Students Raise Money For Hurricane Victims

Feb 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 17-3: Heroes of Today, Tribal College News

Tribal college students were among the other American Indians who reacted with compassion, cash, and commitment to the needs of hurricane victims last fall.

With a fundraising concert at the mall and lots of one-on-one pitching, the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND) Student Senate brought in over $1,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina, double their goal. The tribal college matched the effort for a total of $2,060, which was presented Oct. 28, 2005, in a giant-sized check to the American Red Cross.

The students in the Mastering Life Skills classes at Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC, Sisseton, SD) held fund raisers to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Through a rummage sale, a bake sale, a craft sale, and two raffles, they raised a total of $1,050.

That money was sent to the seven names submitted by local family members so each family received a check for $150. All of the people who received relief funds were family members of local tribal members, according to Michelle Greseth of SWC.

Staff, faculty, and students donated items for the rummage sale and food items for the bake sale. Several local businesses donated items for the raffles.

There were several reports of tribal college students, who serve as volunteer firefighters and rescue workers, traveling to the Gulf Coast to help. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) uses its website ( to help match providers of information technology with hurricane victims who need it.

Many other tribes and tribal organizations also contributed. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), with the support of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians of California, donated $50,000. The check was presented to the American Red Cross Sept. 9, 2005, in Bismarck at the 36th Annual United Tribes International Powwow.

NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., said that tribes and Indian individuals provided hundreds of thousands of dollars, supplies, and volunteer labor. Indian people also opened their doors to welcome hurricane evacuees on their reservations, he said.

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