December 2016


The Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center (RTSSC) vision is to promote and enhance the region's transportation safety and security through research, education, and outreach, in a partnership with stakeholders.


Transportation safety and security are critical issues for personal and freight mobility. Nearly 42 percent more fatal crashes occur in rural areas than in urban, and the fatality rate for the rural crashes is about twice as high (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2005). Security issues are also prominent given large the border area, high-volume commercial traffic corridors, and limited security resources.


For safety, our challenge is to work together to continue to actively pursue programs and policies that specifically address rural transportation safety. Our initial challenge with security is to understand the risks and issues that are priorities in rural areas. The RTSSC will work with stakeholders to conduct research, education, and outreach that will enhance quality of life through safer and more secure rural transportation.


From the RTSSC Program Director, Kimberly Vachal, Ph.D.:


Tribes in North Dakota recognize traffic death and injury as an endemic public safety issue. Findings from UGPTI research into rural road safety may be transferable to tribal areas.


Recently, there has been an opportunity to work directly with tribes on traffic safety. The UGPTI completed case study analysis of a primary seat belt law by the Three Affiliated Tribes last year. In addition, several tribes recently worked with the ND Department of Transportation to develop Local Road Safety Plans that were shared with the other stakeholders. A critical need identified during these efforts was reliable crash data reporting. With that awareness, we recently initiated a project in collaboration with the Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program (NPTTAP). Through the Mountain Plains Consortium, which is a U.S. Department of University Transportation Centers research program, we will work with NPTTAP and tribal safety leaders to study crash reporting systems used by tribes in the region. 


The project is aimed at documenting, understanding and strengthening tribal crash reporting as an essential information source for making traffic safety resource and policy decisions. The NDDOT Traffic Safety Division is also offering the support for the project in sharing crash data and experiences with tribal traffic safety projects. The project was initiated earlier this month and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018. 



NewsNews: Introducing UGPTI's Tribal Outreach Program
The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI) at North Dakota State University (NDSU) recently renewed a long-standing tribal outreach effort. The effort aims to provide assistance to Native Nations, by providing outreach to facilitate increased accessibility to transportation and advancements in infrastructure and technology, to ultimately enhance tribal livability.
"Collaboration with tribes is an important part of our outreach mission, so we will continue to work in this area and pursue opportunities to expand our work together." Stated UGPTI Director Denver Tolliver.
The Tribal Outreach effort improves safe transportation of people and goods on tribal reservations to enhance livability, community and cultural values through increased accessibility to employment, workforce development opportunities, education, healthcare and housing.
The Tribal Outreach effort will be a leader in facilitating improvements in tribal transportation to enhance livability, community and cultural values for reservation residents.
Initially, the effort will offer outreach in:
  • funding opportunities
  • grant writing assistance
  • training (workforce development, youth, education, technology)
  • program/resource assistance
  • partnership/collaborative opportunities
  • outreach task force
  • monthly newsletter
Other resources and services will be offered as they become available. 
NeTia Bauman was named coordinator and liaison for Tribal Outreach within the UGPTI. She will promote current and emerging programs, resources, and training within UGPTI to enhance tribal livability throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and, eventually, nationwide. UGPTI's tribal outreach is designed to aid tribal nations in improving accessibility to transportation to reduce unemployment and poverty rates and to increase education, workforce development and access to health care. Bauman is also heading a tribal outreach task force to implement cultural and historic preservation projects and to improve tribal-to-state relations. In her role as liaison, Bauman is involved in a multi-year tribal crash study, focusing on implementing improved crash data reporting systems within tribal nations.
Previously, Bauman was the coordinator of UGPTI's SMART SECURITY program which focused on research, outreach and training to law enforcement and security practitioners on emerging trends within violent extremist movements, particularly the Sovereign Citizen Movement. In that role, Bauman developed and conducted half and full-day training courses for law enforcement.
Throughout her career, she has contributed to transportation security and a blog focusing on anti-government extremists. She has also been an invited guest writer for Mass Transit magazine on several occasions. 
Tribal Outreach Task Force

The UGPTI recently initiated a Tribal Outreach program to aid local and regional Native Nations in establishing and maintaining specific programs to enhance tribal livability, community, and cultural values. Now, the UGPTI recognizes that livability as a whole is a broad concept, so we have narrowed our focus specifically to issues that have negatively affected our tribal communities.

The objective of this task force is to afford an opportunity for tribal representatives and agencies with a vested interest in improving tribal livability with a platform to identify areas of concern (transportation, health care, education, employment, poverty, etc.), to sustain cultural and historic preservation, and to improve tribal to state relations. 

We are looking for interested individuals from tribal communities and other groups, who have a genuine interest in improving the livability throughout our tribal communities. For more information on this task force and how to become a volunteer member, please contact us via  email.

The  Center for Healthy Communities  is partnering with the  Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board  (NPAIHB) to recruit 25 Tribes and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) organizations to receive training on the delivery of Native STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decision Making), a positive youth development program that builds decision making skills on healthy relationships, STD/HIV prevention, and reproductive health. Tribes and AI/AN organizations that serve high school age AI/AN youth (age 14-18) are encouraged to apply.

Training Program:  The Native STAND Summer Training Program will take place June 26-30, 2017 in Portland, Oregon.

Apply:  To apply, please visit . Applications are due March 1, 2017. 

To view the informational webinar click here.

For more information about the Native STAND program, eligibility, or the application visit

Funding Funding Opportunities

Our tribal outreach effort will include opportunities for partnering on grant proposals and for grant writing needs as well. Currently, we are looking at submitting a proposal, in January, to work with one Native Nation on a tribal livability testbed project. For more information on this project, please email us.

A breadth of current and emerging funding opportunities will be located here in future installments.