Fond du Lac President Briggs Journeys Onward

Feb 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-3: Sustaining Our Future
By Marjane Ambler

As this issue was going to press, we learned that Jack Briggs, president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, had begun his journey to the spirit world on Dec. 16, 2001. Jack had been fighting a chronic illness for a short period of time, and his death shocked the tribal colleges’ nationwide community. Jack had directed the college since its birth in 1987.

Jack was also a special friend to the Tribal College Journal. He served on our advisory board from 1994 until 2000, providing steadfast support during a period of cost cutting when AIHEC’s board was re-evaluating all expenditures, including the journal. Our thoughts are with our good friend, Debbie Briggs, and their children and grandchildren. An article about Jack will appear in the next journal, Vol. 13, N.4, which focuses upon leadership. Readers who knew him may post tributes on the college’s website <>. Memorial gifts can be sent to the Jack and Debbie Briggs Scholarship Fund at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2101 14th St., Cloquet, MN 55720.

We also want to share recent good news about people familiar to TCJ readers. President George W. Bush appointed Veronica Gonzales to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Secretary as senior advisor to the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCU). Veronica was executive director of AIHEC for six years. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with degrees in political science and English, Gonzales previously served as a legislative aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a special assistant for two Congressmen, and a senior legislative advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Board of Regents has selected Jeffrey Hamley, Ed.D., as the president of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Michigan. Jeff’s article about international indigenous education (“Crossing the Border”) appeared in TCJ, Vol. 13, N. 2. A Turtle Mountain Chippewa, he will be responsible for developing the new college’s infrastructure. He previously directed policy analysis and research at AIHEC.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa in Minnesota has named Michael Wassegijig Price as their first president of Red Lake Nation College. While at Leech Lake Tribal College, Michael wrote “Of Science & Spirit” in Vol. 12, N.2, about his experiences combining culture and inquiry in the laboratory. It was a significant year for Michael. In November, his partner Reneé Martin gave birth to their first child, Ché Michael. Reneé is the education chair at Leech Lake. Michael is an enrolled member of Wikwemikong First Nations, and Martin is Turtle Mountain Chippewa.

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