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News Articles

  • Northwest Indian College builds Lummi workforce, values tradition
    March 4, 2015
    For thousands of years, along the shorelines of the Salish Sea, the Lummi people have dug deep into the earth to harvest clams, oysters and mussels. We have set our reef nets between our canoes to catch salmon from the Salish Sea. For many of us, our most important education has been alongside our elders at the beach or on the water, learning firsthand by doing, and doing again, to understand the ways of our people and the history of our tribe. But even as we hold fast to traditions, we’ve also embraced changing times, new technology and the advanced training that’s needed to support a productive shellfish harvest. What we’ve learned through the years is that a skilled workforce — and a bountiful harvest — are possible if we make the right investments in training and education.
  • An Open Letter From a Tribal College Professor
    March 2, 2015
    Dear Ms. Sarah Butrymowicz of The Hechinger Report, I’m still waiting for your retraction. It’s been more than three months since you published your deeply flawed article, “Tribal colleges give poor return on more than $100 million a year in federal money,” and I’m waiting for you to admit to cherry-picking quotes and arriving at sensational conclusions. I thought that by now the published rebuttals of your piece would’ve prompted you to recant your story, but it seems you’re determined to stand by your incomplete analysis. Yet before I write off your journalistic credibility based upon flawed assertions such as “tribal colleges often have abysmal success rates,” I’m compelled to do my part to help you see the error of your ways. The question is: What’s the best way to teach you how to listen?
  • Omaha Tribe members trying to revitalize an 'endangered language'
    February 15, 2015
    Two sisters from the Omaha Tribe keep a list of the people who still speak their language. There are 12 names left. Glenna Slater and Octa Keen are among the few certified to teach the Omaha tribe’s language, Umónhon. None of the fluent speakers are under 70. The single leaf of notebook paper is filled with names scribbled out. The sisters fear a day may come when the last name is scratched out.
  • Montana Values Tribal Colleges—And May Back Them with Money
    February 12, 2015
    Little Big Horn College President David Yarlott, Crow, says non-Native students choose to go to tribal colleges for a variety of reasons, among them proximity to home, access to a high quality education, low teacher-student ratios and low tuition costs. Twenty percent of students attending the nation’s 37 TCUs are non-Native, according to testimony presented by American Indian Higher Education Consortium President and CEO Carrie L. Billy before the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations in April. Montana is one of only three states (the others are North Dakota and Arizona) that provide funding to tribal colleges to help defray the expense of educating non-beneficiary (i.e., non-AI/AN) students. On January 26, the Montana House Education Committee heard testimony regarding a bill introduced by Rep. Susan Webber, House District 16, that would grant a modest increase in the dollar amount the state gives TCUs for each FTE non-beneficiary student.
  • A language made for poets: Lydia Whirlwind Soldier honored for helping to keep Lakota language
    February 10, 2015
    Tribal college grad honored for preserving language “If you understand the Lakota language, it’s a poetic language,” she said. “I’ve always been amazed at the way they were able to tell stories. I loved to hear the old men get up and talk. Their speeches were beautiful.”
  • Passing On: Wilmer Mesteth
    February 6, 2015
    He taught at Oglala Lakota College for over 20 years, where he was a cultural instructor. He taught traditional songs, dance, traditional herbs and foods, language and history. OLC student Lilly Jones said about Mesteth, “He treated everyone the same. Whether it was a Hollywood film crew or a student, he was always so respectful and humble.”
  • Tribal College president named one of Alaska's top 40 under 40
    February 6, 2015
    Pearl Kiyawn Nageak Brower, 34, received statewide recognition this month after being named to the Alaska Journal of Commerce's Top 40 under 40. Brower was nominated from a list of some 160 candidates and 230 nominations, the journal reported, which organizers of the list said represented some of the state's leading entrepreneurs and emerging leaders.
  • Loveland High works with Oglala Lakota College on respectful Indian mascot
    February 5, 2015
    The school started the process last year to work with the South Dakota tribe to make sure the Indian mascot remains in the respectful spirit in which it was chosen. Now, the Loveland school is asking students from Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota to design some new logos that the Loveland school might adopt. "It opens the discussion, and it involves input to pick a mascot that isn't offensive," said Michelle Salvatore, teacher at the accredited tribal college. "It's a cool thing to do, and it gives them a voice, and they're proactive in their own identity."
  • North Dakota DOT and United Tribes Technical College partner on workforce training
    February 5, 2015
    BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) have a new collaboration underway for workforce training. The partnership established today will enhance UTTC’s curriculum and provide a pathway for trained workers to fill high-demand transportation jobs across the state of North Dakota. The partnership focuses on UTTC’s Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) programs. Students will receive hands-on experience from NDDOT personnel, including job shadowing, mentoring, and equipment training. The NDDOT will work with UTTC on developing their training curriculum to ensure graduates are prepared for and have the opportunity for careers in the transportation industry.
  • Tribal Colleges’ ‘Go To’ Fund Turns 25
    February 5, 2015
    College Fund president Cheryl Crazy Bull, whose Lakota name Wacinyanpi Win means “they depend on her,” recently spoke with INSIGHT Into Diversity, looking back on a quarter century of successes as well as the challenges ahead.