Capacity-Building Programs

Tribal College and University Traditional Native Arts and Energy/Water Efficiency Infrastructure Program

This log cabin at Sisseton Wahpeton College is soon-to-become the Dakota Tribal Arts Center on their campus on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota.

This log cabin at Sisseton Wahpeton College is soon-to-become the Dakota Tribal Arts Center on their campus on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota.

Project Overview

The Traditional Native Arts and Energy/Water Efficiency Infrastructure Program is a three-year grant-funded through 2018 which supports two programs at 13 tribal colleges in the Midwest (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

The Traditional Native Arts Infrastructure initiative will increase well-designed arts classroom and studio space for the traditional Native arts on campus through renovation, repair, and limited construction, with the goal of encouraging the preservation of traditional and endangered arts through community outreach and academic coursework.

The Energy and Water Efficiency Infrastructure initiative will reduce energy costs and environmental footprint through comprehensive energy and/or water audits to enhance energy and water efficiency in campus buildings, installing energy efficient windows, doors, lighting, low flow-usage toilets, and provide solar energy.

Traditional Native Arts Infrastructure projects are listed alphabetically below by TCU

Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) Arts Classroom Renovation

nuetahidatsasahnishNHSC will renovate a classroom into an arts classroom by adding shelving and storage units, stainless steel sink and table counter, mobile SMART board with projector and media station, and upgrading to energy efficient lighting.

Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) Dakota Studies and Traditional Tribal Arts Center


SWC will renovate an existing structure to create a Dakota Studies and Traditional Tribal Arts Center. This project will help SWC develop and grow their existing Dakota Studies program, Traditional Arts Workshop Series, and archival collections into a collaborative Traditional Tribal Arts Certificate Program and Traditional Tribal Arts Center.

United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) Renovation of Arts Classroom

UTTClogoUTTC will renovate a classroom space for Traditional Native Arts classes to increase classroom size, upgrade heating and cooling systems to allow temperature and humidity control, and provide access for students with disabilities. The project will create space for a lecture area with audio visual capacity; individual and cooperative learning project spaces; and will add metal tables for cutting and pounding; wall space for display; and storage for supplies and materials.

Energy/Water Efficiency Infrastructure projects are listed alphabetically below by TCU

College of Menominee Nation (CMN) Energy Upgrades

menomineenationCMN’s long term goal is to become a climate-neutral campus, increasing CMN’s energy efficiency and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. CMN will install a pellet stove and upgrade the lighting in the main campus building and the air conditioning unit.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) Energy Efficiency Projects

cankdeskacikanaThe CCCC Energy Efficiency Project will reduce the use and costs associated with lighting the campus and heating/cooling of an older section of the campus building. CCCC will add duct work and insulation to heat a hallway, replace interior lighting on campus and outdoor lighting with high-efficiency lights, and upgrade the college’s electrical panel.

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC ) Energy Infrastructure Improvements

laccourteoreiliesojibwaLCOOCC will improve the campus’s energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint by replacing the roof and insulation, upgrading lighting, and upgrading the library HVAC system.


Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) Energy Infrastructure Improvements Project

nuetahidatsasahnishNHSC will increase energy efficiency by replacing doors and lighting fixtures, air sealing electrical outlets, and building vestibules. It will install a wind turbine, solar water heating system, and will purchase a portable solar power trailer.

Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) Energy Efficiency Renovations

sissetonwahpetoncollegeSWC will increase energy efficiency and reduce operating and maintenance costs by replacing existing campus lighting with LED lighting. Teachings about the Dakota way of life and Dakota values are at the foundation of SWC. To be respectful, responsible stewards of the land is at the heart of those teachings. Increasing energy efficiency will help the campus community fulfill its responsibilities to the Dakota way of life and set an example for the broader community.

Sitting Bull College (SBC) Energy Efficient Housing

sittingbullcollegeSBC will conduct an energy audit and install energy efficient windows in 18 student housing units on the campus.


Emily R. White Hat, J.D. (Nape Waste Win, Good Hand Woman) Sicangu (Rosebud) Lakota, of the Aske Gluwipi Tiospaye, was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Emily received her Juris Doctor degree and a Natural Resources Law Certificate from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she received Clinical Honors for Outstanding Performance in the Law Clinic. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry with a concentration in Fire Science and a minor in Rangeland Ecology from Colorado State University, and an Associate of Arts degree in Lakota History and Culture from Sinte Gleska University. Her experience as a former firefighter, EMT, policy researcher, evaluator, and legal background have all been vital to her work in program development and implementation with tribal nations and colleges and using a capacity-building approach. In 2015 Emily was a receipt of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) “40 Under 40” award.

Contact Emily at 303-426-8900.