USDA celebrates National Native American Heritage Month in November with a blog series focused on USDA’s support of Tribal Nations and highlighting a number of our efforts throughout Indian Country and Alaska. Follow along on the USDA blog.
One year ago, I joined tribal and community leaders on the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon to celebrate the completion of a new K-8 school. This state-of-the-art facility replaced a cramped school building constructed in the 1930s that could no longer meet the needs of educators, students or modern teaching techniques and tools. Today, young learners are benefiting from the modern science and computer labs, art and music rooms, a gymnasium, large cafeteria and gathering place, and many cultural features that celebrate the Tribal community’s heritage and traditions. By investing in the Warm Springs Academy the Tribe and community partners made a commitment to ensure the well-being, access to opportunities and success of children on the reservation for generations to come.
This $22 million school complex is a testament to what intergovernmental collaboration can accomplish. The Tribal government and Jefferson County School District 509-J jointly funded and administered the project with the support of residents and teachers on and off the reservation. Through the Community Facilities Program USDA Rural Development provided the additional financing needed to make the new school a reality. This collaborative effort brought to fruition the Tribal Council’s vision for a new educational experience for their children.
As we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month this November and recognize the innovation and achievements being made throughout Indian Country, Rural Development and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation have come together to create a video, Investing in Education, Creating Opportunity for Native Youth, telling the story of the community’s efforts to achieve high-quality education that respects the Tribe’s cultures and traditions and prepares students to be future leaders.