CCCC's origins can be traced back to a Lake Region State College program offering a class in Fort Totten in 1965. The program slowly expanded under tribal governance, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College was officially formed in the 1970s.
CCCC was chartered by the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation in 1974. Its first graduating class consisted of 5 students in 1977. CCCC's graduating class of 2009 was 42 students. CCCC was established in response to the need for higher education opportunities for the people of the Spirit Lake Reservation.