Friday, January 06, 2006

Let's Hear it for: Tribal College Libraries

You might not be aware of tribal colleges--institutions of higher education in the US, Canada, and Aotearoa-New Zealand. I've visited a few, including the
the Wananga o Raukawa in Otaki, Aotearoa-New Zealand; Leech Lake Tribal College (Minnesota); Haskell Indian Nations University (Kansas); Institute of American Indian Arts (New Mexico); Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College (Wisconsin); Northwest Indian College (Washington); and Tohono O'odham Community College (Arizona). Tribal college librarians in the US and Canada gather annually at the Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute, an event founded by retired librarian Kathy Kaya over ten years ago and continued by her colleague, Mary Ann Hanson, at Montana State University in Bozeman. Tribal librarians provide standard and unique services; many tribal libraries serve also as archives, museums, or public libraries. Some are staffed by tribal community members, members of other tribal communities, or by librarians of various backgrounds who share a desire to develop and expand much needed services. Most are faced with budget or other challenges. All try to infuse their work environments and leadership skills with a respect for the communities they serve.

For more information about tribal colleges see the AIHEC Website at