Sitting Bull Offers Diverse ServicesAug 15th, 1996 | By tcj | Category: 8-2: Cultural Property Rights, Tribal College News
When people think of a college, they tend to think about books, teachers, and students. However, because of their isolation, tribal colleges often must offer much more for their communities. Sitting Bull College provides a public transit service, a library, and a business information center.
On many other reservations, students lack reliable transportation and must hitchhike to college. The Sitting Bull College bus runs daily Monday through Friday all year around, providing transportation not only for students but also for other residents. It stops at six of the eight districts on the Standing Rock Reservation on the North Dakota/South Dakota border. The average operating budget for the buses is approximately $30,000.
The library also serves all area residents with its collection of books, magazines, newspapers, videos, audio-tapes, and children’s books. It is the only public library within 60 miles. The library’s annual budget costs the college approximately $50,000.
In August 1996, the college opened the Standing Rock Tribal Business Information Center. The TBIC is a business and economic development program created with the assistance of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. TBICs are located on several tribal colleges’ campuses. The centers give local entrepreneurs the skills they need to start and sustain their businesses. “For too long, businesses on the reservation have been owned and operated by non-Indians,” says Sitting Bull President Ron McNeil. The college must provide at least $50,000 annually for the center’s operating expenses.