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Release No. 0459.10
Contact:
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384

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Secretary Vilsack Announces Investments in Tribal Land-Grant Institutions

22 Colleges in Nine States Receive Funding Through Tribal College Grant Program

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 22 tribal colleges in nine states have been awarded grants through the USDA Rural Development Tribal College Initiative Grant program.

"Investing in education and in educational facilities is key to increasing economic development in tribal communities," Vilsack said. "These institutions can now benefit from funding that will enable them to plan to meet community infrastructure, job creation and business expansion needs."

USDA Rural Development Tribal College Grants program provides land-grant institutions with funds for outreach and education services to help meet the needs of Native American communities. USDA is announcing $4.1 million in grants today to help tribal colleges finance infrastructure improvements, purchase equipment and develop essential community facilities.

For example, Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Mont., was selected to receive a $196,400 grant to purchase equipment and supplies for a new "green" Math/Science Building. Almost near completion, this building meets the Leadership in Energy Efficiency Design (LEED) certification and uses solar and wind energy to help reduce utility costs. The funding announced today will be used to furnish this energy-efficient building.

Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) in Roberts County, S.D., was selected to receive a $196,500 grant to fund a library expansion project. In order to keep pace with the increasing local population, SWC Library plans to demolish a dilapidated building on campus and work with an architect to design a new library that will offer more space for computers, books and periodicals.

Previous awards under the Tribal Colleges program include a $300,000 grant to the Northwest Indian College in Whatcom County, Wash., in 2006. The funding was used to construct a new child care facility on its campus. More than 60 percent of the student body is female and of that population, 85 percent are single mothers. Northwest Indian College received two additional grants from the Child Care Initiative in 2007 to support this facility. The new child care facility is expected to have a positive impact on student recruitment and retention.

The following colleges were selected for funding in the current fiscal year. Funds are contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

Arizona

  • Tohono O'odham Community College: $196,600 grant. The funding will be used to equip four classrooms with the latest in technological equipment and furniture to provide an adequate learning atmosphere for students and faculty. In addition, this center will be the central part of the distance learning program, which is much needed by the distant communities that form the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Michigan

  • Bay Mills Community College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used to make improvements on all three campus sites. The improvements to the main campus include a parking lot, library and improvements to the learning center. A classroom will be added to the existing EMS building. The 40 acre agriculture research site improvements include a new driveway and a power and water well.

Minnesota

  • Leech Lake Tribal College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to upgrade equipment at the college.
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College: $196,600 grant. The funding will be used to help purchase an existing building. The organization will then purchase equipment to utilize the facility for both classroom and faculty offices.

Montana

  • Blackfeet Community College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the new "Green" Math/Science Building on the main campus located in Browning.
  • Little Big Horn College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to purchase equipment for the health and wellness facility.
  • Stone Child College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the Little Bear Health Enhancement Center, Physical Fitness Certificate Program, Athletic Program, Allied Health Program, and Nursing Program.
  • Fort Belknap College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to construct an addition to the cultural center by adding 2 immersion classrooms.
  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used for construction of a new Extension Education Complex Headquarters which will provide offices, meeting space, training space, and vegetable and native seed processing space.
  • Fort Peck Community College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used for energy efficient renovations and rehabilitation of facilities.
  • Chief Dull Knife College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to purchase an A/C unit for the IT room, replace kitchen equipment, building renovations and purchase a 12 passenger van and four door sedan.

Nebraska

  • Nebraska Indian Community College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to provide a paved access road and paved campus parking lot to the already existing facility.
  • Little Priest Tribal College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to enhance the education facility of Little Priest Tribal College by expanding their classrooms, including a new lecture hall and classroom facilities.

North Dakota

  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used to construct hallways that will connect the entire campus.
  • United Tribes Technical College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to complete parking lot at the new campus location to accommodate 145 vehicles.
  • Turtle Mountain Community College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used for college parking lot expansion to include installation of curbing, and paving to accommodate an additional 90 vehicles and provide safe parking facility for students and staff.
  • Sitting Bull College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used to complete on campus road lighting and paving.

South Dakota

  • Sisseton Wahpeton College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used for a library expansion project.
  • Oglala Lakota College: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to assist in renovations to the college center.
  • Sinte Gleska University: $196,400 grant. The funding will be used to assist in construction of a classroom.

Washington

  • Northwest Indian College: $196,500 grant. The funding will be used to begin Phase III of building on the Northwest Indian College Campus. Phase III consists of: Engineering, Clearing, Common Utilities, Water Distribution Systems, Sanitary Sewer Systems, Storm Water Retention, Water Quality Control Systems, Roadway Construction, Lighting, and Sidewalks.

Wisconsin

  • College of Menominee Nation: $196,600 grant. The funding will be used to fund a parking lot expansion and emergency generator. This project will proactively address the need for increased parking lots to meet the needs of a steadily growing campus. A new emergency electrical generator is needed for the new Library to address lighting and HVAC system electrical needs should there ever be a power failure on campus.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

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