Tribal College Flood Relief Update

Jun 29, 2011 | Blog, Inside the College Fund, Student Success

The supply room at the College.
Volunteers from the local BIA assisting with food and cleaning supply distribution.

Volunteers from the local BIA assisting with food and cleaning supply distribution.


Thank you for your outstanding response to our Emergency Flood Relief Campaign and for your dedication to our students in Indian Country. With record flooding still hovering at historic levels, the situation is far from over. But thanks to your support and the resilience and hard work of residents in the affected areas, our tribal communities are safe for now.

Your contribution helped enable the American Indian College Fund to provide United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) in North Dakota with a backup generator to help keep the school connected. Our students and faculty there are watching very carefully as the waters in Bismarck and Mandan continue to rise. It is because of your support that UTTC is able to supply their community with the resources necessary to assist those displaced because of this disaster.

At Little Big Horn College (LBHC) and Stone Child College, in Montana, water levels are slightly below flood stage.  Residents, students and staff are beginning to sift through and assess the mud and flood damage to their homes, while beginning the arduous clean up. Many have lost everything.  Distribution and donations are still occurring on the LBHC multipurpose facility where 40 people continue to be sheltered.

Summer classes at LBHC are in full swing and the staff is staying on top of academics while monitoring the flood situation. The tribal colleges do not have the capacity, resources, or budget to handle all of the services the school is providing, but Dr. David Yarlott, LBHC President, says it is a matter of, “taking on the responsibility [of collecting, distributing and housing the incident command center on the LBHC campus] as the Crow Agency focuses on the things related to FEMA.”

In their second year of being caught in a flooding disaster zone, Stone Child College, located on the Rocky Boy Reservation, is providing facilities to an exhausted, budget-depleted tribe that also has a housing shortage during normal times. The flooding has washed out roads to homes and creeks have appeared where they have never been before.  The technological amenities of the college, such as wireless internet, combined with being the operations center during the flood, has provided great relief to the tribe and reinforced the college’s central role in the community.

“The college is good for the community. Many of the students live here, work here, and our own people need the help,” said Richard McDonald, Tribal Hazard Litigation Officer. “We are fortunate to have (Stone Child) as our center of the community.”

We here at the Fund couldn’t agree more.  Without the kindness of donors like you, we wouldn’t have the ability to help our students and member institutions during this critical time.

We are grateful to you for keeping our students in your hearts and thoughts.  As the situation changes, the Fund will continue to send updates so you can monitor the impact of your kindness.
Thank you for your generosity and your vision.

Ocankuye Wasté Yelo (In a good way),
Richard B. Williams (Oglala Lakota)
President & Chief Executive Officer

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