AIHEC Honors Sens. Burns and Conrad

May 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 14-4: Cultural Resilience, Tribal College News

Dr. Jim Shanley praises Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) as several tribal college presidents watch (left to right): Elizabeth Yellowbird Demaray, Cassandra Manuelito Kerkvliet, Dr. Richard Littlebear, Dr. Don Day, Lenee Ross, Schuyler Houser, Dr. Bob Martin, and David Yarlott. Photo courtesy of Sen. Burns’s office

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) honored U.S. Senators Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) at a reception on February 12 in Washington, DC. AIHEC President Dr. Jim Shanley thanked the senators for “putting away their partisanship” to support the tribal colleges and universities by forming a bipartisan caucus on their behalf in the Senate. Conrad has become known as an evangelist for the tribal colleges with private foundations, private corporations, the cabinet, and the president. Burns has supported the tribal colleges in Montana and nationwide, especially with the Departments of Interior and Agriculture and with telecommunications initiatives.

John Fitzpatrick sang a Crow honor song for the senators. AIHEC and the colleges in Montana and North Dakota presented them with several gifts including coup sticks, Pendleton blankets, a star quilt, and art prints.

The February meeting of AIHEC also featured a federal relations symposium on Feb. 10, co-sponsored by the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Speakers addressed opportunities for tribal colleges and universities from the Departments of Interior, Education, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture; Indian Health Service; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; and National Endowment for the Arts. Tribal college representatives asked questions and explained their perspectives on how the agencies could be serving the colleges better.

During the symposium, AIHEC and the colleges thanked Jane Coulter of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Jane Stuttsman of the National Science Foundation for being advocates on behalf of the tribal colleges.

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