Blackfeet Building New CampusAug 15th, 1997 | By tcj | Category: 9-2: Re-envisioning Indian Education, Tribal College News
Blackfeet Community College has developed a five-year master plan for building its campus in Browning, Mont. The college now consists of donated and renovated buidings that cannot accomodate the expanding student body. With the changes, Blackfeet College will be able to offer a real college atmosphere. Under the plan, the college will construct a classroom/ student union building, an administration/ office building, a cultural/ art center, an agriculture center, an events center, and outreach centers in five surrounding communities.
The first phase features a 20,000-square foot culturally appropriate building that utilizes materials and concepts unique to the area, according to Dean of Student Services Bob Tailfeathers. The new structure will include a student and community commons area, modeled after a traditional Blackfeet lodge. The classroom/office building will be oriented toward the east, which is important for cultural reasons. A cultural gathering area is planned outside of the Blackfeet Studies area in the new classroom building. In addition, the design includes a covered arbor structure for teaching and cultural activities.
The four phases of the plan also include relocating and refurbishing some existing structures and eliminating others. The plans result from a community effort and will utilize homegrown resources, labor, and expertise.
“The incorporation of old and new symbolizes the respect we have for the past as we ride into the 21st century,” says Carol Tatsey-Murray, president of the college for the past six years. The improvements are funded in part by students and staff, who pay into a building fund. Settlement funds from a past environmental problem and donations are also being utilized.