Published on November 19, 2012 by Amy
Blackfeet Community College is a community college located on the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, Montana.
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In October, 1974, the 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 1960s, 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. The 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 December 1976, the Blackfeet Board of Regents, under auspices of the Blackfeet Tribe, entered into an agreement with Flathead Valley Community College of Kalispell, Montana, to offer extension courses on the reservation.
After the formalization of the Blackfeet Community College Charter and By-laws in 1976, the Extension Center courses at Browning continued to grow, with Department of Education, Title III funds (developing institutions), as the primary financial resource. The college grew rapidly in student population, motivating the college to seek the establishment of an independent institution. Planning and implementation of educational programs and services in this period provided the stimulus for the Blackfeet Board of Regents, college personnel and community members to move from programming to institutionalization.