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NICC Attends the Winter AIHEC meeting in Washington, DC

Nebraska Indian Community College attended the Winter AIHEC meeting in Washington, DC from February 9-13, 2015.  During the Winter Meeting, those representing the tribal colleges met with state senators and representatives to lobby for current legislation that will support Native American education and tribal colleges.  Those attending from NICC were Mike Oltrogge, President; Mary Johnson, Director of Development; and four students, Sarah Zavala, Rose Buffalo Chief, Falon Torrez, and Siqoyia Hoving.  The NICC group met with staff from both senators’ offices as well as the 3 representatives’ offices.  Senator Deb Fischer was present for the meeting and the students had the opportunity to meet  Sen. Sasse and Rep. Fortenberry after the meetings.  They were in hearings and unable to sit in on NICC’s meeting with the staffers.  During the meetings, the group lobbied for support for current legislation that will continue to fund tribal colleges and assist other programs for the colleges.  The students also had the opportunity to talk about their experiences as tribal college students and the importance of this type of educational opportunity for Native Americans.

Also, during the week-long meeting, those present were able to attend presentations by representatives from the Department of Education, who spoke on important changes coming that may affect all colleges and universities and had the opportunity to ask questions on how these could impact tribal colleges specifically.  Other speakers included those from the Bureau of Indian Education and other AIHEC staff.  The AIHEC Student Congress (ASC) also met during the week for their quarterly meeting.  NICC has two students who sit on the ASC:  Sarah Zavala, Historian; and Falon Torrez, Midwest Representative.   

At the National Museum of American Indian







With Senator Deb Fischer












With Sen. Sasse













With Congressman Fortenberry