MHA Education Department

➤ location

354 Main Street
New Town, ND 58763

mailing address

404 Frontage Road
New Town, ND 58763

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 4:30PM

☎ contact

Phone: (701) 627-4113
Fax: (701) 627-4935


Our priority is to see that our youth and communities receive a quality education that encompasses and nurtures their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. Through programming, community and school partnership we can help impact and reach our full potential as individuals and healthy Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara community members.  


The strength and survival of our tribal nation depends on the nurturing of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara history, language, culture, social and spiritual knowledge, while encouraging and maintaining the highest education standards.  


It is the educational mission of the MHA Education Department to promote and foster lifelong learning for the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people, and to protect the cultural integrity and sovereignty of the Three Affiliated Tribes.  


Ruth Swaney, PhD
Education Director

Lauren Good Day, BA
Marketing/Cultural Advisor

Benita Spotted Elk
Executive Secretary


Sara Young Bird, BS
Research & Database Associate

Education Resource Officers

Barbara Smith-DeSautel, AA
New Town Elementary School

Deborah Hosie, BS, BA
Parshall School

Deborah Kateri Hale
New Town Middle & High School

Shannon Uses the Knife
White Shield School

Donovan Abbey
Mandaree School

Alyssa Starr
Twin Buttes School

Upcoming Events


MHA Champions for Change


The Tribal Education Department is partnering with the Casey Family Programs and the Center for Native American Youth to offer the MHA Champions for Change youth leadership program. We are have extended our deadline and will be accepting applications and nominations until Friday, May 18th. If you know an outstanding MHA youth (ages 14-23) in one of the segments or Bismarck/Mandan, please encourage them to apply or nominate them!  Please contact Ruth Swaney with any questions at 701-627-4113 or

The MHA Champions for Change program is a Native youth leadership initiative designed to highlight positive stories of impact from the MHA Nation. The program is modeled after the Center for Native American Youth’s Champions for Change program that was inspired by a 2011 White House initiative, which develops young Native leaders through experience-based learning and tailored advocacy training.

The MHA will select seven inspirational Native youth (one from each segment and one from Bismarck/Mandan, ages 14-23) to join the CFC leadership network. All applicants, regardless of acceptance, are named Youth Ambassadors. Champions are Native youth who initiate programs, events, or other efforts that are improving the lives of fellow youth in Indian Country. Champions enter a close working relationship with the MHA Education Department and the Center for Native American Youth benefit from a variety of resources that enhance their advocacy skills. (EXTENDED DEADLINE: May 18, 2018. All application materials must be submitted to MHA Education Department, 404 Frontage Rd, New Town, ND 58763)

A complete application will include the following:

•             Youth Leader Application (with essay attached)

•             Two Recommendation forms from Adults familiar with their work

•             One Peer Recommendation form completed by someone around their age who can speak to their leadership.

MHA Champions for Change Youth Leader Application

MHA Champions for Change Peer Nomination Form

MHA Champions for Change Adult Recommendation/Nomination Form