Tester, Daines Declare National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week

Nation Will Celebrate Tribal Colleges and Universities February 3-9, 2019

(U.S. Senate)—U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are highlighting the importance of higher education in Indian Country by declaring the week of February 3 “National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week.”

“Every Montanan deserves a shot at unlocking their potential and achieving their goals,” Tester said. “Tribal Colleges and Universities are preparing students to compete in the global economy while meeting the needs of the communities they serve. I join teachers, students, and families across Montana to celebrate National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week and recognize their great work.”

“Montana’s tribal colleges are critical in providing a valuable education and job training services for Native American students in Montana,” Daines said. “I’m glad to recognize our TCUs across Montana this week, as they’re imperative in shaping the lives of so many young men and women.”

The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed Tester and Daines’ resolution to declare the week of February 3 as “National Tribal College and Universities Week.”

“Tribal Colleges and Universities offer students access to knowledge and skills grounded in cultural traditions and values, including indigenous languages, which enhances Indian communities and enriches the United States as a nation,” the Senate resolution reads.

Tribal College and University President’s praised the Senators’ resolution.

“I would like to express my support for the designation of National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week during the week of February 4-8, 2019,” said Dr. Sandra L. Boham, President of Salsih Kootenai College. “This bipartisan recognition of the critical role that Tribal Colleges play in creating economically vibrant communities cannot be understated. Tribal Colleges create the next generation of leaders who are educated and grounded in the cultural values of our Tribal Nations.”

“The designation really brings awareness of the existence of tribal colleges to other States that may not have a Tribal College and University within their State,” said Dr. David Yarlott, Jr., President of Little Big Horn College. “Having the designation of a National Tribal Colleges and Universities, I believe also elevates the interest in these higher education institutions.”

“It is gratifying to know that Montana’s senators, Daines and Tester, recognize and acknowledge the valuable efforts of the seven Montana Tribal Colleges and the 27 other Tribal Colleges located in other parts of the United States,” said Dr. Richard Littlebear, President of Chief Dull Knife College. “We are often overlooked because we service isolated areas, are small compared to mainstream institutions. We service all, not just Native Americans, and we do our work with limited budgets. Education is a high-priority, non-partisan issue among Native Americans, and we are grateful for this weeklong recognition.”

Montana is home to seven Tribal Colleges and Universities, the most of any state. These institutions serve thousands of Native and hundreds of non-Native students every year.

Across the country, there are 37 Tribal Colleges and Universities operating 75 campuses in 16 states.