WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined a bipartisan group of 18 senators to commemorate the important work of educators, students, and higher education professionals at Tribal colleges and universities nationwide by signing a resolution designating the week of Feb. 5, 2017, as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week. The resolution passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate.
The resolution recognizes the exceptional opportunities offered to Native communities by Tribal colleges and universities, which operate on more than 75 different campuses located in some of the most disadvantaged and isolated parts of the country. Thousands of students enroll each year in the Tribal colleges located in New Mexico: the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque and the Shiprock and Crownpoint campuses of Diné College.
"Tribal colleges and universities play a key role in our Native communities in New Mexico and throughout the nation," said Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "They keep our students connected with Native language and culture and provide an education that equips them with the skills critical to getting a good job after graduation. I was proud to sign the resolution designating this week as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week to ensure we recognize the important work that Tribal colleges, universities and teachers do for our Native students."
"Tribal colleges and universities give Native students the opportunity to thrive in a rigorous academic environment respectful of traditional culture and language. These unique institutions are taking an innovative approach to preparing New Mexico students to participate in a global workforce," Heinrich said. "I've heard from a number of Native students who have benefited from attending the tribal colleges and universities in our state as well as the educators who teach and mentor them. I am proud to support the resolution designating this week as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week."
Joining Heinrich and Udall in recognizing this week as National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week were Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).