$4 Million from Tribe Kicks Off SBC Campaign

May 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 12-4: Colleges for the Community, Tribal College News

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council and Sitting Bull College at Fort Yates, N.D., have joined forces to introduce a $40 million capital campaign. The money raised through this campaign will be used to build and maintain a new campus and for an endowment. The $40 million project represents an opportunity to expand education and employment for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Founded in 1973 as Standing Rock College, the current campus is housed in original buildings that the tribe built in the early 1970s. Sitting Bull College President Ron McNeil said that in 1997, a water main broke in the interior wall of his school’s library and caused so much damage that he was forced to cancel classes. Students, faculty, and staff hauled the books out of the building and managed to save them from the damaging cascade of water. “We also had an electrical fire after someone plugged in a computer. The wiring was never intended for the amount of usage that it gets now. We have a choice to constantly fix and upgrade a building never intended for a college’s technical requirements or to build a technologically-advanced college campus where every room, including dorms, will have Internet access.”

Sitting Bull College has begun fundraising activities. The college received a $4 million endorsement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council last December. “The $4 million from the tribal council is an indication of our tribal government’s commitment to strengthening the relationship between Sitting Bull College and the tribe, as well as a sign of their commitment to education. It now makes it possible for us to approach both the private sector and the federal government for matching funds. Without the tribe’s monetary commitment, it would be extremely difficult to raise outside support,” McNeil said.

The new campus site is located in Fort Yates on 160 acres. Plans for the grounds include administration and academic buildings, single and multi-family housing, men’s and women’s dormitories, a gymnasium, day care facilities, a cultural center, a home and health care center, a tribal information center, and pow-wow grounds.

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