August 29, 2022


Tracey Bauer, Executive Director
(701) 989-1716


Bismarck, ND—

There are five tribal colleges in North Dakota who formed the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges (NDATC) in 1994 with the purpose of increasing services to students and to improve relations with the North Dakota University System. In updating its strategic plan in the fall of 2021, NDATC is now the North Dakota Tribal College System (NDTCS). The reason for the name change is to signify the interconnectedness of the five tribal colleges working together to provide more choice and opportunities to students as they pursue training, academic credentials, and employment.

The Board of Directors is comprised of Presidents from each of North Dakota’s five Tribal Colleges:

  • Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC), Dr. Donna Brown, Ed.D; Board Chair;
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC), Dr. Twyla Baker, Ph.D; Vice-Chair;
  • United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), Dr. Leander McDonald, Ph.D; Secretary;
  • Sitting Bull College (SBC), Dr. Laurel Vermillion, Ph.D; Treasurer; and
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC), Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Ph.D; Member AtLarge.

Along with the name change, NDTCS established a new logo and launched a website ( The new logo, designed by Rusty Gillette, features a war bonnet design with five feathers representing each of the five institutions.

Chartered by federally recognized Tribal governments, North Dakota’s tribal colleges have as their core mission, the teaching, learning, and preservation of each Tribe’s respective culture and language. Four of the five tribal colleges are public except for UTTC, which is considered private. All the tribal colleges are affordable, non-profit, post-secondary institutions accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the same as state post-secondary institutions. Anyone is
welcome to attend a tribal college and for the ND tribal colleges, approximately 10% of the students are non-Native.

Tribal colleges proactively collaborate with the North Dakota University System to enhance students’ academic experience that allows for seamless transfers. NDTCS leverages the higher education experience by sharing ideas and broadening networks and alliances, toward improving student outcomes. The focus is to help students and their communities thrive by assuring rigorous curricula and high-impact education practice. Higher education is a great investment and per the July 2020 Economic Impact Report, the ND tribal colleges added $145.1 million in income to the State’s economy. Expressed in terms of jobs, the five tribal colleges economic impact supported 1,995 jobs. Visit the NDTCS website for
the full report or the individual reports for each institution.

The tribal college presidents invite you to visit their campuses and to consider enrolling in classes. Please visit our website: for more information.

You can read the official pdf release here.