Peter Comanor launches Nevada Tribal College Fund

Dr Peter L. Comanor, retired botanist and plant ecologist

Dr. Peter L. Comanor has made a major gift to establish the Nevada Tribal College Fund. The fund will support a working committee under the direction of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources with the initial goal of identifying the educational needs of traditionally underserved American Indians living in Nevada reservations and other parts of the Great Basin. Eventually, the committee plans to create and implement an American Indian curriculum at the University and assess the feasibility of creating a tribal college, or 1994 land grant institute, in Nevada. In 1994, Tribal Colleges and Universities obtained federal land-grant status under the Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act. The 1994 land-grant institutions are eligible for federal funds administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture.

In many ways tribal colleges are unique institutions of higher education that provide relevant and meaningful educational opportunities to tribal and non-tribal members. In addition, tribal colleges and universities build the human and organizational infrastructures that help to strengthen tribal communities. The concepts of sovereignty, self-determination, and tribal control of education are inherent in their approaches to learning that integrate economic, social, political, and wellness development using tribal cultures as critical elements in improving the quality of life for Native peoples.

There are four major tribal groups located in Nevada, the Washeshu (Washoe), Numa (Northern Paiute), Newe (Western Shoshone), and the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute). 

Dr. Comanor, who is a retired department of Biology plant ecologist, and has been a supporter of student scholarships at the University for over a decade.

To learn more about supporting Nevada Tribal College Fund or other CABNR programs and projects, please contact Ralph Phillips, director of development, (775) 784-4390 or
rphillips@unr.edu.