A third tribe has chartered Bacone College as the four-year private institution positions itself to become a four-year public college with tribal status.
The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians voted Thursday to charter Bacone. The Otoe-Missourias are among the smaller tribes in Oklahoma, but most of its nearly 3,300 citizens live in the state, according to a Bacone press release.
“This partnership is important in our effort to provide higher educational opportunities for our students,” Tribal Council Chairman John R. Shotton said in a statement. “Education is a key that we believe will open many doors of opportunities for our students and our Otoe-Missouria people.”
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians chartered Bacone in April, and the Osage Nation did so in June. There are 37 tribal colleges and universities established by a tribe or the federal government to provide access to higher education for American Indians.
Bacone President Ferlin Clark hopes to go before the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s subcommittee on membership and accreditation and then its full board by October with its growing consortium of tribal charters. Clark said becoming a tribal college will allow tribes to have ownership of education of their students, provide Bacone stable funding and open up federal grant opportunities.
“We appreciate the Otoe-Missouria Tribe’s leadership in forming a consortium of Oklahoma tribes to transform Bacone College into a Tribal College,” Clark said in a statement. “The leadership of our tribes uniting to help us become a tribal college will help sustain Bacone College into the long-term future, it’s good medicine.”
The tribe is based in Red Rock, north of Stillwater.
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