Two local tribal colleges will be among 22 that will receive special grants from the United State Department of Agriculture.
The money comes from the Rural Development Tribal College Initiative Grant program.
The grants, from $196,400 to $196,600, will go to 22 tribal colleges across the country, seven of which are in Montana.
Fort Belknap College plans on using the grant to fund the construction of two classrooms in the college's cultural center for the White Clay Immersion School.
Melody Henry, president of Stone Child College, said that the money would be used mostly for equipment in a new health center built last year and in the college's nursing classroom.
The grant will also fund a new van for student transportation.
“Hopefully the new equipment will bring more students,” Henry said. “That is our primary concern, to get more students in here.”
According to Henry, the funds will be available once the requirements are filled and the college matches 5 percent of the costs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the grant and the education it will fund are vital to the economic development of the tribal communities.
“These institutions can now benefit from funding that will enable them to plan to meet community infrastructure, job creation and business expansion,” Vilsack said.