Tribal Colleges and Universities Integral to United States Success

Tribal Colleges and Universities Integral to United States Success

Melissa W.


Today is Indigenous Peoples Day in the US. It’s a day to honor and celebrate the resilience of Native Americans who occupied the nation first. 

Currently, there are 574 federally-recognized Indian Nations and 32 fully-accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States, according to The U.S. Department of Education. The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education has stated the following in regards to TCUs, “My Administration is also committed to improving educational opportunities for students attending TCUs. TCUs maintain, preserve, and restore Native languages and cultural traditions; offer a high quality college education; provide career and technical education, job training, and other career building programs; and often serve as anchors in some of the country’s poorest and most remote areas.” (Executive Order 13592)

According to The U.S. Department of Education, there are currently 30,000 full/part-time students attending a TCU. A total of 8.7% of American Indian and Alaska Native college students were attending a TCU. Additionally 78% of all TCU students are American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN). The U.S. Department of Education promotes the importance of TCUs to both students and the community. “TCUs are both integral and essential to their communities, creating environments that foster American Indian culture, languages, and traditions. They are often the only postsecondary institutions within some of our Nation’s poorest rural areas. TCUs serve a variety of people, from young adults to senior citizens, AI to non-American Indians. They also serve as community resources for crucial social services and add hope to communities that suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment.”

Below is a list of TCUs by state:


Ilisagvik College


​​Diné College

Tohono O’odham Community College


Haskell Indian Nations University


Bay Mills Community College

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College


​​Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Leech Lake Tribal College

White Earth Tribal and Community College


Blackfeet Community College

Chief Dull Knife College

Aaniiih Nakoda College

Fort Peck Community College

Little Big Horn College

Salish Kootenai College

Stone Child College


Nebraska Indian Community College

Little Priest Tribal College

New Mexico

Navajo Technical College

Institute of American Indian Arts 

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

North Dakota

​​Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Fort Berthold Community College

Sitting Bull College

Turtle Mountain Community College

United Tribes Technical College


College of the Muscogee Nation

Comanche Nation College

South Dakota

Oglala Lakota College

Sinte Gleska University

Sisseton Wahpeton College


​​Northwest Indian College


College of Menominee Nation

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College


Wind River Tribal College

Are you a current student or graduate of a TCU? Let us know in the comments! 


Cover Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash  

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