Tribal College Dances And Drums For New President - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Tribal College Dances And Drums For New President

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PABLO -

Salish Kootenai College celebrated the appointment of their new president Wednesday, November 20.

The procession started at 10:00 a.m., and students filled the stands to hear from the new president.

Robert DePoe was selected above two other candidates and was hired back in July.

"It's an honor to be a part of such a great institution, that has provided and affected so many families in this community," said DePoe.

Ki 'suk K'yuk'yit, that is the Kootenai greeting shared all around campus as part of the school's first ever formal inauguration of their third president.

"He's got a lot of energy, so I think the college is gong to do well," said Dr. Joseph McDonald, one of the school's founders.

DePoe leads a school with about a 1,000 students, more than half of whom are tribal members.

Dr. McDonald saw a need for the college 36 years ago.

"The success was really poor because… you wouldn't think it's such a big deal to go to a big school in Missoula, for somebody from Arlee or Elmo it was a tremendous step to do that and be successful," explained Dr. McDonald.

With a few weeks already under his belt, DePoe is wasting no time getting going.

"We're still organizing our administrative team. We just appointed a new vice president of academics, and so we'll be rolling out some more strategic goals and concrete goals as we meet together as a team," said DePoe.

Now, DePoe says they are looking to hire a new dean of students.

In his inauguration speech, DePoe said the week of November 17 will now be Founder's Week at the college.

It will be set aside to celebrate the school's beginning, back in 1976.

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