In 1994, twenty-nine Native American post-secondary institutions were recognized by the U.S. Congress with land grant status under the authorization of the Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act (Section 354 of P.L. 103-382). The legislation was significant as these institutions represented Indian Tribes with land bases not receiving primary land grant support prior to 1994. CCCC was one of the Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) identified in the legislation as a '1994 Tribal Land Grant College'.
Acquiring of land grant status was instrumental in creating opportunities and obtaining resources for TCUs to carry out the three traditional tenets of land grant institutional missions - teaching, extension, and research. The TCUs are now charged with organizing and delivering land grant programs for Indian Nations and Tribal communities that have historically been neglected by mainstream institutions. The 1994 Tribal Land Grant Colleges and Universities are supported in the following areas:
1. An endowment fund (in lieu of a land grant).
2. Tribal land grant equity grants to be used for specific institutional projects related to the Tribal land and natural resource needs.
3. Extension programs for addressing Tribal community needs.
CCCC is a federally supported comprehensive land-grant institution with principal responsibility in North Dakota. CCCC provides a growing capability for delivering education, cultural activities, and information to the North Dakota citizenship with an emphasis on the Spirit Lake Reservation community.