Leech Lake Tribal College. A Culture of Success


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Leech Lake Tribal College. A Culture of Success

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LLTC Library under construction

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Leech Lake Tribal College Class of 2014

Leech Lake Tribal College provides quality higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values.

Those familiar with tribal colleges often refer to them as "underfunded miracles." Despite the fact that colleges like Leech Lake Tribal College receive far less funding than other institutions of higher education (only about $5500 per student, less than what was originally authorized back in 1978!), they have grown and thrived, overcoming long odds to impact the lives of their students.

The work of Leech Lake Tribal College is built around the seven traditional Anishinaabe values: * Dabasendizowin (humility) * Debwewin (truth) * Zoongide'iwin (courage) * Gwayakwaadiziwin (honesty) * Manaaji'idiwin (respect) * Zaagi'idiwin (love) * Nibwaakaawin (wisdom) It is easy to see how an emphasis on adherence to traditional Ojibwe values, along with a strong academic foundation, provides what is needed for these students to break the chain of poverty and hopelessness that has too long plagued the Leech Lake Reservation.

Since receiving full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in 2006, enrollment at Leech Lake Tribal College has grown, as has the size of its graduating classes. Students from families who had never considered college an option are now building on their LLTC experience and excelling in bachelors degree programs including Pre-Med, Biology, and Nursing, among others. What makes this so important is not only the impact that Leech Lake Tribal College has on the current group of students, but also the fact that this generation of success is changing expectations in the Leech Lake area. LLTC graduates EXPECT their children to go to college, where before it was a rarity.

Though it has enjoyed remarkable success in its young history, Leech Lake Tribal College faces significant financial hurdles to its continued growth. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and organizations like the American Indian College fund give generously to scholarship programs, but with the vast majority of LLTC students coming from families with income below the federal poverty threshold, there is still a great unmet need.

In addition to scholarship funding, Leech Lake Tribal College is seeking funds to build a new library and cultural archive. The current LLTC library is only 915 square feet, and is swamped by thousands of visits each month. The college recently received a terrific donation of nearly 3,000 books, but with the limited shelf space available, can only showcase a portion of the collection at a time.

Construction began on the new library on September 30,2013, but we still have a gap left to bridge on complete the funding needed. We need your support to complete the project and make this dream a reality.

We hope that you will join us in our vision for Leech Lake Tribal College, and in support of student success here. Please contact the LLTC Advancement Office at 218-335-4262 or bill.blackwell@lltc.edu to learn more about the college's work and to hear student success stories.

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Organization Information

6945 Littlewolf Road NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633




Leech Lake Tribal College provides quality higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values.

EIN: 753061667

Reports: Guidestar


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