FBCC “White Ant” Wing Honors Former Instructor

Feb 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 19-3: Beyond Our Names: Uncovering Identity, Tribal College News


THEIR LATEST MURAL. The FBCC Student Union building is transfromed by the skill and talent of the Mural Painting Class. Photo courtesy of Shannon D. Fox.

Fort Berthold Community College (FBCC, New Town, ND) has named a building wing Pit’aru’taka or “White Ant” to honor James Fisher, a beloved English instructor who passed on in 2005. “White Ant” was his Sahnish name. (See TCJ, Vol. 17, No. 1.)

The upper level of the two-story building was completed last fall and dedicated in a community celebration. The new addition contains start-of-the-art labs and meeting rooms while the lower level houses the student union, an internet café, and the cafeteria. The building was funded by grants from USDA, American Indian College Fund, HUD, and Title III.

Four of five large murals in the building were painted by FBCC students under the guidance of their art instructor, Ryan Burr. The Mural Painting class in Fall 2007 worked on a mural depicting three images: historic, contemporary, and regional. The paintings include a bear dancer from the Arikara tribe, a fancy shawl dancer, and images of a horse and an eagle.

In other news, FBCC has a dual credit program so that local high school students can earn college credit prior to their high school graduation. Three students who completed a college course designed to promote study in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrolled at FBCC in the fall of 2007. Twelve more high school students enrolled in the STEM class at the beginning of the current academic year. The students undergo an admissions process to enroll in the class.

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