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 Note: A follow-up letter, September 7, 2007 is at http://lone-eagles.com/support-montanans2.htm


To: The Honorable Brian Schweitzer

        Governor of Montana

From: Frank Odasz,

Lone Eagle Consulting

Email: frank@lone-eagles.com

Date: February 5, 2007

RE: Montana has a major untapped alternative energy resource that requires
        your immediate attention.


At considerable cost during the past decade, Montana has been aggressively investing in rural broadband access for its rural communities while promising economic, social, and cultural benefits.


The attached short proposal to “Establish a Montana Rural Ecommerce Support Network” presents a recommended first step toward tapping this huge untapped reserve of Montanan ingenuity by recognizing and celebrating existing successes and sharing them broadly.


Building social and cultural capacity through community Internet learning programs to create healthy communities is an inherent part of building sustainable economic capacity. It is my understanding there has never been an assessment of whether Montanans have received appropriate training, and are benefiting from rural broadband as promised.


Morally speaking, whose responsibility is it to champion community-wide Internet learning programs once Internet infrastructure has been achieved?  It is everyone’s responsibility.


Please consider Montana’s opportunity for Mining Raw Human Potential by creating a world-class educational system capable of generating social, cultural, and economic broadband applications and online learning opportunities for all citizens.

Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting

Attached:   Establishing a Montana Rural Ecommerce Support Network

                    Rural Ecommerce Resources for Montana’s County Commissioners

Establishing a Montana Rural Ecommerce Support Network

Montana can benefit from gathering and sharing ecommerce innovations from our own rural grassroots champions as well as from those found elsewhere. Though yet unrecognized, many Montanans have already demonstrated outstanding innovations and economic successes which the Internet makes potentially available for all Montanans, if provided the appropriate education.


Montana’s economic development leaders are invited to consider creation of a Rural Ecommerce Support Network which would begin with a Rural Ecommerce Champions Award Program to celebrate Montana’s early adapters’ Ecommerce successes. An online Resources Clearinghouse would quickly evolve showcasing short video success stories, self-training online lessons, and a peer-mentoring program to establish a convenient means for Montanans to share successful strategies and learn new skills.


Despite Ecommerce success stories existing in many communities, most rural Montanans have not yet had the opportunity to learn how to tap into their own potential uses for existing broadband. Neighbors with Internet skills who are willing to assist those who need such skills exist in most communities - if we can get help make these connections.


Extensive self-training Montana-specific resources, including extensive resources created for Native Americans, are already online; for those who are already self-directed learners. We share an obligation to help all Montanans develop these self-directed learning skills.


Creating Montanan Healthy Communities

By connecting caring and connectivity with common sense we have an opportunity to support all Montanans with the best information and e-learning opportunities available in a very human, uniquely Montanan support network.


Montana needs a Rural Economic Development Information Technology Specialist
maintaining an I.T. innovations inventory and resources to connect Montanans with known solutions.


As evidence for how productive all Montanans could learn to become leveraging their capabilities via Internet skills, please note the extent of the following unique resources generated by one Lone Eagle Montanan. To further make the point of how every Montanan can leverage their abilities using the Internet, please consider funding a minimum of one Lone Eagle to implement this proposed model network to support Montana’s rural champions and train aspiring Lone Eagles statewide.


A frequent presenter in Montana, Frank Odasz offers Montana’s leadership presentations on opportunities for statewide rural ecommerce initiatives, K12 reform for rural and Native schools, youth entrepreneurship initiatives, online workforce training, and action plans for short-term proof-of-concept Rural Ecommerce community projects, including Indianpreneurship. A roster of recent Montana leadership presentations follows…

2005-2006 Lone Eagle Montana Presentations
on Montana’s Greatest Energy Reserve

Over 60 Rural Ecommerce presentations for rural Montanan communities statewide have been delivered by Lone Eagle Consulting over the past three years as documented at http://lone-eagles.com/new.htm , highlights include:


A February 2006 Rural Ecommerce presentation and hands-on “Web-Raising” workshop delivered to a meeting of the 13 Small Business Development Coordinators, state entrepreneurship trainer, Philip Belangie, and state SBDC Director, Ann Desch. Everyone learned for the first time how easy it is to create free Ecommerce web sites in less than one hour.


