UTTC Hosts Meeting Between U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Tribal Leaders




For More Information Contact: Kaley Schwab (701) 255-1387, kschwab@uttc.edu


Bismarck (UTN) -- United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) hosted a meeting between tribal leaders and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on UTTC's campus today.


The meeting is part of a four-day trip to North Dakota by Zinke.


Ahead of Secretary Zinke’s meeting with tribal leaders, John Tahsuda III, principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, spent the morning with UTTC’s Theodore Jamerson Elementary School students and took part in a campus-wide tour.


UTTC President Leander R. McDonald says he hopes the college can continue to be the place where tribal leaders and other government officials can discuss important topics impacting tribal nations, today.


“United Tribes Technical College is pleased to serve as a resource for holding important meetings for tribal nations across North Dakota and the Great Plains,” McDonald says.


Tribal Chairman Dave Flute, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, says he’s pleased tribal leaders are coming together to meet with the Secretary of Interior and it is a great honor for both United Tribes of North Dakota and United Tribes Technical College to host this meeting.


Chairman Flute says the tribes are thankful for Zinke’s service as a Navy veteran, and as the Secretary of Interior, and looks forward to engaging in a meaningful discussion between tribal leadership and Zinke about the unique needs of the tribes of North Dakota.


“This will be a nice opportunity for us to start planting seeds and building a good working relationship with the Secretary of Interior,” Flute says. “We are happy to have him here to start facilitating that discussion to give him a heads up about what the challenges are in Indian lands here in North Dakota.”


During the meeting, Zinke acknowledged it is important to remember when dealing with challenges faced by tribal nations, it isn’t a “one size fits all.”


“Every nation has its own culture and its own challenges,” Secretary Zinke says. “Each tribe is a sovereign nation and deserves the respect as a sovereign nation.”