Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tribal College President to Speak at Democratic National Convention Today

United Tribes Technical College President Dr. David M. Gipp has been invited to address the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Gipp will speak to convention delegates assembled in the 20,000 seat Pepsi Center today between 3 and 3:30 p.m. MDT. His will be one in a series of talks by so-called ‘real people’ who have been asked to offer ideas on the theme of “Renewing America’s Promise.”

Dr. Gipp will focus on renewing the country’s promise for American Indians, who are largely invisible in the national consciousness.

“I consider it an honor to be selected,” said Gipp. “It’s uncommon to have access to this kind of audience for expressing a tribal viewpoint. It says something about change in America.”

Dr. Gipp is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Tribe. He has been the leader of United Tribes Technical College since 1977.

Part of his talk will focus on the role of tribal higher education in the process of rebuilding tribal nations.

Dr. Gipp’s invitation to speak came at the recommendation of Senator Barack Obama. He was notified in a letter from Howard Dean of the Democratic National Convention Committee.

We are honored to have Dr. Gipp speak at this presitgious event about the important issue of tribal college education!

Monday, August 18, 2008

An Obligation to End High-School Drop-Outs

Gail Torreano, president of AT&T Michigan, recently wrote in the Detroit Free Press about the nation's drop-out problem, especially among African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students.

"Dropping out is not a victimless choice affecting just the person who decides to leave school," she says. "That choice impacts each and every one of us. Studies have shown that students who are unprepared to enter college cost the economy $3.7 billion annually in lost earnings and remedial education."

AT&T has partnered with the United Way to create a four-year, $100 million program focused on high school retention and workplace readiness. The reason? Statistics show that high school drop-outs are more likely to be jobless, poor, have health problems, or be incarcerated.

Similar partnerships are necessary in Indian Country between corporations, the tribal colleges, and schools. But the task needs to begin before high school, starting as early as elementary school. Children need to see that college is an option, and internalize the idea that they can succeed. It's our job to start this dialog, for the seven generations.