Tribal College Debate Program

Grant Description

Montana is rich with economics, environmental, and land use policy debates. Many of these debates are centered on the Native American reservations in Montana. A program that allows for critical discourse about these controversies will help enhance the education of the students and citizens on these reservations. A local Montana debate program will allow for this civil engagement and create an expansive debate education network in the region.

Tribal community colleges in Montana provide close geographic access for students from the reservations to further their education. This Tribal College Debate (TCD) Program will provide a sustainable program of debate education and professional speaking workshops at tribal colleges in Montana. Debate provides a platform for students to refine their analytical-thinking and professional-speaking skills as they prepare for their future careers in addition to providing a platform for discussion of the political debates that confront these areas.

Native American reservations are the center of political discussion in Montana. A few issues that are prevalent in Montana include the Keystone Pipeline, oil extraction, coal mining, transportation, wolf hunting, and the engagement of local and federal government during land use decisions. The Native American reservations add another level of authority to the decision-making process. These issues are important to the livelihood of the state, the nation, and the citizens that live on the reservations. A debate program at these tribal colleges will allow discussion of these prevalent controversial issues for a greater understanding of the consequences of the decisions that are made for the region.

The discourse surrounding these controversial issues on Native American reservations are often conducted within the existing government structure on the reservation and the state. A debate program that allows for discussion of these issues will enable students and citizens to explore both sides of the controversial questions to gain a better understanding of the policy implications. The TCD Program will provide a needed platform for civic engagement in these communities.

The TCD Program is a great opportunity to create a network of debate and civil engagement between colleges that currently do not have an established relationship. In addition, this program will allow students to become active citizens in controversial decisions that are made in their communities.

For more information about the Tribal College Debate program, please visit their website.