MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - Osage Nation has agreed to charter Bacone College as it applies for tribal college status.

This agreement will give Bacone access to federal funds in the future. Bacone College was founded in 1880 as Indian University and is located in Muskogee. It is the oldest continuously operated institution of higher education in the state.

"We are proud to forge this partnership that will provide higher educational opportunities for our students," said Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.

"We are thankful that the Osage Nation has joined us in our goal to form a consortium of Oklahoma tribes to transition Bacone College into a Tribal College," said Dr. Ferlin Clark, Bacone College President.

"This movement of becoming a public tribal college allows tribes ownership in the education of our students while building our capacity to gain stable funding from the federal government in fulfillment of its trust responsibility to educate American Indian students."