breezing through assignments that her mother says aren’t a challenge because she already knows the material.

Aside from two phone calls from her teacher, the 11-year-old has received little

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