Students enrolled in the California Tribal College’s Certificate Program in Tribal Leadership and Governance take part in a panel discussion during a class session at the offices of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in Brooks, CA.)(Photo Credit: Robert Durell)
BROOKS, CALIFORNIA – The California Tribal College has completed its first education program, issuing certificates to 47 students from 22 tribes. The Certificate Program in Tribal Leadership and Governance was held at the offices of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in Brooks, CA from July 6 through July 10.
“The many tribes from across California represented among the students at this program validate the real interest and need for a tribal college in California,” said Dennis Hendricks, Council Member of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. “There is so much we can learn through programs like these and from each other.”
The weeklong course featured instruction by professionals in tribal law, governance and native culture and preservation and was tailored for current and aspiring tribal leaders as well as tribal employees. Subjects included Tribal Council Responsibilities, Federal Indian Law and Tribal Sovereignty, and Sovereign Immunity.
“We need our tribal members and employees to be well-prepared in this very competitive world where tribes are now doing so much,” said Susan Masten, Vice Chair of the Yurok Tribe. “This is just the beginning of what is possible.”
The Certificate Program was the first offering of the new California Tribal College (CTC), a cooperative effort of more than 50 leading California tribes and native organizations.
“This was an important starting point,” said Charles Martin, Tribal Council Member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and a member of the CTC’s Interim Board of Regents. “Achieving our big vision for a tribal college will require incremental steps, tightly focused on a program and infrastructure to truly serve tribal communities.”
Shyanne Kintano, a certificate student and member of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, also focused on benefits for coming generations saying, “this is all about my children and all children.”
The CTC will provide Native Americans unique higher education opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to succeed professionally and as tribal leaders. Classroom and online courses will be offered in certificate and degree programs that incorporate tribal history, culture and language as core elements.
“The cooperative effort and shared vision for a California Tribal College are coming together,” said Leland Kinter, Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman and Interim President of the CTC. “The successful completion of this inaugural credential program – with such strong support and enthusiastic participation – is an important milestone in making our college a reality.”