Strong supporter of Indian education
By CHERYL CRAZY BULL, Bellingham, Wash.
While the magnitude of the scandal surrounding Washington “uber-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff is yet to be fully realized, there appears to be a concerted effort by some to throw all politicians into the muck and mire in an effort to mitigate the offenses of those who are genuinely involved.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D.-N.D., longtime champion of American Indian issues in general and the nation’s tribal colleges and universities in particular, has been unfairly pulled into this unfortunate mess.
Sustained economic development requires a well-educated work force. North Dakota’s tribal colleges afford access to quality higher education opportunities for both Indian and non-Indian students from some of the poorest counties in the state. In fact, 90 percent of North Dakota tribal college students receive financial aid.
Dorgan recognizes that these institutions are producing the next generation of highly trained American Indian teachers, tribal leaders, nurses, computer programmers and other much-needed professionals.
The five North Dakota tribal colleges account for 88 percent of all associate degrees awarded to American Indian students in the state. Dorgan credits tribal colleges with laying a solid foundation for tribal economic growth with benefits for surrounding communities.We cannot allow the inflammatory antics of those seeking to mitigate the offenses of the truly guilty to taint the efforts of dedicated public servants and true champions of Indian issues, such as Dorgan.
(Crazy Bull is president of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, headquartered in Alexandria, Va. — Editor)
COMMENTS to this "OP-ED" included:
Abbe Buck, HighVizPR - HV Federal (former consultant TEAM ABRAMOFF) wrote on April 23, 2006 2:34 PM: "WHY ARE WE OUTSOURCING TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES if we can train our own Tribal people within the US Borders ala Lakota Technologies and CGS, as well as minorities, and those who want to live here from Mexico to take the same jobs and do the same work virtually that is done inIndia or China, but can do it and have an affordable cost of living index on the reservation? I seriously believe that Sen. Dorgan has the clout to help Crazy Bull do more with her lobby."
Barney wrote on April 23, 2006 11:02 AM:"Don't try to say that Sen. Dorgan was pulled into this matter - Dorgan and/or his team took the money - no questions asked - if he is being drawn into this its because of his own greed to take as much money as he can to get reelected - but the way, I think that if he should choose not to seek reelection he can keep any money he has collected (if I'm wrong I apologize), so he did this for personal gain. He could have given the money back long before it became public knowledge - but he didn't - so I have no sympathy for Mr. Dorgan!!! Dorgan's hands are not as clean as you think they are."
Kelly wrote on April 23, 2006 5:28 AM:"Yes Native American eduducation is very important. I feel that everything that can be done should be done. I think is a sham that a group of people should be singled out becuase of one person or a small group of people."