Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune announced today he is co-sponsoring legislation to provide technology grants for Native American colleges and other minority-serving institutions.

“These grants will help tribal colleges connect to today’s technology which, in turn, will help them find successful careers,” said Thune, R-SD. “There is a lopsided gap that exists between the opportunities available to minority serving institutions and those available to non-minority serving institutions.”

The Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2005 would provide up to $2.5 million per school in federal grants for minority serving institutions to upgrade their technology and telecommunications structure. The $250 million in grants may also be used to foster use of information technology to increase scientific, mathematical, engineering, and technology research, as well as provide educational services for technology degrees and educator training. In 2003 similar legislation was passed in the Senate 97-0, but it did not pass the House in the 108th Congress.

“It is important to me that we provide all South Dakota students with opportunities to succeed,” Thune said. “Because so many of today’s jobs are technology-related, the aim of this bill is to make sure all youth – regardless of race, religion or economic background – have the tools for success.”

Four of the 34 tribal colleges in the United States are located in South Dakota. They include SiTanka/Huron University, Oglala Lakota College, Sinte Gleska University, and Sisseton Wahpeton Community College.