As you know, this year our member institutions in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have been hit hard by flooding. Over the past two months, you helped the American Indian College Fund to assist our member schools with much-needed emergency relief funds.
I am writing you today to let you know that our emergency relief fund has generated more than $80,000 in funds. We are humbled by the outpouring of support we have received in response to this emergency. I am writing to share some details on how your assistance has been put to work to help our affected schools.
Bismarck, North Dakota is home to United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), and experienced the highest water levels in the affected area. United Tribes Technical College is currently operating an emergency shelter and continues to serve the community as needed. UTTC has been provided with $25,000 to help defer the costs associated with operating the emergency shelter as well as to purchase a generator for backup power at the school. In addition, UTTC has used the relief funds to provide food and supplies to affected students, faculty, and community members.
You may remember reading about the situation at Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) in Fort Totten, North Dakota, home of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation. This spring, the only two roads to the Spirit Lake reservation have washed out, leaving students and school faculty only able to travel during the day with the help of a pilot car. The rising waters also washed out interior roads. Through the generosity of our donors, the American Indian College Fund was able to provide $10,000 to CCCC to assist 135 faculty, staff, and students with gas cards, vehicle repairs, and housing assistance for people who have lost their homes.
In Montana, Little Big Horn College was allocated $25,000 from the flood relief fund. According to Dr. David Yarlott, Jr., President, “monies that were donated were used to help feed nearly 300 people that were temporarily housed in shelters; purchase groceries that were delivered by boat and four-wheelers for more than 30 families that were isolated; purchase gift cards for families that lost everything in their households; buy fuel for individuals that needed to travel off of the reservation for medical attention due to closure of the Indian Health Service Clinics; and for assistance for the elderly.”
The remaining funds have been distributed evenly between Little Big Horn College and Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Both schools are still dealing with the after effects of this year’s floods and the additional funds will help them defray the ongoing costs of clean up, housing and other expenses.
Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for your assistance for our communities during this challenging time. Thank you again. Without your help, the situation could have been much worse.
Wopila Tanka (many thanks),
Richard B. Williams
President and CEO, American Indian College Fund