« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
STATEMENT OF THE UNITED TRIBES EDUCTIONAL TECHNICAL CENTER
Thank you for this opportunity to testify on the United Tribes Educational Technical Center's Prime Contract appropriation for Fiscal Year 1980. For the present fiscal year, United Tribes' appropriation from the Employment Assistance Category of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' budget is $1,527,000. For FY1980, United Tribes requests a 7.58 increase in accordance with presidential guidelines. To address United Tribes' considerable potential as well as its considerable need, we adáitionally request $1.6 million for new student housing facilities and $112,000 for a planning grant to describe United Tribes' future growth. Our total appropriation request far FY80 is $3,353,525.
United Tribes is a residential vocational school which admits Indian students from reservations throughout the western United States. A majority of our students have never previously spent more than one year away from the reservations and have histories of unemployment due to the severe lack of jobs there. Less than one-third have completed high school while many have histories of alcoholism and other manifestations of generational poverty and hardship. United Tribes, therefore, represents the first tangible chence at successful education and employment for most of its students.
United Tribes is among very few Indian institutions which meets the needs of these people, a fact which is evidenced by a waiting list that consistently numbers over 125, or nearly as many as we are able to enroll. Clearly, United Tribes serves people who are either not well-served ar not served at all.
Operating twelve months of the year and achmitting new students each month, United Tribes was the first such institution in the country to be Indian Owned and operated. Contracted from the BLA by the five tribes of North Dakota in 1969, United Tribes is founded upon the premises that Indian people must control their own education and that Indian education must take place in a setting which praotes an Indian identity. As such, United Tribes exists as an Indian and family community with a total population in the vicinity of 400. Many students are admitted with children and, with them, many of the Center's Indian staff live in residence. For the children, the Center provides; an elementary school, a dispensary (which also serves adults), a child development center, and a nursery.
United Tribes also serves Indian people throughout the U. S. by initiating and conducting a wide variety of prograns which aim at their educational, economic and cultural advancement. For these reasons has United Tribes established such programs as Indian curriculum development, a prison parole program, an Indian energy manpower program and one of America's largest annual POW WOWS. These are all funded by contracts and revenues apart from our Prime Contract from the BIA.
The Prime Contract supports those activities which are fundanental to vocational education for
rograms of any credible educational institute,
placerent office which has successfully placed between 85 and 90% of United Tribes' graduates in jobs of their vocational choice since the Center's inception, and support services such as the cafeteria, housing, maintenance and so forth. The BIA has kept United Tribes' Prime Contract at a virtually fixed rate in recent years. But it is worth noting that, despite this and despite inflation, United Tribes has continued to develop as an educational institution with support from the U. S. Office of Education (USOE) and from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). In July, 1978, United Tribes gained candidate status for accreditation with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and eligibility to apply for all USOE programs relevant to institutions of higher learning. Candidacy for accreditation with NCA is a six year process during which the institution must meet the high educational standards set forth by the NCA for all post-secondary institutions throughout its 19 state region. To gain candidacy, United Tribes was required to evidence sound planning, an institutional capacity to achieve its goals within a reasonable period of time, and a stable financial base, And it is at this point where agencies such as USOE and ETA can no longer be called upon for the long-term and substantive support that an educational institution must have. Due to the vast support both have provided United Tribes in recent years, it is doubtful that we will qualify for similar support in future years.1 Surveys conducted by United Tribes and the Denver-based American Indian Higher Education consortium have repeatedly shown that “private foundations are reluctant to endow Indian institutions due to the fact that Indian people have the trust relationship with the federal government."2 It is the BIA, “as the delegated prime agent in carrying out the United States' trust responsibility to Indian people, "3 which must logically and ethically be called upon to provide the long-term
support thet is necessary for United Tribes to sustain its basic functions and meet accreditation standards. And even this much does not allow for the vast potential which exists at United Tribes, in North Dakota, and on many reservations in the western U. S. in the present and in the immediate future.
As the result of a construction grant from EDA, a new Skills Center has allowed United Tribes to increase its vocational programs from ten to 17. Accordingly, United Tribes is requesting funds to provide housing facilities for an increase in enrollment and which may raise the Center's enrollment from the present 150 to 400 at a comfortable facility/student/teacher ratio. The renovation of space left vacant by the transfer of programs to the new facility will allow us to increase the enrol Iment to 220 within one year. It is very likely that the renovation effort will be sacrificed if United Tribes' appropriation is cut by the BIA. Most of United Tribes' facilities are those of the former U. S. Army Fort Lincoln and were built in 1904. Three of the larger buildings can be renovated as dormitories for approximately $500,000 each. An estimated $1.6 million will build one dormitory and renovate one of the buildings, either of which will double our present enrollment. For these reasons, United Tribes requests $112,000 for the preparation of a comprehensive plan to describe the development of our physical facilities while preserving the historic integrity and appearance of the Center, which is required by the Department of Health, Educat ion and Welfare and the National Historical Society.
to initiate new programs made possible by the new facility, USOE recently funded a joint proposal from United Tribes and three tribally controlled camnity colleges ich provides for vocational programs in conjunction with the research and planning of economic develament an Indian reservations in North Dakota. Like many of USOE's funding programs, this is a three year project for which United Tribes will not have a stable funding base in Fiscal Year 1982 unless provisions are made for the new vocations in our Prime Contract or unless U90E is able to provide continued funding.
