About Aaniiih Nakoda College

Aaniiih Nakoda College (ANC) is a tribally controlled college located on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northcentral Montana. The college was chartered in 1983 by the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council (FBICC), which serves as the governing body of the Aaniinen (White Clay People, also known as Gros Ventre) and Nakoda (Assiniboine) nations of the Fort Belknap reservation. Originally established as Fort Belknap College, the college officially changed its name to Aaniiih Nakoda College in a historic ceremony that took place on September 21, 2011.

Prior to 1983, Aaniiih Nakoda College operated as the Fort Belknap Resident Center of the College of Great Falls (1980-1982) and as a satellite campus of Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Montana (1982-1983). After receiving its official charter from the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council, ANC operated as a branch of Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, until 1987, when the college gained candidacy status to pursue accreditation. In 1993, Aaniiih Nakoda College gained accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. ANC’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in June 2017.

The Fort Belknap Indian Community Council chartered Aaniiih Nakoda College on November 7, 1983, as a public, non-profit corporation for the purpose of providing post-secondary educational opportunities for residents of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and surrounding communities. College founders recognized that off-reservation educational opportunities available at that time were not adequately meeting the needs and interests of the vast majority of Fort Belknap community members. They envisioned Aaniiih Nakoda College as a tool to help rectify more than 100 years of substandard education, address generations of economic depression and associated social ills, and provide for the maintenance and revitalization of Aaniiih and Nakoda cultures. In keeping with this vision, they established Aaniiih Nakoda College to provide quality postsecondary education in a manner that would effectively address local needs and interests, reflect the lifeways and world views of the Aaniinen and Nakoda nations, and create an educational environment that would encourage and facilitate the success of students drawn from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and surrounding communities.

These founding purposes are clearly reflected in the following institutional mission statement: The mission of Aaniiih Nakoda College is to provide quality post-secondary education for the residents of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and surrounding communities. The college promotes individual and community development by maintaining and revitalizing the indigenous lifeways of the Aaniinen and Nakoda Tribes and by preparing students to succeed in an American technological society.

Consistent with this mission, Aaniiih Nakoda College offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology; Associate of Arts (A.A) in American Indian Studies, Business, Chemical Dependency Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Education, Human Services, and Liberal Arts; Associate of Science (A.S.) in Allied Health, Computer Information Systems, Environmental Science, and Nursing; and an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Industrial Trades. The college also offers one-year certificate programs in Health Science, Tribal Management, and Welding, as well as several short-term (less than one year) career and technical education certification programs.

Aaniiih Nakoda College is governed by an Indian-majority Board of Directors made up of six community members who represent the following constituencies: River District Gros Ventre, River District Assiniboine, Mountain District Gros Ventre, Mountain District Assiniboine, non-member residents, and ANC student government.