A “Virtual Entrepreneurship” presentation to the December 2005 Montana Independent Telecommunications Systems conference.  - Those who provide Montana’s rural broadband access.


A Rural Ecommerce and Telework Strategies presentation to the Governor’s Economic Development Council, with Evan Barrett attending, October, 2005.


Lone Eagle met with the National Tribal Development Association www.ntda.info in Box Elder, MT on Solstice, Dec. 21st, 2006, along with Steve Galbavy the new director of the Opportunity Links project www.opportunitylinks.org


National and International presentations on indigenous Internet empowerment
are listed in the Lone Eagle Update below including Canada, Alaska, the U.S. and the 1st International Indigenous Information and Communications Technology conference in Mexico City. Lone Eagle Update January-October 2006


Aided establishing an Indigenous ICT’s Commission of the Americas, from the Arctic to Antarctica,  March 4-9th  2007, in Guatemala.  http://lone-eagles.com/guatemala.htm


Rural Ecommerce Resources for
the Montana Association of County Commissioners

Presentation Feb. 12, 2007 for the MACO Economic Development Committee:

"Empowering Montana's Rural Entrepreneurs with Ecommerce Support Systems"
The Internet has unleashed an explosion of entrepreneurial creativity worldwide. We have the opportunity to build on the best successes, as they emerge, from global sources. Because rural entrepreneurs are limited by the size of the local consumer base their level of success increasingly depends on their ability to market to the one billion consumers on the Internet, with another six billion coming.

This session will present online Ecommerce and Telework curriculum resulting from years of USDA and USDOL demonstration projects, including rural community action plans for raising local ecommerce awareness and strategies for generating local ecommerce support systems. New easy-to-learn, low-cost rural Ecommerce tools and techniques have dramatically enhanced what’s possible for rural Entrepreneurs.

Biography for Frank Odasz 
Born in Cody, Wyoming, in 1952, Frank Odasz has been a carpenter, oil field roughneck, dude ranch manager, college professor and is now a "Lone Eagle" - that is, an independent instructional entrepreneur. Coming to Dillon in 1985 as faculty at UMW, he founded the Big Sky Telegraph network in 1988 - linking one-room school teachers as one of the first rural online educational networks.

Specializing in fast-track Internet training for rural, remote, and indigenous learners for the last 20 years, Frank has traveled over a million miles presenting at national and international conferences on online learning, community networking, and rural Ecommerce.


The Montana Choice Demonstration Project
Three years presenting Rural Ecommerce Success Stories across Montana for a U.S. Dept. of Labor demonstration project.  This uniquely Montanan project has generated extensive resources and community-lead activities for generating individual web-based self-employment, community strategic action plans, community mentoring programs, and more.


The Montana Choice Process
Common Sense first steps recommended for rural community leadership supported by extensive new training resources included in this resource listing.


Best Lone Eagle Resources

Dillon’s Web-Based Businesses and Visions for the Future

Making It Happen in Dillon, Montana
A review of the history of Internet innovations in Dillon, Montana.

Net makes rural Americans less isolated
A Montana town (Dillon) struggles to reconcile Old West values with the new Net economy  http://lone-eagles.com/dillonarticle.htm  A front page article in the Silicon Valley Newspaper on Dillon, MT.

Dillon’s Businesses on the Web


Many businesses do more business via Internet than through their stores in town.

Montana’s Ecommerce Success Stories


More and more Montana businesses are enjoying a return on their investment getting their products and services advertised via the Internet


Opportunities for State Support of Rural Ecommerce



Other articles of interest from Lone Eagle Consulting, Dillon, Montana


The Power of All of Us? The eBay Lesson for Community Development

What is Community Networking; And Why You Should Care
http://www.comtechreview.org/fall-2005/000347.html  Many related links are listed in the overall publication.

Community Networking Hits Media Mainstream (Almost)--
And Makes Its Own News   (4 pages)

"Reaching the Tipping Point for the New Generation of Community Networks" 
http://lone-eagles.com/tipping-point.htm (9 pages)

Creating People-Centered Community Knowledge Networks
http://lone-eagles.com/smart.htm   A self-quiz for rural communities recommended for rural leaders as a tool to begin discussions on how best to use the Internet intelligently.