Meanwhile, the present rate of enery-related development in North Dakota (and adjacent states where there are also considerable areas of Indian land) dictates that tribes and inter-tribal organizations such as United Tribes increase efforts that relate vocational education with economic develorment. United Tribes has already increased its own efforts to provide meaningful programs for its students. The recently established LPN program will provide trained nurses for the long growing demand on reservation lands for people to work in the area of health. Electrical, plumbing and carpentry specialties have been added to the generalized Building Trades program which has been in operation since 1969. Our Police Science and Para-Professional Counseling programs, also offered since 1969, have similarly provided trained personnel for areas far utrich there has been ever-growing demand on Indian reservations. Energy-related industry represents an opportunity for many tribes throughout this region to develop viable economic bases for the first time since reservations were formed. As a leader in vocational education for Indian people, United Tribes is in the wholly unique position to research, plan and coordinate economic development with the necessary preparation of an existing labor force. Thus, we have on the reservations two of the three classical ingredients for economic development, natural resources and human resources which include the demonstrated educational capability of United Tribes.
The third and missing ingredient is capital. For an indication of why Indian capital is missing, We refer you to the Final Report of the American Indian Policy Review Camissia which was submitted to Congress in May of 1977,
According to the report, "the layered system of achinistration which exists in the BIA means that out of every dollar targeted for Indian programs, the cost of administration for each level of BIA administration must be extracted first. Est imates of that percentage of each Indian dollar which is used to aciminister the BIA organization range from 78 to 90%." What remains is "often too small an amount to effectively deliver services. "4 Ernie Stevens, Director of the Conmission, has stated that 67% of the total BIA budget goes to salaries alone.5
For an agency which was founded 147 years ago with a mandate to work itself out of existence, these figures are embarrassing, at best. In light of these facts, we find it most iranic that We should be concemed with the BIA's appropriation to United Tribes rather than the BIA's appropriations to itself.
If the U. S. Congress is genuinely committed to a fight against inflation, it should turn to the many intelligent and common sense recomendations of the American Indian Policy Review Camission rather than deliberating whether an educational, economic and cultural organization which is operated by five Indian tribes should exist at last year's level of funding or be cut by 14, or more than $200,000. Should we scrap the GET program? Counseling? Recreation? Or all three?
Foremost among the Carnission's recommendations is that the transfer of funds be direct to
This is consistent with the foremost priority of ian leaders, which is to establish the economic bese upon which to achieve self-sufficiency. As the report points out,
'little or no consideration is given to the need to impart meaningful skills to the Indian labor force p that they may remain on the reservation and participate in natural resource development. United Tribes is in the position to do just this and, therefore, to meet the need which Indian leaders have identified on reservations throughout the country. The BIA must be held responsible for supporting the continued development of programs at United Tribes which aim at the utilization of potential labor pools in the development of reservation economy. This effort will be severely undermined if even our most basic endeavors and the increase of our housing capacity to fulfill our existing educational capacity are forced to be cut back. Thank you for this opportunity to testify. Reminding you that the Fiscal Year 1979 budget allocation of $1,527,000 addresses only the basic needs of United Tribes and falls short of the educational and economic potential which United Tribes has demonstrated, we welcome your questions.
-stephen McNichols, Region VIII Representative of the Secretary of Commerce, letter to the
Consortium, February 20, 1979.
5 statements during "Indian Issues Forum," United Tribes Educational Technical Center, May 30, 1978, sponsored by the North Dakota league of Women Voters.
oop. cit. “Final Report" AIPRC, page 232. ?rbid,
pages 350, 351.
The United Tribes Educational Technical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, has submitted a proposal to your organization for assistance in funding a community center/library complex.
The Department of Commerce has given strong support to the UTETC concept during the past several years and one of our agencies, the Economic Development Administration, has targeted substantial funds in public works grant and technical assistance to the United Tribes to aid with the development and continued operation of this project.
We have been particularly interested in and supportive of the Educational Technical Center since it is a prototype, the only project of its kind involving Indians in the U. S. I personally take pride in what UTETC has been able to accomplish through our programs and the United Tribes' own initiatives.
Private sector participation is essential to the overall development of the project. Our future support will be limited due to budget reductions in trying to further assist the United Tribes and these work items which meet our program guidelines and eligibility requirements.
It is a project worthy of your consideration and I think you should know how we feel about it at the Federal level.
Stephen L. R. McNichols Regional Representative of the Secretary.
Senator STEVENS. I have been called back to the floor. If we can stand in recess, I will try to return. If that is not possible, it may be necessary to cancel further testimony today. In that event, all statements will be printed in the record. Thank you very much. (Whereupon, at 2:10 p.m., Thursday, March 8, the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 13.)