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OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY–INDIAN AFFAIRS

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nedra Darling

April 26, 2002

202-219-4152

Federally Recognized Indian Tribes Eligible to Get Internet
Domain Name Suffix Designating Them as Government Entities

(Washington, DC) – A cooperative agreement between the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Indian Affairs eGovernment initiative will allow Federally recognized Indian tribes to participate in a program that will provide a domain name suffix identifying the tribe on the World Wide Web as a government entity.  “This has been an idea bantered around for quite some time, for it to happen now affirms President Bush’s policy of treating American Indian tribes as sovereign governments,” Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb said. 

The General Services Administration is the government agency that grants the .gov domain name suffix to government entities.  Suffixes are used to identify the function of a specific organization such as .com representing a commercial venture, .org for organization, usually a non-profit, and .gov meaning a Federal government entity.  A tribe’s domain name suffix will include a dash, the letters nsn and the .gov designation. The nsn acronym stands for native sovereign nation, when combined with www and the tribe’s name it will look like, www.tribesname-nsn.gov. 

President Bush’s Management and Performance Agenda sets eGovernment as a top priority.  The Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs seeks to utilize eGovernment technologies to transform its business and enhance its relationship with tribes and individual Indians.  Designating Federally recognized tribes on the web as government entities is the first step in implementing eGovernment that will provide pertinent information about Native American programs and agencies, to be fully capable of business transactions, and to provide individual services over the Internet on a twenty four hours, seven days a week basis to Indian Country.

A tribe will need to apply to the Office of Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs to receive the domain name suffix.  The process includes a letter application, tribal resolution, or minutes of the meeting giving authority to the person making the written request. A tribe can also register at www.dotgov.gov.  For an example of an application and web content guidelines contact Ms. Nita Pitts, Department of the Interior, at (703) 735-4113.

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