Blackfeet Community College
“Remember our Past…Build our Future.”
In October of 1974, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council chartered the Blackfeet Community College by Executive Action to, “. . . provide post-secondary and higher educational services . . .” to the residents of the Blackfeet Nation and surrounding communities. The impetus for this action grew from early tribal efforts to provide an educational opportunity to its residents in a physically, climatically and culturally isolated area.
The Blackfeet Tribe, in its relationship with the federal government as a sovereign Indian nation, is recognized as a nation within a nation through treaties, laws and executive orders. In the late 1960’s federal programs and laws resulted from tribal efforts to promote the health, education and welfare of their people. The Indian Education Act of 1972 and Office of Economic Opportunity programs of the 1964 Act provided new resources for tribes to provide adult education. The Blackfeet Tribe took advantage of these programs in its quest to develop itself economically and promote self-sufficiency with the idea that the development of human resources is integral to the improvement of the Blackfeet Tribe.
In 1972 the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council established a 10-year comprehensive plan for the Blackfeet Nation. Needs and goals were identified through needs assessments and studies, done in conjunction with the implementation of federal programs. The plan identified the need for a community college or vocational/technical school, new facilities and educational programs.
In 1976 the Blackfeet Board of Tribal Educators, under the auspices of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, entered into an agreement with Flathead Valley Community College of Kalispell, Montana, to offer extension courses on the reservation. Flathead Valley Community College, via a Title III Strengthening Institutions grant, then established an extension center on the Blackfeet Reservation. Coordinators were subsequently hired to supervise and implement programs and courses. Students at Blackfeet Community College earned credits from Flathead Valley Community College since Blackfeet Community College was not an independent accredited entity.
In early 1979 the Blackfeet Board of Regents took action to become an independent institution. The college sought candidacy status for accreditation from the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Candidacy status was granted by the NWASC Commission on Colleges in December of 1979. In 1980 Blackfeet Community College ended a beneficial relationship with Flathead Valley Community College and began serving students as a separate institution. This new status enabled Blackfeet Community College to more closely tailor its offerings to the needs and interests of local students. On December 11, 1985 Blackfeet Community College received accreditation. The college’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in 2000 after an extensive self-study review process.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Blackfeet Community College has developed objectives and purposes based on the goals of the Blackfeet Tribe, as set forth in the Blackfeet Community College Tribal Charter.
The Blackfeet Tribe, according to the comprehensive educational plan, has identified the following goals:
- Promote educational opportunities
- Increase the educational level (sic)
- Advance the knowledge and pride in Blackfeet heritage
- Improve tribal management
- Provide community facilities for advancement in education and other tribal institutions
- Provide cultural and recreational opportunities for the residents
The Blackfeet Community College charter indicated the purpose of the college in this manner: “Pursuant to the authority granted by Article VI. Section (h) of the constitution of the Blackfeet Tribe, The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council hereby charters a public non-profit corporation exclusively to provide post-secondary and higher educational programs by bringing to the reservation programs from other institutions and/or by establishing and operating institutions on the Blackfeet Nation granting post-secondary degrees and certificates.”
Blackfeet Community College is operated exclusively for non-profit purposes to provide post-secondary and higher educational services to the community, and to provide cultural, social and recreational services that are sensitive to the varying community needs.
It is the vision of Blackfeet Community College to strengthen and enrich our community through quality education integrating the Nii-tsi-ta-pi world of knowledge.
In recognition of the fact that we all have values that are shaped and developed through our interactions with others, and that these values shape our thoughts and actions, Blackfeet Community College students, staff, and Board of Trustees adopt the following core values:
- Tsi-ksi-ka-ta-pi-wa-tsin –Blackfeet Way of Knowing: Blackfeet culture/spirituality in philosophy, thought, and action
- Nin-na-wa-tsin – Being a Leader: Professionalism, integrity, and responsibility in human interaction
- Ini-yimm – Respect: Respect for ones self, all other people, all ideas and each thing in the natural world.
- Ni-ta-pi-pa-ta-pi-tsin – Living in a Good Way: Honest in all thoughts and actions.
- Ii-yi-kah-kii-ma-tsin – Trying Hard: Commitment, Dedication, Sincerity in the pursuit of all our goals.
- Aoh-kan-otah-tomo – Accepting Everyone: Embracing the unique talents and contributions of each individual.
- Ii-ta-mii-pa-ta-pi-yoip – Happy Living: Humor, laughter and enjoyment of life.
WE ARE COMMITTED to ensuring that all of these values are incorporated into all that we do, fulfilling the Vision and Mission of Blackfeet Community College.
The purpose of Blackfeet Community College is to provide the Blackfeet Nation and our “universal community” access to quality educational programs that prepare students for achievement in higher education, meaningful employment, basic skills instruction, and community education, while integrating the Blackfeet culture and language.
- Access – providing access to all members of the community’s service district who desire education and training enabling them to pursue life-long educational opportunities.
- Achievement in higher education – providing opportunity for students to earn academic degrees and supporting their transfer to upper division higher education institutions.
- Meaningful employment – providing opportunity for students to earn degrees and certificates that would qualify them to gain meaningful employment.
- Basic skills – providing students with programs and courses that will increase their likelihood of academic success.
- Continuing education – providing the community with courses and programs that enrich community life and support line-long education.
- Integrating Blackfeet culture and language – providing programs and courses that sustain the past and promote the vitality of the Blackfeet Nation’s future.
Blackfeet Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Anyone having questions concerning accreditation should contact:
Blackfeet Community College
President, P.O. Box 819, Browning, MT 59417, (406) 338-5441
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Ave NE, Suite 100, Redmond, WA 98052.