Bacone College appears to be successfully continuing down a new path, and we hope their efforts continue to benefit students.
Because, ultimately, it's about them. It's about learning new skills, seeking a degree in a field you love, finding your way in life.
By way of a charter through the Osage Nation, the college has taken another step in becoming a Title I public tribal college under the American Indian Higher Education Consortium — an avenue chosen to keep the historic doors of Bacone College open. The school had been struggling with financial issues, and the Title I distinction will provide much-needed funding.
"This movement of becoming a public tribal college allows tribes ownership in the education of our students while building our capacity to gain stable funding from the federal government in fulfillment of its trust responsibility to educate American Indian students," said Bacone President Dr. Ferlin Clark in a recent announcement.
The college entered a similar partnership with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma that began in April.
Osage Congressman John Maker sponsored the bill to charter Bacone College.
"Whenever you can do something for all Indian people, then you are doing a great thing," Maker said. "This is one of those, we are not just helping our Osage people, but we are helping all Indian people.”
We agree, but we think it will benefit all of Muskogee, as well.