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Aaniiih Nakoda, Stone Child colleges receive grants

 

Last updated 10/22/2020 at 1:12pm



Two local tribal colleges have received grants from USDA Rural Development for technology and and facility upgrade.

Aaniiih Nakoda College at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation received $187, 923 and Stone Child College at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation received $161,200

A press release from Rural Development said the Stone Child College grant is to purchase security and information technology equipment, including security cameras, webcams, computers, monitors and a variety of network components, 

Stone Child College did not respond to requests for comment by print deadline this morning.

Aaniiih Nakoda’s grant was to replace 30 outdated campus heating and air conditioning units with modern, energy-efficient ones. 

After completion, any remaining funds left from the grant will be used on a campus paving project.

“The project will support the replacement of outdated furnaces and air conditioners in Wakpa Juk’an Wasnokya Tibi — Little River Learning Lodge, Ekib-Tsah-ah-Tsik — Sitting High Cultural Center, and Nakoda Hall,” Aaniiih Nakoda College Sponsored Programs Director Scott Friskics said.

He said the overall goal of this project is to create a more comfortable, more efficient and safer campus environment for the students, faculty and staff. 

The work is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1, 2021, he said.

“Aaniiih Nakoda College appreciates the support of USDA-RD in our efforts to provide a safe, efficient and comfortable learning environment for our students, and we are very excited to receive this award,” Friskics said. “Many of these air conditioning and furnace units are 20 to 25 years old. They have served us well, but they are outdated, inefficient and in need of frequent repairs. 

“This investment in new furnaces and air conditioning units will not only make our campus a more comfortable place to work and learn, but it will provide long-term savings by reducing repair and maintenance expenses, lowering utility costs and reducing our overall energy consumption,” he added.

The replacement of heating and cooling units in these three older buildings will create a more comfortable work and study environment, he said, and result in increased cost savings and energy efficiency, while reducing the college’s overall impact on the environment. 

He said Aaniiih Nakoda College received the grant under Rural Development’s Tribal College Grant Program, he said.

He said the stated purpose of the program is to “provide grant funds to tribal colleges and universities to develop essential community facilities such as classrooms, libraries, cultural centers, childcare centers, laboratories and health care facilities.”

It is a one-year award, he said, adding that the college is required to provide a 5 percent match. 

“Aaniiih Nakoda College has been fortunate to receive grant awards under USDA-Rural Development’s Tribal College Grant Program on an annual basis since 2002,” Friskics said. “Along with other sources of funding, these dollars have helped the college build and maintain an attractive and welcoming campus that meets the needs of our students and the Fort Belknap community.”

 

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