Six tribal colleges receive $160K in ecoAmbassador grants

A recycling project at Tohono O’odham Community College in Arizona. Photo by TCC via AIHEC

Six tribal colleges are sharing in $160,000 in grants from the Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program.

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency for the program. The grants help tribal colleges and university (TCU) students address the unique ecological needs in their communities.

"Each ecoAmabassador project is rooted in tribal culture and community need or aspiration, and in addressing that need or working toward that goal, TCU students are empowered to create positive change," AIHEC President and CEO Carrie L. Billy said in a press release. "They learn new research skills and through use of those skills, they rediscover important lessons from their tribe's history, lands, and ways of knowing. Their own identity is strengthened."

The list of recipients and their projects follows:
Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS - $35,000
The HINU Tribal ecoAmbassador project will focus on food waste reduction in the campus cafeteria, as well as, a campus-wide effort to landscape the campus with a focus on planting traditional polyculture vegetable gardens, native Kansas prairie grasses, wild flowers, shrubs and fruit bearing trees.

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Baraga, MI - $35,000
The KBOCC Tribal ecoAmbassador project will continue and expand water temperature profiling efforts in habitats of local fish management species as part of the implementation of best-management practices for fisheries of the Lake Superior region.

Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT - $35,000
The SKC Tribal ecoAmbassador project will locate and quantify arsenic concentrations in well water on CSKT land and inform community members if wells are found with elevated arsenic levels and how to access safe drinking water.

Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND - $35,000
The TMCC Tribal ecoAmbassador project will research recreational activities in Tribal lakes to determine if such activities lead to water contamination resulting in a hazardous environment for invertebrate organisms, specifically leech.

Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM - $10,000
The IAIA Tribal ecoAmbassador project will use art and permaculture to enhance public spaces and to create restoration and passive water harvesting systems and bio-retention rain gardens.

Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA - $10,000
The NWIC Tribal ecoAmbassador project, Rooted Relationships, builds upon previous efforts at Northwest Indian College to expand and enhance facilities, materials and instruction concerning the interrelation of people, plants and wellness.

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