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Land Grant Advisory Board activated
03 March 2010

BISMARCK (UTN) - Representatives of the five tribal nations that govern United Tribes Technical College have been recruited to serve on an advisory board for the college’s USDA Land Grant Programs. The group will review the programs and share ideas, concerns and community issues that might be addressed by education.

      Those attending an organizational meeting were: Josh Skye (Standing Rock), Native Gardens Project Director for the Standing Rock Diabetes Program; Denise Lajimodiere, Ed.D, (Turtle Mountain), Assistant Professor at the NDSU College of Human Development and Education; Brenda Redday (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), an employee in the United Tribes Cafeteria; Deb LaVallie (Spirit Lake) Inspector/Contracting Officer for the Spirit Lake Housing Corporation; Monica Nagel (Three Affiliated Tribes), an employee with the Senior Meal Program in New Town; and Debbie Painte (Three Affiliated Tribes), Director of the United Tribes Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program.

Members of the newly formed Land Grant Program Advisory Board listened to a report February 5 about obesity and diabetes education from Kim Rhoades, Extension Nutrition Educator. Board members, from left: Dr. Harriett Skye, Josh Skye, Denise Lajimodiere and Brenda Redday. United Tribes News photo Dennis J. Neumann

      Dr. Harriett Skye, United Tribes Vice President of Intertribal Programs, recruited the members to serve on the advisory committee.

      Discussion topics at the February 5 meeting included the need for a holistic approach to treat diabetes. Nutrition and diet, traditional foods, gardening and exercise are components of the Standing Rock Diabetes Program and the educational efforts supported by UTTC Land Grant.

      The Land Grant Program currently has special funding for obesity and diabetes projects. The program is seeking a gardening educator to develop a youth and adult education program and a research garden.

      Denise Lajimodiere shared with members that generational trauma and boarding school issues are components of the National Boarding School Healing Project. She offered to be available to meet with “survivors” who are ready to talk about the trauma they endured.

      Housing needs, strategic planning for the reservation, financial education and debt issues were topics to be considered for future Land Grant program efforts.

      Annette Broyles and Jill Keith shared information about the Nutrition and Foodservice vocational programs. Kim Rhoades reviewed the extension and diabetes programs. Pat Aune provided background information about all USDA Land Grant Programs. Other participants were UTTC Counselor Russell Gillette (Three Affiliated Tribes) and UTTC student Lisa Stump (Rocky Boy).

      Board members said they are interested in meeting quarterly and are willing to meet in different reservation locations since the programs developed by Land Grant are designed to benefit all reservation communities served by United Tribes.