TCU Spotlight

Northwest Indian College LEO Program

NWIC LEO logo EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced September 26 the formal establishment of a new Local Environmental Observers Network (LEO) program hub at Northwest Indian College. This will be the first time that the LEO program has been established in the lower 48 states and will serve as a foundation for expanding the network to other Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCU’s) throughout the country. The program will be managed within the Bachelor of Native Environmental Science (BSNES) Program and will support student and faculty research initiatives already in place throughout the Salish Sea and broader Pacific Northwest region. LEO program

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College College Bound Initiative

FdLTCC is one of 14 TCUs participating in the AIHEC-BIE College Bound Initiative. FdLTCC's project is working with their local BIE schools to encourage college opportunities. Once a week, FdLTCC provides instruction, transportation and materials to students from Fond du Lac Ojibwe School. The program is called "College Connect" and focuses on English, Math, Reading and an elective class. Real life math and introduction to writing courses have been very successful. Student participants are given TCU-student mentors, identification cards and email addresses from FdLTCC. This has helped to instill a sense of belonging to students and has helped students realize their potential at FdLTCC.

Navajo Technical University Invited to National Maker Faire

Sponsored by Barnes and Nobel and other corporate sponsors, the Second Annual National Maker Faire in Washington, D.C brings together inventors and innovators from schools, colleges and private industry. NTU participated in the HBCU/TCU Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge, entering five projects: a solar medicine cooler, a walking 3D printed robot, a robotic finger for amputees, an aerial drone printed in fiberglass, and a printed Eye-of-Horus eye tracking device.

NTU was one of approximately 33 teams in the robotics topic at the National Makers Faire. The NTU students won a trophy and an editor's choice award for their projects, and received training in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office process of obtaining trademarks and patents. The students also presented their projects to congressmen and other government officials, staffers, and family at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire.

Representing NTU were electrical engineering students Ericka Begody, Kirsch Davis, Chris Owens, and Hansen Tapaha. Dr. Peter Romine, NTU electrical engineering faculty member, and Greg Dodge, Center for Digital Technologies instructional staff member, accompanied the student team. NTU Projects

United Tribes Technical College a Tree Campus USA

The Arbor Day Foundation named UTTC a Tree Campus USA, making it one of the first tribal colleges to earn this honorable distinction. The award confirmed that UTTC met the standards in 2015-16 for two and four-year accredited colleges and universities to develop healthy trees on its campus and promote student involvement. UTTC website

UTTC's campus trees program is coordinated by Linda Hugelen, agroecology extension educator with the college's Land Grant program. During the summer of 2015, Community Forestry Specialist Joel Nichols of the North Dakota Forest Service compiled an inventory and assessment of the campus tree resources using GPS technology. The college's 106 acre main campus contains more than 1,278 trees. Many were planted prior to the college's founding in 1969, when the site was a former military post known as Fort Lincoln. The appraised value of UTTC's community forest is $4.5-million. Included are trees planted for landscape, ceremonial, commemorative and beautification purposes. In 2011 the college established a fruit orchard in its Dragonfly Garden. The tree planting location for the Arbor Day program was a fruit tree grove that serves in the college's Nutrition and Food Service educational program. —UTTC website, 2016

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Second Chance Pell Pilot Program

FdLTCC was named as one of 67 colleges and universities nationwide to participate in the new Second Chance Pell pilot program, a Department of Education experiment to test whether participation in high quality education programs increases after expanding financial aid to incarcerated individuals. The pilot program will allow eligible incarcerated Americans—including American Indians and Alaska Natives—to receive Pell Grants and pursue postsecondary education with the goal of helping them get jobs and support their families when they are released. Fond du Lac will be working with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Shakopee facility, which serves women. Twenty percent of the population at the Shakopee facility are Native American. INSIDE HIGHER ED

Blackfeet Community College to Offer Four-Year Teaching Degrees on Reservation

The Blackfeet Tribe is working to expand teacher education on the reservation. It will offer a full four-year degree program that will allow local residents to become fully qualified teachers without leaving the reservation. A goal is to increase the number of Native American teachers teaching Native students. Eric Whitney and Miriam Hall offer more information in the following links: Montanta Public Radio, Slate Magazine

Chief Dull Knife College Math Lab

Students who have a question at CDKC's math lab don’t have to raise their hand, they flip up a flag on the side of their computer monitor and a teacher will come to help. It’s a small, but critical, cultural accommodation on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, where many tribal members aren’t the type who feel comfortable asking questions in class. Student Savannah Charette says "All Cheyenne are like that, we’re humble." Billings Gazette

Haskell Indian Nations University Student of the Year

Haskell Student Lolita Ceja selected as Haskell’s 2016 Student of the YearHaskell Indian Nations University announces the 2016 Haskell Student of the Year Lolita Ceja from the Yakima Tribe in Washington State. Ceja is a senior at Haskell and will graduate Spring 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in Indigenous and American Indian Studies. Outstanding accomplishments of Ceja include: Senior Student Senate Representative 2015-2016, American Indians Club Treasurer 2014-2016, presenter at AERA Youth Tribunal—Education Research as a Human Right invited Presidential Session 2015, ELOKA (Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic) Conference student participant, Haskell Campus Cleanup Day 2015 organizer, and Haskell Beading Club participant. MORE

Tohono O’odham Community College's Jegos Men's Basketball

The Jegos men’s basketball team consists of 20 players, who range in age from upper teens to upper 30s and come from a variety of locations and backgrounds. Several of the players are fathers, and some have already coached youth or high school teams. All of them are following the dream of playing college basketball. MORE

Cankdeska Cikana Community College's New Head Start Facility

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and USDA Under Secretary Lisa Mensah with President Cynthia Lindquist at Cankdeska Cikana Community College October 5, 2015: Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and USDA Under Secretary Lisa Mensah visited Fort Totten, ND, and the Spirit Lake Tribe and met with President Cynthia Lindquist, who spoke about some key TCU priorities, including the inequities in TCU funding within USDA land-grant programs, and shared Cankdeska Cikana Community College's need for about 27 teachers with bachelor's in Early Childhood Education when the college opens its new Head Start facility. President Lindquist and Under Secretary Mensah visited the site of the future Head Start facility. To build the center, CCCC is using two loans from the USDA community facilities program.

Unlocking the Past: The O'odham Oral History Project Keeps Language and Culture Alive

The Tohono O'odham Community College (TOCC, Sells, AZ) oral histories from the Arizona State Museum’s Doris Duke Collection (digitization of oral histories transferred to computer hard drive) will be available at the TOCC library for students and community members to learn more about their heritage. MORE