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USDA Invests Over $1M for Tribal Colleges in North Dakota

Chris Freeman
Release Date

BISMARCK, N.D. Dec. 18, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced funding to support campus infrastructure improvement projects for Tribal colleges in North Dakota. These projects will range from HVAC updates, concrete and road repairs, and an outside classroom expansion.

"We are incredibly lucky in North Dakota to have a strong system and presence of higher ed. institutions to serve our students, families, and communities, including in rural and Tribal areas of the state,” said Oban. “With support from the Biden Administration and funding from Congress, these USDA Rural Development investments, made to update and maintain these five Tribal college campuses, are investments in the rich culture and history of Native people, the faculty and staff they employ, in the students they serve, and in preparing the future workforce of North Dakota.” Audio:MP3, 845KB, 35 seconds.

In North Dakota:

  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College will use a $352,000 grant to make improvements to Cankdeska Cikana Community College including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit repairs and replacements in the daycare classrooms; to replace flooring in the student services center, carpentry wing, and adult education center; for roof repairs above the nursing station. This project will benefit the over 4,000 members of the Spirit Lake Tribe.
  • United Tribes Technical College will use a $352,000 grant to finance street improvements to United Tribes Technical College, located in Bismarck, North Dakota. The project will consist of the reconfiguration of the All Nations Circle and Sisseton Street East Intersection to improve safety and allow for future improvements. Intersections will be revised to create right angled intersections and allow for improved pedestrian bicycle access through campus. Drainage and utility improvements will also occur within the project limits. The entire campus of United Tribes Technical College, which includes about 638 students and faculty/staff, along with any prospective students or visitors will benefit from this improvement.
  • Turtle Mountain Community College will use a $352,000 grant to remove and replace the current concrete at the Turtle Mountain Community College. The concrete is starting to crumble and is a safety hazard. This project will impact the approximate 8,600 members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
  • Sitting Bull College will use a $352,000 grant to purchase and install seating for its outdoor classroom and engineering/architecture fees at Sitting Bull College. This will impact the entire school body and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which will have the opportunity to use for special instructional events. This project will have a positive effect on 8,217 people.
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College will use a $352,000 grant to remove and replace the concrete at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College. The current concrete is starting to crumble and is a safety hazard. This will benefit the approximate 6,300 members of the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Background: Tribal College Initiative Grant Program

The Tribal College Initiative Grant Program provides funding to 1994 Land Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) to make capital improvements to their educational facilities and purchase equipment. The grant funding can cover up to 95% of the project costs and projects could include, but are not limited to: education equipment, dorms, renovations, vehicles, and cultural projects.

New Web Resources for Rural Communities

USDA Rural Development today also unveiled two new web resources that underscore the agency’s mission to ensure all people have equitable access to federal programs.

A new history webpage traces USDA Rural Development’s evolution from the Great Depression and New Deal to the present, highlighting the many ways the agency supports efforts to create prosperity in rural communities.

A new feature on Rural.gov makes it easier to find these federal resources in one place. The Find Programs and Opportunities tool includes hundreds of millions of dollars in financing and technical assistance opportunities that are easy to search, filter and find. This information will help people in rural areas access funding for a variety of business, health care, housing, community, and economic development needs.

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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