Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Oct. 31

Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund to benefit Native students

DENVER, Colo.-American Indians share a long history of philanthropy. Whether generosity was demonstrated by holding a giveaway or a potlatch, a person's value was measured not by what they owned, but rather by what they gave away.

It is in this spirit that the American Indian College Fund (AICF) created the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment (SNSFE). AICF is pleased to announce that the inaugural disbursement from SNSFE will be distributed to American Indian students during the 2007-2008 academic year. The SNSFE was established to address the growing financial needs of American Indian students and to provide further access to higher education.

According to Barbara Brewer, Oglala Lakota College graduate and AICF scholarship recipient, "The Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment is wonderful. It shows us students that our tribes really care about our education. It is good to see tribes working together for the future of all our children." 

The SNSFE is a permanent endowment established by the AICF and primarily supported by American Indian Nations and American Indian-owned businesses. Other corporations, foundations, and individual donors have also generously contributed to this noteworthy campaign, which currently stands at $2 million.

The fundamental vision of the SNSFE is to build it to a capacity of $10 million and use the interest generated from this endowment for scholarships that will be awarded to the nation's best and brightest American Indian students for generations to come.

American Indian students in graduate school and tribal college students, as well as others, will have the opportunity to apply for this prestigious scholarship.  

The SNSFE was launched in 2001 with a generous $900,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

In addition, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has supported the SNSFE with an additional $500,000 grant and put forth another $300,000 as a challenge grant.

The American Indian College Fund sincerely thanks American Indian Nations such as the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk Nation, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Oneida Indian Nation Foundation (New York), San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Upper Skagit Indian Nation, and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians for accepting this challenge and conveying the message that American Indian education is essential for American Indian communities.

When the wise leaders of American Indian Nations made decisions, they considered the future of their people.

The SNSFE honors tribal beliefs by providing educational opportunities for American Indian people in perpetuity.

With its credo "Educating the Mind and Spirit," the Denver-based American Indian College Fund is one of the nation's largest providers of private scholarships for American Indian students, providing approximately 5,000 scholarships annually for students seeking to better their lives and communities through education.

For more information about the American Indian College Fund or to donate to the SNSFE, please visit www.collegefund.org.

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