Office of the President
President Ginny Carney
Faculty, Staff, Students, Friends:
Welcome to Leech Lake Tribal College. Within this website you will learn about the great work and success that is happening on our campus. In addition to top notch faculty teaching totally accredited classes and courses, we have a remarkable staff that goes out of their way to make sure students get the most out of their stay at Leech Lake Tribal College.
As the President of Leech Lake Tribal College, I have the opportunity to tell you about some of the many accomplishments of the college. As our mission states, we combine quality higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values. Based on the history, language, culture and traditions of the Anishinaabeg, we offer Ojibwe language and history classes, provide lunches to everyone at the college each Monday, have regular pipe ceremonies, have sweat lodge ceremonies close by, facilitate Big Drum Ceremonies at the college, and feast our drum every fall and spring. This summer you will be seeing some gardens being planted with many types of vegetables and fruits at the college. We plan to offer classes to the public on how to plant and care for your own gardens. Fresh vegetables and fruit are simply the best. You can save a lot of money by planting and harvesting your own food versus buying everything from a store.
This past December (2014), Leech Lake Tribal College was invited to the “College Opportunity Summit” in Washington, DC. The Summit was hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Leech Lake Tribal College was the only tribal college invited to represent a consortium of Tribal Colleges (Red Lake Nation, White Earth Tribal and Community College, Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College) to the Summit and it was a privilege to attend. Leech Lake Tribal College was invited because we have come to the attention of Washington officials for the work we are doing serving underrepresented students. We committed to increasing graduation rates by 20% by 2020. Leech Lake Tribal College has been selected as one of only 4 organizations to be selected for The Outstanding Non-Profit Award recipient for 2015 by the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls, Minnesota. The selection of our college for this award was based on our Print Shop and how we could expand it to better serve the entire service region we are in rather than just our college.
In August of 2014, Leech Lake Tribal College became a commercial tobacco free campus. Commercial tobacco is defined as tobacco products such as cigarettes and not the sacred and indigenous uses of tobacco practiced by Native American communities. This Tobacco Free Policy will in no way prohibit the use of traditional/ceremonial/sacred use of tobacco or infringe in any manner on any tobacco cultivation or harvesting for spiritual and ceremonial use. Leech Lake Tribal College became the first post-secondary institution in the State of Minnesota and the first tribal college in the United States to become a partner for the “Healthy Campus Eating Initiative” convening in Washington, DC hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in February 2015. Our college was invited to partner because of the outstanding work being done by the staff in our Wellness Center. By partnering with the Healthy Campus Eating Initiative, Leech Lake Tribal College pledges to commit to 23 healthy initiatives over the next three years for the betterment of our faculty, staff and students.
Our new Library opened in February. It is a state of the art building that is open to our faculty, staff, students, and to the general public. The “Groundbreaking Ceremony” for the new Library was held on March 7, 2015. In addition to Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Representatives and Minnesota State Legislators, a variety of public figures and many citizens and residents throughout our service region attended. The Library is a beautiful addition to this awesome college. Our old Library was 800 square feet; our new one is 8000 square feet. Being able to showcase the state of the art facility will be used as a recruitment and retention tool. Our student retention rates have increased from 31% two years ago to 54% this year thanks to concerted efforts of our Student Services staff.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students I invite you to visit our campus sometime. You will be amazed at the great work going on here.
Dr. Ginny Carney
President, Leech Lake Tribal College