The Morongo Band of Mission Indians announced a $100,000 donation Monday to the California Indian Nations College.

The donation will go toward the college’s $3 million fundraising effort for ongoing operations. The campaign, which began in April, has raised $630,374 and aims to reach $1 million by Dec. 30.

CINC is working to become the first fully accredited tribal college in California to offer two-year degrees, officials said.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for investing in the future of Native students and for the tribe’s ongoing commitment to supporting the academic success of Native people everywhere,” Celeste Townsend, CINC’s president, said in a statement. “This gift allows us to continue our mission to provide a culturally responsive academic curriculum rooted in Native American values.”

According to 2021 data from the Postsecondary Policy Institute, less than 10% of Native Americans receive an associate’s degree, and only 16% attain a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“The California Indian Nations College is a bold and visionary institution that seeks to reverse historic trends that have left Native students underrepresented in postsecondary education,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin said. “We firmly believe education is the great equalizer and we hope this contribution will help bring greater educational equity to Native people.”

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