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UTTC funding approved by Congress
23 November 2004

BISMARCK, ND - Good news for United Tribes Technical College; Congress has restored federal funding for the current fiscal year.

      UTTC funding was included in the omnibus appropriation bill passed by Congress November 20. The spending bill provided $3.5 million for the college, which is $500,000 more than last year.

      "Our staff and students can now continue our programs with confidence," said UTTC President David M. Gipp. "We have less to worry about now."

      The Congressional action reversed a recommendation by the Bush Administration for the third consecutive year that the college's funding be eliminated. The appropriation is for FY 2005, which began October 1, 2004.

      "Our Congressional delegation worked well to build bipartisan support," said Gipp.

      Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., helped restore the funds in the House. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., increased the appropriation to $3.5 million in the Senate.

      "We also received strong support from local and national tribal leaders," said Gipp.

      The National Tribal Advisory Budget Council supported UTTC's funding. Support also came from individual tribal leaders including Jim Grey, Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, Tex G. Hall, President of the National Congress of American Indians and chair of Three Affiliated Tribes, Geri Small, chair of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and Wallace Coffey, chair of the Comanche Nation.

      "It's been four years since we've had any increase in funding through the BIA," said Gipp. "It means that we can continue on track for expanding our campus and increasing enrollment to provide services for the growing numbers of tribal people seeking education and training."

      The omnibus bill also included approval of $53.9 million in funding for the nation's 22 tribally controlled colleges, including four in North Dakota: Sitting Bull College, Fort Berthold Community College, Turtle Mountain Community College, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College at Sprit Lake. UTTC does not receive funding under the tribal colleges act.

      Months of work by tribal leaders helped restore funding for numerous other programs in the BIA and IHS budgets. The House vote on the bill was 344 to 51 and the Senate voted 63 to 50.


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