WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/17/2019]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with U.S. Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN 7) and Pete Stauber (R-MN 8), lauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for awarding over $350,000 to three tribal colleges in Minnesota—Leech Lake Tribal College, Red Lake Nation College and White Earth Tribal and Community College—for infrastructure improvements.
“These rural development investments for Red Lake Nation College, White Earth Nation College, and Leech Lake Tribal College will help students gain access to the best possible options to advance their education,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “Minnesotans have a long tradition of honoring our tribal communities, yet we still have work to do to create an environment in which tribal culture can continue to flourish, hand-in-hand with new opportunities and economic growth.”
“One of the most important investments we can make is in education, and that means making sure every student—whether in rural or urban areas or on tribal lands—is attending a school we can be proud of,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs and Senate Education Committees. “By making investments in these three tribal colleges, we are helping Native American students reach their full potential, get good-paying jobs, and be engaged community members.”
“Students at the White Earth and Red Lake Tribal and Community Colleges will greatly benefit from USDA’s investments. The grants will be used to improve existing facilities and purchase new equipment. With these upgrades, the campuses can provide a better learning environment to help meet the needs of their students,” said Rep. Peterson.
“I am incredibly happy that the USDA has decided to make this significant investment in the Leech Lake Tribal College. This educational institution plays a vital role in the Leech Lake community, so I look forward to seeing the money help build state-of-the-art facilities to prepare native students for the workforce as well as help preserve the Anishinaabe language, culture, and traditions,” said Rep. Stauber.
The Red Lake Nation College grant will be used to purchase snow plow equipment and computers. It will also help install Braille compatible door signs and materials for sight impaired individuals.
White Earth Tribal and Community College will use its funding to purchase equipment for two learning facilities, including the Biminizha’an Gibawaajigan Building (Traditional Native Arts classroom). It will also help replace outdated computers, tables and chairs and install interactive display boards.
The Leech Lake Tribal College grant will be used to purchase new technology, library and security equipment.