White Earth College Creates Foundation

Aug 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 12-1: Celebrating Our Students, Tribal College News

The White Earth Tribal and Community College (WETCC) has formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for the college and its students just two years after the college was chartered. Not all tribal colleges have foundations. “I am very pleased that our board members demonstrated their commitment to the college by agreeing to serve even though they are all busy with their work and other boards,” said Deb McArthur, WETCC finance officer. The board includes the administrator of the local health care center, the city administrator, the president of a local bank, and two tribal college students.

Board members said that they value having the college in their community. The college provides several community services in addition to its academic courses, including an Early Head Start program that serves 40 families, adult basic education, and training for tribal employees. As part of the Woodlands Wisdom program, the college has sponsored two forums on food safety and nutrition where traditional meals were served. In partnership with the city of Mahnomen, the college provides basic job training, such as job interviewing, resume writing, and basic computers.

The White Earth Tribal and Community College Foundation is securing resources, including money and technical assistance, to help empower the college to provide a culturally relevant, quality higher education. Foundation goals include a capital projects fund, student emergency fund, general operations fund, and scholarship fund. The foundation intends to provide scholarships to all students who show academic achievement or financial need; to buy equipment to provide a cutting-edge education; to attract and retain devoted, knowledgeable faculty and staff; and to help develop a future campus site.

Now located in two store fronts in Mahnomen, Wis., the college hopes eventually to move to the White Earth Rediscovery Center, a 125-acre wooded retreat center recently turned over to the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council. The tribe has designated the site for cultural, spiritual, and education purposes. A religious college previously used the lodge and cabins.

The foundation sponsored an auction that raised $850, and it is now selling a cookbook. The nutritionist at the White Earth Health Center is helping to put together diabetic recipes. The WETCC Millennium Cookbook also features Anishinaabe recipes. More information about the foundation is available on the college’s website, <www.whiteearthtribalandcommunitycollege.org>

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