February 09, 2016

Udall, Heinrich Dedicate the Week of Feb. 7 as National Tribal Colleges & Universities Week

Senators Highlight The Work Tribal Colleges Do To Help Native Students Succeed

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of senators in recognizing the vital contributions of the educators, students, and facilitators of higher education at tribal colleges and universities across the country by introducing a bipartisan resolution designating this week as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week. The resolution unanimously passed the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2016.

The senators dedicated this week to the tribal college communities operating on more than 75 campuses nationwide that offer unique opportunities to Native communities in some of the most isolated parts of the country. New Mexico is home to four tribal colleges and universities-Dine College, Institute of American Indian Arts, Navajo Technical University, and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute-that serve more than 3,200 tribal students.

"New Mexico's Tribal colleges and universities open doors for students who want to learn 21st century skills that are critical to getting a good job, while also helping students gain a deeper connection with Native language and culture," Udall said. "Designating this week as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week provides an opportunity to recognize the dedicated educators who inspire and help prepare the next generation of leaders in Indian Country, and the hard-working students determined to help build a better future for their communities."

"Tribal colleges and universities give native students the opportunity to thrive with a sense of community and rich learning environments focused on the future, while preserving traditional culture and values," Heinrich said. "As accredited institutions of higher education, tribal colleges and universities prepare students to participate in a global workforce and a 21st century economy."?

The resolution, which was led by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), was also cosponsored by John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).