Since 1985, the United Tribes Thunderbirds have competed at the highest level of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Thunderbirds compete at the NJCAA Division II level in Basketball, the Division II level in Golf, the Division I level in Cross Country. All of the Thunderbird Athletic programs are offered for both men and women. United Tribes is a member of Region XIII and the Mon-Dak Athletic Conference.
The pride of the Thunderbirds lies in its commitment to competing against the Region and Nation’s best junior college and university teams. UTTC’s goal is to recruit the very best Native American student-athletes from around the country and to showcase their athletic skills in the spotlight of competition.
The Thunderbird is a very large, mythological bird that possesses powers to create life and take it away. Thunderbirds govern the weather. They can destroy with the wind, cause floods and drought, and can burn with lightning. They can also bring vital rains to renew and nurture all life on earth. This dual natured ability to create and destroy make the Thunderbird a very powerful, sacred, and highly respected symbol in Native American culture that is considered a guardian of truth and protector of men.
The symbol of the Thunderbird is the red zig-zag lightning bolt design, symbolizing power, strength, protection and speed in striking fast.