Redlands Community College President Jena Marr and Kiowa Chairman Lawrence SpottedBird sign a memorandum of understanding that enhances support for high school and Redlands students who are tribal citizens and establishes a Kiowa language course at the college. Joining them are (l-r) Lexus Halfred, Redlands student engagement specialist; Jill Burgess, Redlands director of the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) Part F Grant; Marr; SpottedBird; Lindy Waters, executive director of education for the Kiowa Tribe; and Dr. Toni Tsatoke-Mule, director of the Kiowa Department of Higher Education.
Through an agreement with the Kiowa Tribe, Redlands Community College will begin offering a Kiowa language course next Fall.
Redlands Community College President Jena Marr recently met with Lawrence SpottedBird, chairman of the Kiowa Tribe, to formalize the agreement that also includes initiatives designed to generate awareness of the American Indian culture as well as to enhance programs that encourage and support high school student tribal members who are interested in pursuing a college degree.
“We value our tribal partners and are excited about this new collaboration,” Marr said, “We look forward to working with Chairman SpottedBird’s education team to increase support for students who are citizens of the Kiowa Tribe. And, as an institution that strives to provide a rich academic environment, Redlands is proud to expand the opportunities for all of students to learn the Kiowa language and culture.”
The collaboration was developed through the college’s Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) Part F Grant, a five-year grant totaling $2.06 million dollars awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The grant has improved the institution’s capacity to increase the participation, academic success and graduation of Native American and low-income students, as well as increased the college’s capacity to offer high-quality digital learning and enhance mental health resources for students.