During their meeting Thursday, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly signed a memorandum of understanding that expands collaboration and support between the agencies through shared resources, expertise and technical assistance to Tribal Education Departments involved in Oklahoma higher education initiatives.
“The State Regents and TEDNA share a mutual interest in improving educational opportunities and outcomes for American Indian and Alaskan native students,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The State Regents are proud to formalize this partnership with TEDNA to further assist our state’s Tribal Education Departments as they seek to enhance higher education programs and services.”
Founded in 2003 through funding from the U.S. Department of Education to the Native American Rights Fund, TEDNA is an independent national non-profit organization that retains active membership of Tribal Education Departments and Tribal Education Agencies. The organization seeks to foster effective relationships with other governmental and educational agencies and organizations; facilitate communication and cultivate consensus among members by providing current, accurate and pertinent information and support; and encourage goals for its students, families and communities.
“The promise that our Native American communities have access to higher education is now becoming a reality through this partnership with the State Regents,” said U.S. Congressman Tom Cole. “This collaboration will open the necessary doors and build the fundamental resources to expand and ensure success for college-educated Native Americans. I am proud to support this initiative, and I look forward to witnessing its success.”
TEDNA supports higher education programs that provide opportunities for tribal nation populations, and the partnership agreement provides the framework for a concerted effort to promote college degree completion. TEDNA, the State Regents and Oklahoma institutions will continue to work collaboratively to ensure academic and social support resources are available to members of sovereign nations headquartered in Oklahoma.
“Partnering with the State Regents through the Reach Higher program is a great opportunity for Tribal nations and their education departments,” said Quinton Roman Nose, executive director of TEDNA. “The partnership ultimately works toward overcoming re-enrollment barriers affecting Native American students in higher education. This is one of many monumental steps that will benefit the future of Oklahoma and Indian Country. TEDNA is especially proud to engage with the OSRHE on such a historic collaboration.”