A new video, released this past weekend by the National Science Foundation, is spotlighting the role of research within tribally controlled colleges.
Focusing on student and faculty research supported by the NSF’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP), the twenty-minute documentary explores how tribal colleges “are providing acclaimed STEM leadership in education and research,” according to the NSF. The video, titled “A Best Kept Secret,” features research taking place within eight colleges, ranging from Northwest Indian College in Washington State, which is tracking toxins in shellfish, to Salish Kootenai College in Montana, where the effects of climate change are monitored in the productivity of huckleberry bushes. These and other studies support student learning while also promoting economic development and informed policy-making within tribal nations, according to the video.
Most tribal colleges are located in impoverished communities and all work with fewer resources than most mainstream colleges and universities. Additionally, many students also arrive with limited academic preparation. “In spite of that,” the NSF noted, “the TCUs are preparing their students for baccalaureate degrees, graduate studies, and to take their places as scientific resources for their people and the nation.”
The full video can be viewed here: