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MPC Universities Collaborate in Northern Tribal Technical Assistance Center

Posted: Nov 8, 2022

North Dakota State University will head a consortium that includes South Dakota State University, Montana State University, and the University of Wyoming in providing transportation outreach and technical assistance to tribes across the Upper Great Plains and Intermountain West.

As part of its Tribal Technical Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a grant with a potential value of $2,250,000 during the next five years to the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU to create the Northern Tribal Technical Assistance Program. The program will work with American Indian tribal governments to build tribal capacity in program management, grow the tribal workforce, cultivate and coordinate partnerships, facilitate technology transfer and the implementation of innovations, and share results of similar initiatives across the country. The initial grant is for just over $600,000 for two years with the potential for extensions and expansion over the next five years.

"The vision for this program nationally is to build capacity for tribes to administer and manage their own transportation programs and systems," UGPTI Director Denver Tolliver said. "That approach describes what we're already doing in our existing outreach. Partners in each of these states in the region puts us closer to each of the tribes and makes this effort much more cost effective." The Northern Tribal Technical Assistance Center will serve the BIA's Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions, which includes Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The funds will be shared by the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Wyoming. Each of those universities, along with NDSU/UGPTI, already has an FHWA-funded Local Technical Assistance Program that provides transportation outreach to local units of government. "That background and experience in transportation outreach will be invaluable to the tribal effort," Tolliver said.

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NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050