Tribal Colleges

This series from the Center for American Progress and the American Indian College Fund explores the essential role of Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in Native American and rural vitality. Indigenous educators built this sector of 35 accredited institutions on a shoestring over the past 50 years. TCUs today educate students for a broad spectrum of careers while also serving as centers of their communities, whether that means feeding families hit hard by the pandemic, teaching Native languages and traditional practices such as rice harvesting, or giving elders technology skills to email or FaceTime with faraway grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Policymakers have increasingly recognized the importance of TCUs, particularly in light of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Indigenous communities. But there is more to be done to support these institutions in meeting their full potential to serve Indian Country as well as the non-Native rural communities they serve.

A group of SKC students prepare for their graduation ceremony.
A group of students prepare for their graduation ceremony at at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, on June 4, 2022. (U.S. Department of Education)

In this series

For Native Americans, Tribal Colleges Tackle the ‘Present-Day Work of Our Ancestors’
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona  delivers the commencement address at Salish Kootenai College.
Article

For Native Americans, Tribal Colleges Tackle the ‘Present-Day Work of Our Ancestors’

In the first installment in a series on Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), the Center for American Progress and American Indian College Fund explore the essential role TCUs play in their communities and why investing in them should be a priority for policymakers.

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