Tester Secures Nearly $700,000 For Five Montana Tribal Colleges

Funds will go towards campus improvement projects

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that $663,106 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Tribal College Initiative Grants have been awarded to five Tribal Colleges across Montana for much-needed campus improvement projects.

“Every Montanan deserves access to a quality education, and Tribal Colleges play a critical role in making sure that Native students get the tools they need to succeed in a 21st century economy,” said Tester, a long-time member and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “These investments will provide much-needed facility upgrades that will allow these Colleges to focus on what they do best: helping their students thrive.”

The funding will go to support projects at the following colleges:

  • Aaniiih Nakoda College: $125,000 to renovate a college classroom and convert it to a science lab.
  • Blackfeet Community College: $137,702 for campus improvement projects, including paving a parking lot and painting four campus buildings.
  • Stone Child College: $125,000 to purchase materials and equipment, including a gym score board, exercise equipment, steel doors, and computers.
  • Chief Dull Knife College: $137,702 to buy equipment for the STEM lab, including computers, protective floor mats, and tables.
  • Salish Kootenai College: $137,702 to update college vans and purchase heavy duty lawn mowers.

Tester has long been a champion for Montana’s Tribal Colleges and Universities and has consistently fought to see their operations receive the support they need to best serve their students and communities. Just last month, Tester led 37 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Leadership demanding the renewal of critical federal funding for Montana’s TCUs.

He also recently secured $3.5 million for Chief Dull Knife College to expand its STEM program and provide critical environmental assessment research to the community as well as $3.5 million for Salish Kootenai College’s Indigenous Research Center.