Study shows economic impact of ND tribal colleges

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Research from North Dakota State University shows the state’s five tribal colleges have contributed more than $190 million to the state’s economy during fiscal year 2016.

The university’s study also included the social and economic effects of education, The Bismarck Tribune reported. It’s the second study of its kind to be completed by the university.

The North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges ordered the study to measure the combined impact of the state’s tribal colleges. Those colleges include Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College and United Tribes Technical College.

University researchers studied the state and local economic impacts using the colleges’ operations expenditures and student spending.

“The importance of this is that we’re able to quantify the economic contribution of these institutes of higher education on the economy,” said Nancy Hodur, one of the researchers. “People are always interested in knowing what that number is just to use that as another metric of the importance of the tribal colleges and all the colleges and universities in North Dakota.”

Tribal colleges spent a combined total of $65.1 million and provided more than 800 jobs, the report said.

“It’s important, especially as we try to build relationships with the Bismarck-Mandan community,” said Leander McDonald, president of United Tribes Technical College. “What I was hearing when I got here and I continued to hear in meetings that I attended, (was) that people have never been out here to United Tribes. And so, that goal of help recognizing our contributions to the community and the need for others to become more informed on exactly what we do.”