Why Give to LLTC?
Those familiar with tribal colleges often refer to them as "underfunded miracles." Despite the fact that colleges like LLTC 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 & 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 & 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 LLTC 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.
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 218-335-4200 to learn more about the college's work and to hear student success stories.
STUDENT SUCCESS STORY
Liberal Education STEM, Class of 2018
Vivianna is a current LLTC student who isn’t waiting until she graduates to positively impact her community. Growing up in foster care, Vivianna was never really able to grasp her culture and its importance. She chose Leech Lake Tribal College because she wanted to be more connected to her culture.
During her time at LLTC she has excelled and demonstrated her passion for the health and well-being of the community. In the Fall of 2016, Vivianna was part of a group that traveled to a conference for youth foster children in Washington, D.C. On the way home from the conference, she and several others started writing the first draft of the foster care sibling bill of rights, which creates guidelines in state law to keep siblings placed together. In May 2018, Vivianna was a part of the final push to pass the bill into law in the Minnesota State Legislature. She is now working to draft a boarder foster children bill of rights, which has passed in other states.
Vivianna shared, “Leech Lake Tribal College has shown me how important my being is. I am important, we all are valuable, no matter our own thoughts of ourselves. That has given me the confidence to pursue my goals. My plans after college vary from day to day. Something that never changes, however, is my determination to change the world.”