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The new Santee Student Center construction is underway!

March’s ground-breaking ceremony for the all new Santee Student Center meant more than construction. The new $1.3 million permanent facility will be located in the northeast part of Santee, across from the Episcopal Church. The architectural firm of English and Smart is working with Isanti Construction to complete the facility within 175 days. The new Santee Student Center will feature a single-level, 10,005-square-foot facility housing four classrooms, science lab, computer lab, Santee Public Library, a student lounge and five offices. The facility is funded by $300,000 from the Shakopee Mdewankton Nation and $1 million through a Department of Education Title III Construction grant.

The ground-breaking ceremony represents a strong commitment toward community development for the Santee Nation and the surrounding area communities. “After about 40 years in a tribal building, we will be in a college-owned facility,” stated our college president, Mike Oltrogge. Across Indian Country, a growing number of Native nations are working hard to reclaim control over their own affairs, create vibrant economies, revitalize their cultures and languages, and rebuild healthy societies -- all on their own terms. Our communities tend to have a small number of people to draw on, and talented citizens often are already wearing three or four hats. As an arm and a resource for the Nations we serve this new facility will attract many community members that will further enhance our determinations to advance cultural and educational opportunities in this area to grow our talent base. Education is critical for developing effective leaders, managers, and providing for our community’s cultural needs.

We are truly growing into an institution of excellence with guidance from our own citizens. It is the mission of the Nebraska Indian Community College to provide quality higher education and lifelong educational opportunities for Umonhon and Isanti and other learners. It is our hope you will support us in our efforts.