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  • President’s Two-Year Tuition Free College Proposal is Hopeful and Positive
    January 13, 2015
    Guest Commentary Dr. Leander "Russ" McDonald Editor’s Note: Last week Friday, President Barack Obama announced an initiative that would provide two-years of free tuition for Americans to attend a community college. Included in the proposal are the 37 tribal colleges in Indian Country. “The increasing cost of education continues to be an issue for the American Indian students we serve at United Tribes with post-secondary education and workforce training programs. We support and assist them in accessing as many resources as available. However, additional resources to help them get through their first two years of college would be beneficial – both to students and the college.
  • Institute of American Indian Arts Expands Key Programs
    January 9, 2015
    New Funding Helps to Further School’s Mission SANTA FE, N.M - The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is pleased to announce plans to expand its Master Artist-in-Residence Program, its Student Internship Program, and introduce a Sculpture and Foundry Residence Program. The expansion of these programs will bring additional educational knowledge from artists and Tribal Communities to IAIA students thereby supporting them academically -- and in their careers.
  • Grant will help Haskell provide remedial classes to more students
    January 7, 2015
    A humanities grant will enable Haskell Indian Nations University to create a summer literature program for freshmen who need remedial English classes. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Haskell a $99,800 Tribal Colleges and Universities Humanities Initiative, the university announced this month. The amount will fully fund the development and implementation of the “Summer Bridge Program in Literature” at Haskell.
  • United Tribes Technical College Hires First New President in 37 Years
    January 5, 2015
    United Tribes Technical College has a new president. He is Dr. Leander “Russ” McDonald (Dakota/Arikara), an enrolled citizen of the Spirit Lake Tribe in North Dakota. McDonald is the former Spirit Lake tribal chairman and was selected October 24 to take over leadership of the intertribal technical college in Bismarck, North Dakota. He succeeds David M. Gipp, who served as the college’s executive director and president for 37 years.
  • Navajo Technical University Instructors Balance Work and Education
    January 4, 2015
    On December 11, 2014, Navajo Technical University nursing instructors Shawnadine Becenti and Jonathan Lumibao graduated with Master’s of Nursing degrees from the University of New Mexico’s Nursing Education program. The 39-credit hour degree program was offered with the option of a part-time curriculum totaling six semesters, which allowed for both Becenti and Lumibao to earn their degrees while simultaneously working full-time teaching in NTU’s pre-nursing and registered nursing programs. Read more at
  • Tribal College Students, Navajo Blues Trio The Plateros Forge Ahead -- as Indigenous
    January 2, 2015
    Two of the most recognizable names in the Native music world, Indigenous and The Plateros, are now one. After two consecutive summers of touring together, the blues trio of cousins has become the next generation of Indigenous. Frontman Mato Nanji, winner of the Artist of the Year at the 2014 Native American Music Awards, will still lead the band. But Levi Platero, Bronson Begay and Douglas Platero will be his new cohorts as the band gets back to its Native roots. ICTMN caught up with Levi Platero, after a performance at the New Mexico State Fair. "Mato asked us if we wanted to become his band full-time," Levi recalls. "Me and the guys actually thought about it. 'Wouldn't it be cool if we were actually to become Indigenous?' It never really occurred to us that it would really happen. At first, we were just opening for them. Later, we started helping with a few shows. Now, he's picking us up to be his full-time band, which is just incredible. And, it's awesome. I'm really excited about it."
  • New Tribal College President Encourages Students in Bismarck
    December 22, 2014
    Leander “Russ” McDonald Wants Native American Culture at Center of Studies BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The new president of United Tribes Technical College noticed something a little off when the school hosted a welcome event in his honor earlier this month. Faculty members were sitting in front nearest the speakers, with students behind them. President Leander “Russ” McDonald would prefer to have students up front, with faculty surrounding them. “None of us would be here without them,” he said. McDonald is the newest face on campus, taking the reins from the vice president of academic, career and technical education, Phil Baird, who served as interim president for eight months. David Gipp, who led the college for 37 years, was named chancellor in January, a role created to focus on the school’s growth and development.
  • Leech Lake Tribal College Joins Obama’s College Day Of Action
    December 5, 2014
    Class is in session at Leech Lake Tribal College just like any other day, but today is not a typical Thursday. As part of the White house College Opportunity Day of Action, the president of the college, Dr. Donald Day, was invited to Washington D.C. to meet with the president of the United States. This is the second year the white house has hosted a day of action, but the first time the Leech Lake Tribal College was invited to join. They celebrated the honor with a live stream viewing party.
  • President Obama introduces “Generation Indigenous” for American Indian students
    December 5, 2014
    KESHENA – At the College of Menominee Nation, many students like Sally Hill are going back to school. “The job that I was passed over for, I didn’t have the bachelor’s education that was required. Even though I had that experience, that piece of paper kept me from getting that job,” said Hill. The College of Menominee Nation President Verna Fowler says childhood poverty prevents many local Native American students from getting degrees.
  • Secretary’s Column: USDA Partners with Native Americans
    December 4, 2014
    USDA will also support partnerships with three tribal colleges (Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, S.D.; Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, N.M.; United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, N.D.) by providing grant writing assistance and other services to help traditionally underserved communities access federal resources. We are also providing a $5.4 million loan to upgrade broadband service for residents of New Mexico’s Mescalero Apache Reservation. This is the first telecommunications loan USDA has made under the Substantially Underserved Trust Area (SUTA) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill.