Tribal colleges and universities receive pandemic-related supplies


Last updated 3/27/2021 at 3:58pm

Albert Gourneau (left) and Anthony Desjarlais (right) from Turtle Mountain Community College's facilities department prepare to distribute sanitizing supplies and safety equipment at the tribal college campus in Belcourt, North Dakota.

DENVER, Colo.-The American Indian College Fund and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium are receiving $1.5M in pandemic-related supplies including hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and gloves from AT&T. Both organizations are working with AT&T to distribute the supplies to more than 20 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) across the country. This comes as Native communities face soaring COVID-19 infection rates, rolling lockdowns are enacted on Indian reservations, and tribal community members are having difficulties accessing supplies. Native American communities suffer COVID-19 infection rates greater than 3.5 times that of the white population, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The American Indian College Fund is the largest provider of scholarships to Native American students in the nation, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium is the national advocacy organization supporting tribal college and universities. The two organizations worked with AT&T to ship the supplies to the following TCUs, including:

• The American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Washington, D.C.

• Blackfeet Community College, Montana

• College of Menominee Nation, Wisconsin

• College of the Muscogee Nation, Oklahoma

• Diné College, Arizona

• Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Minnesota

• Fort Peck Community College, Montana

• Ilisaġvik College, Arkansas

• Institute of American Indian Arts, New Mexico

• Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College, Wisconsin

• Little Big Horn College, Montana

• Little Priest Tribal College, Nebraska

• Navajo Technical University, New Mexico

• Northwest Indian College, Washington

• Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, North Dakota

• Oglala Lakota College, South Dakota

• Red Lake Nation College, Minnesota

• Salish Kootenai College, Montana

• Sinte Gleska University, South Dakota

• Stone Child College, Montana

• Tohono O'odham Community College, Arizona

• Turtle Mountain Tribal College, North Dakota

• White Earth Tribal and Community College, Montana

"We are glad to play our part to help provide the critical resources Native communities need to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected Native Americans," said Tom Brooks, Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs at AT&T. "There is much more work to be done to ensure Native American communities have access to the resources needed to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We look forward to continuing this vital work with the American Indian College Fund and American Indian Higher Education Consortium to address this."

Peter Romero, Director of Facilities and Security at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, readies the college's newly delivered supply.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund said, "On behalf of our tribal colleges and universities and our sister organization, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, I want to share our deep appreciation of AT&T's gift of pandemic-related supplies for our communities. Our rural, economically distressed communities need support to protect the health and well-being of students and their families. The commitment of AT&T to helping address health and other disparities in the U.S. is demonstrated through their generous support."

AT&T has been a long supporter of the American Indian College Fund to turn reservations into places of opportunity. The long relationship with the American Indian College Fund has helped Native American students with income and geographical barriers earn college degrees through funded support at the 35 tribal colleges and universities around the country.


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