History of United Tribes And Fort Lincoln
UTTC’s start is rooted in the vision and activism of tribal leaders in North Dakota in the 1960s. Faced with threats to their sovereignty as tribal nations, and the need for training and jobs development for their people, they joined together to form the United Tribes of North Dakota Development Corporation, chartered in 1968. This alliance became both a regional, intertribal organization and an intertribal training and education center controlled and operated by tribal government representatives. Their determined effort locally, and in the U.S. Congress, was successful in obtaining Fort Lincoln, the former military post south of Bismarck, as a training facility. Classes began at United Tribes Employment Training Center following a dedication program in September 1969.
The formation of United Tribes coincided with national discussions about shifting public policy toward “Indian self determination.” The college became the second institution in the country founded as part of the “tribal college movement,” the successful grassroots effort to establish tribally controlled higher education facilities. UTTC holds the distinction of being the first intertribally controlled and operated postsecondary vocational school in the nation. Modern educational buildings and equipment now combine with 100 year-old, repurposed military buildings, transforming the former government property.
Coming together as the tribes did proved the adage that “there is strength in numbers,” and showed the level of success when working together. It bonded them in the common cause of seeking solutions for tribal people on their own terms and conditions. In the 21st Century, North Dakota tribal leaders remain unified through this intertribal organization. United Tribes of North Dakota is an active organization with an influential voice among the Tribes, the Federal government and States on a wide range of public policy issues, not only in North Dakota but throughout Indian Country.
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