The nation’s 37 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) have created educational opportunities for students on or near Indian reservations to access a quality higher education since the first was established by the Navajo nation in 1968. The American Indian College Fund is hosting a convening to examine TCUs’ economic, cultural, and wellness impact on students and alumni, communities, and states. The program will take place December 17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn in Rapid City, South Dakota.
The program will open with a keynote address by David Beaulieu, the Ruth A. Myers Endowed Chair in American Indian Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). The program will include discussions on cultural revitalization and community wellness; student success, research, and best practices; Standing Rock Nation Lakota language restoration; serving building a regional tribal college; and a presidential address by Lionel Bordeaux, president of Sinte Gleska University.
The keynote speaker, David Beaulieu, is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. He earned a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Minnesota and served as vice president of Sinte Gleska College, the first tribally chartered, Indian-controlled college to achieve accreditation at the bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting level. From 1984 to 1991, Beaulieu began his educational policy career as the Minnesota Director of Indian Education. In 1991, he was the first American Indian to be appointed in Minnesota state government as a commissioner in his role as commissioner of the Department of Human Rights. He served in national government as the director of the Office of Indian Education in the U.S. Department of Education from 1997-2001. Beaulieu left educational policy work to return to teaching. Before joining UMD in his current role in 2015, he served at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he was a professor in the Department of Education Policy and Community Studies, the Electa Quinney Endowed Professor of American Indian Education, and assistant to the provost and vice chancellor for the university’s American Indian Program. He is an emeritus professor in education policy studies at Arizona State University.