News Releases

Senator Murray Announces $1 million to Improve Tribal Education in Washington State

Jul 17 2001

Funding will help Northwest Indian College add 12 new classrooms, boost technology, and expand language programs

(Washington, D.C.) -- -U.S. Senator Patty Murray today announced that the Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, WA will receive a $1,064,998 grant from the United States Department of Education. The funds will be used to improve technology on campus, purchase a new building, and expand the tribal language program.

"Native American students deserve every opportunity to get a good education to reach their full potential," Murray said. "I will continue my support for tribal colleges throughout the appropriations process. In addition to funding 12 new classrooms and boosting computer technology, then grant will support new courses and degrees in tribal languages. Preserving Native languages is crucial to preserving these unique cultures."

INCREASE IN TECHNOLOGY - $812,610 This funding will provide a core system of technology on campus and will increase student technology access.

PURCHASE A NEW CLASSROOM BUILDING - $928,498 The construction of a new two-story building with twelve furnished classrooms, equipped with a wireless network and a fully accessible elevator, will benefit tribal students.

TRIBAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM - $856,657 The funding will allow for support and development of a course curriculum and a new degree program, courses and curriculum which are transferable to a four-year college or university. A committee will be formed to decide which three Tribal languages to focus on.

Barbara Roberts of Northwest Indian College said, "I believe this grant will do a tremendous amount of good to enrich tribal cultures."

Senator Murray has consistently supported tribal colleges by signing letters to the appropriations committee in support of increased funds. For example this year she sent a letter to Senators Stevens and Inouye supporting $3.5 million in the Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Appropriations Bill for Lab and computer equipment in tribal colleges and universities. She has also repeatedly supported amendments to bills to provide more money for tribal colleges.

The grant was authorized through the United States Department of Education through the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program, a program which supports improvement in educational quality, management, and financial stability.