Tester hosts Montana tribal college summit

‘Empowering Through Education’ summit to address long-term priorities, goals

(BILLINGS, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester will host a daylong education summit next week in Browning to address long-term priorities, goals and the future of tribal colleges in the Big Sky State.

The summit will be held Thursday, April 5, at the Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Mont.

The event, titled Empowering Through Education, is free and open to the public.  Tester has invited tribal leaders, tribal educators, members of the State Board of Regents, university representatives and other state leaders.

"We need to help secure and brighten the future for the next generation of American Indian students," Tester said. "I want to be sure that our Tribal Colleges empower their students to thrive in today's new job market, maintain their cultural heritage and help build stronger communities."

Highlights of Empowering Through Education summit include:

  • A presentation by Montana Rep. Margarett Campbell, Ph.D. (D-Poplar) and Ft.    Peck Community College President Jim Shanley, Ph.D.
  • Presentations from representatives from all seven tribal colleges in Montana.
  • Brainstorming sessions to discuss strategies for recruitment and retention at tribal colleges.

The summit will also examine the histories of tribal colleges.  Participants will also discuss what they need from Congress to improve Indian education in Montana.  Ultimately, participants will develop a long-term workable strategy including action-oriented steps to achieve success.

Tester is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.  Next week, while the Senate is in recess, Tester plans to attend part of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council's annual health conference in Billings.