David M. Gipp, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is the president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota.
United Tribes Technical College has learned that its federal funding has been restored as part of the executive budget. Official confirmation came during a meeting March 17 of the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs
Tribal Budget Advisory Council in Arlington, Virginia.
United Tribes is now part of the budget request by the Obama Administratation. This breaks an eight year cycle of being excluded from the Interior-BIA budget.
I was delighted to receive this good news.
It represents a long-absent affirmation of the value of United Tribes in training and educating Tribal people.
It means that we can proceed into the future with certainty as we strengthen our educational role and assist our populations and tribal governments in overcoming poverty and developing appropriate, reservation based economies.
At the advisory council meeting I found it particularly heartwarming to receive congratulations from tribal leaders who have consistently helped us with motions of support and testimony.
Among those who offered a congratulatory handshake were Comanche Nation
Chairman Wallace Coffee and Osage Nation
Chief Jim Gray.
National Congress of American Indians
President Joe Garcia noted that Tribal Colleges and Universities, and especially UTTC, had "passed a severe test of rigor and now could join in with full and better participation in the role of leading Indian people toward self-determination."
Indeed, we look forward to a more successful effort as an intertribal postsecondary institution.
It is also good that our colleague institution, Navajo Technical College
, in Crownpoint, New Mexico, is in the new Administration's budget as well.
Thank you to all of our friends and supporters – among the tribes, in our home city of Bismarck, at the state government level, and within the federal government – who never lost faith in the successful work of United Tribes.
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