White House conference culminates in TCU WeekNov 20th, 2013 | By tcj | Category: 25-3: Preserving and Protecting Knowledge, Tribal College News
On November 13, 2013, David Gipp, president of United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND), spoke at the 5th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC. Gipp discussed how former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy set a new course for American Indian policy that helped strengthen Native nations and their political, economic, and educational sovereignty. Following Gipp’s speech, current Attorney General Eric Holder thanked the UTTC president and stressed the Obama administration’s commitment to the same ideals articulated by Kennedy 50 years ago.
The following day, U.S. senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven ushered a resolution through the Senate proclaiming the week of November 18, 2013, as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week. The measure recognized that tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) play a vital role in the preservation of Native cultures and languages, and that they meet the educational needs of students from more than 250 federally recognized tribes.
The resolution concluded that TCUs deserve national recognition and called on the American people to join in observation of National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week “with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.”
“We are pleased the Senate came together to adopt our resolution recognizing the importance of tribal colleges and universities in North Dakota and around the country,” Heitkamp and Hoeven said. “Tribal colleges and universities provide crucial higher education opportunities to Native Americans, preparing them to succeed in a wide range of careers. Next week will be an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness about the value of these institutions and how they can help so many Native Americans grow and succeed.”