Spring 2006 CTC VISTA Digest
Contains the following two articles by Lone Eagle Consulting

Peer-to-Peer Social Networking; The Next Big Thing

Empowering Americans: CTC VISTAs in Community Networking

Lone Eagle’s Best Rural Community Grant Templates:

Rural Community Grant Templates for both Native and non-Native rural communities have already been written related to citizen engagement with Internet collaboration and learning. The grants are all listed and offered for use without restriction at


Sustainable Ecommerce Education Development Strategies (SEEDS)
 This grant model involves youth in raising ecommerce awareness among adult leaders.

Rural Ecommerce and Telework Incubator Centers
A scalable model to engage many communities simultaneously.

An Alaskan Village Bootstrap Academy -
An Education and Economic Development Partnership 
http://lone-eagles.com/northstar.htm as a model community Internet learning program. More templates listed at the end of http://lone-eagles.com/village-sustainability.htm  

"From Cedar to Silicon"
A six minute preview of the new one-hour video on the First Nations communities in British Columbia who understand the vital importance of Broadband access for cultural sustainability.

Lone Eagle Consulting Experience

For the past seven years, Frank Odasz, President of Lone Eagle Consulting, with funding from USDA and USDOL has been developing extensive online Rural Ecommerce training resources along with a community “Web-Raisings” workshop model for raising ecommerce awareness in rural communities.   Rural Ecommerce Resources  http://lone-eagles.com/future-proofing.htm

Native Americans face particularly interesting challenges adopting web expression and cultural entrepreneurship as a means of sustaining and preserving their cultures. Project opportunities: Native Resources: http://lone-eagles.com/afn-resources.htm


Lone Eagle presented the following two presentations Dec. 6th 2007, in San Antonio, for the National Conference of State Legislators new Educational Technology committee www.ncsl.org/forum at the request of Wes Keller (Alaskan Legislature), staff chair for the committee. Alaska Senator Fred Dyson was present.


National Conference of State Legislatures Lone Eagle Presentations:

Using Technology to Inform and Support Teachers
his presentation will share lessons learned with online mentoring, and will address the importance of supporting teachers as innovators - if they are to produce students who can help the U.S. lead in global competitiveness.

Educating Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian Students
Narrowing the achievement gap for indigenous students requires addressing basic motivation in a community and cultural context as well as leveraging students innate interest in the new digital communications mediums. This presentation will address applying constructivist concepts, where students are in charge of building their own knowledge, with new models for project-based learning and international multiclassroom projects. Handout: http://lone-eagles.com/ncsl.htm


Alaskan Activity Summary:
Starting in 1997 when the first Internet satellite systems were installed for YKSD villages, Frank provided the first workshops for educators, students, and community members of all ages. In the past year, Frank presented with a team of experts on the opportunity and necessity for integration and reform for Internet applications and training for K12, Youth entrepreneurship, cultural expression, and rural ecommerce and telework.


During 2006, the following Alaskan leaders and leadership groups have attended Lone Eagle presentations on rural ecommerce training strategies and community Internet learning programs.

2006 Presentations for Alaskan Leadership
The USDA director
The Denali Commission
The Alaskan House Education committee
The Senate HESS committee
The Alaska Alberta Bilateral Council
Gary Wilkins – Chair Senate Finance Committee
The AFN leadership forum
       *co-presented with AMEP/ANAF and village ecommerce champions and separately
         with leaders from GCI and DRS/Tamsco
The Denakkanaaga Elders and Youth conference in Koyukuk
Villagers and leadership in Hooper Bay, Anvik

As a consultant for Alaska Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s Rural Alaskan Village Ecommerce Network (E-RAVEN) and the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, Frank’s extensive online resources, online courses, village grant templates and action plans are now accessible to all Alaskans. http://lone-eagles.com/afn-resources.htm

Who IS Lone Eagle?


Click on this link:  "Frank Odasz" for a quick overview of the volume of online resources. Select "Search All."  Add the keyword "native" or "Alaska" and you'll see only the Lone Eagle Native and /or Alaskan resources displayed. A published history is “Big Skies and Lone Eagles http://lone-eagles.com/history.htm


Frank Odasz resume and biographies


Big Skies and Lone Eagles
http://lone-eagles.com/history.htm A 33 page published history of world-class innovations in Montana over the past 21 years.

More? Google “Big Sky Telegraph” or “Lone Eagle Consulting” or “Frank Odasz”