CMC board grants in-district tuition to Northern Ute Nation |

CMC board grants in-district tuition to Northern Ute Nation

The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees voted unanimously on Friday to give Northern Utes in-district tuition, regardless of residency.The board also approved a package of tuition increases for the college.Bill Kight, a Forest Service archaeologist who works closely with the Northern Ute Nation and CMC, attended the meeting, and applauded the trustees’ decision to give Northern Utes a tuition break.”It opens the door for the opportunity of inclusion for the Ute people,” Kight said after the meeting.The Northern Ute Nation is headquartered at Fort Duchesne in northeast Utah. A typical full-time, out-of-state Northern Ute would save approximately $5,300 per year under the new tuition structure, while an in-state Northern Ute would save approximately $840.Northern Ute representatives at Fort Duchesne were not available for comment.Northern Ute tribes were driven from western Colorado and put on reservations in Utah following the Meeker Massacre in 1879.Kight and the Forest Service have been working with Northern Utes for several years, and one goal is to create opportunities for them to return to western Colorado.The first project, in the late 1980s, was the identification of the Ute Trail on the Flat Tops north of Glenwood Springs. Kight said the second project created a youth camp for Utes.The tuition change came after meetings between Kight, three Ute bands and CMC last May.”We asked (each other) about our next project,” Kight said. “Eventually we’d like to have an Indian college but in the meantime, CMC wants to work with all three tribes.”The three Northern Ute bands at Fort Duchesne are the White River, Uncompahgre and Uintah.A memo to trustees from the CMC president’s office said, “It has long been the desire of Colorado Mountain College to develop a relationship with the local Ute Nation. Our District occupies indigenous tribal lands and is adjacent to present day reservations.”This relationship would be two fold. First being offer to Northern Ute students the opportunity to attend our College at in-district rates. Second, the Ute Nation in exchange would help the College develop, administer and sustain a native American Studies Program with cultural exchange opportunities.”At Friday’s trustees meeting, the board also increased tuitions for the next school year as follows:-In-district: $41 per credit hour ($40 currently);-In-state: $69 ($66 currently);-Out-of-state: $220 ($215 currently);-Industry: $82 ($80 currently);-Out-of-state modified (pertaining to second home owners): $82 ($80 currently).College spokesperson Joe Marquez said the increases would raise an extra $110,000 per year.

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