November 25, 2011

College opens Gadda-Hish Cultural Center

College opens Gadda-Hish Cultural Center
By Jerry W. Kram

Delvin Driver, Sr. is a soft spoken man. He quietly goes about his business teaching the Hidatsa language and traditions to a new generation.
As one of a rapidly diminishing group of elders of the MHA Nation who are fluent in the language of one of the three tribes, he is often called to give a prayer or blessing at the beginning of significant events in the area. Vice president of Native American Studies Alyce Spotted Bear said Driver was part of the bedrock of the program, even to the point of volunteering to teach adult Hidatsa language classes on his own time for no pay.
With this level of respect and dedication it is little surprise that the Cultural Center on the New Town campus was officially named the Gadda-Hish Cultural Center. Gadda-Hish is Driver’s Hidatsa name. In English it means crescent moon.
It was a day for new names as the Fort Berthold Community College announced it would now be known as Nu’eta, Hidatsa and Sahnish College and that the mascot of its soon to be instituted athletic teams would be the Arrows.
The naming of the Cultural Center came as NHS College held a grand opening for the newly renovated and expanded building. The Center was built in 2000 as a log building. Over the years the walls of the building developed splits and gaps, making it hard to keep warm in the winter. The college received an $800,000 grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development Agency to put siding on the building and add space to the south. A parking lot will be installed in the spring. The building has renovated office space and has added new classrooms and a fitness center that will be part of the college’s Wellness Program.

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