Kellogg CEO Praises Colleges

Feb 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 7-4: Wildlife Management, Tribal College News

Carol Tatsey-Murray and Shannon Finley present an American Indian College Fund blanket to Dr. William C. Richardson.

After months of trying to keep their doors open during the federal budget impasse, tribal college presidents welcomed an acknowledgement of their efforts from W. K. Kellogg Foundation President William C. Richardson at a meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., on Feb. 28. The meeting was part of the planning process for Kellogg’s multi-million dollar Native American Higher Education Initiative.

Richardson listed four main strengths of the tribal colleges: 1) working with at-risk students, building a ladder of success; 2) student-centered teaching, accommodating different learning styles; 3) community orientation, eg. providing literacy programs, drug counseling, business assistance centers, and revolving loan funds; 4) respect for spirituality, looking after the whole person–mind, body, and spirit.

He said those strengths of tribal colleges now represent cutting edge concepts in American education as a whole. “For mainstream institutions to increase their success rates with Native students, I believe they need to show the same concern, and adopt a similar holistic approach,” he said.

In turn, a Blackfeet elder acknowledged the importance of Kellogg’s work to the tribal colleges. Leonard Bastien sent his eagle feather headdress to the meeting with Carol Tatsey-Murray, president of Blackfeet Community College. Bastien is a former chief of the North Piegan Band and now a teacher in the Blackfeet Studies Department. Because of her leadership position and because of the importance of Kellogg’s effort to improve Native American higher education in the 21st century, Bastien told her it was appropriate for her to dress as a leader. The headdress has been passed down through three generations of Bastien’s family.

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