Wednesday, November 17, 2010

American Indian College Fund's New Blog and Web Site Has Launched!

The American Indian College Fund web site has been redesigned with a new, mod¬ern look and feel and opportunities to interact more with both students and the American Indian College Fund as it pursues its mission to provide scholarships to Native students and support the nation’s tribal college sand universities.

The site will continue to offer multiple social media opportunities for students and donors to follow the American Indian College Fund’s work and weigh in about Native education issues, as well as student and alumni success stories.

As part of the redesign, the site will offer a special portal to connect our corporate and tribal donors with students and alumni. Native students and alumni will be able to share their stories and videos, apply for scholarships, learn more about the support of our tribal and corporate donors, and seek job and internship opportunities. Our new blog will also appear on this site. You can view the new design at the same url,

Our blog now appears at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fund Employee Recounts Haskell Indian Nations University Visit

by Lindsay Klatt

As an employee of the American Indian College Fund, I recently visited Haskell Indian Nations University. This trip reminded me of the sense of pride I get from working for the Native community and it will continuously ignite my passion for working at the Fund on a daily basis.

All of the tribal colleges we support at the Fund are examples of self determination and are beacons of hope for the future of the American Indian community. But Haskell holds a special significance because of its history, its present state, and its future.

Haskell was established in 1884 for the reform and forced assimilation of American Indian children who were taken from their families and forced to become more like whites. They were forced to abandon their culture, their language and ultimately their own hopes and dreams for the future because their path was decided for them.

Over the years, Haskell changed dramatically. It advanced from a trade school to a high school, a junior college and is now an accredited university offering associates’ and bachelors’ degrees to students who are enrolled tribal members. Rather than assimilating Native students into mainstream culture, Haskell now embraces and teaches Native culture. Students who study here are taught about their Native roots and cultural identity is incorporated into every aspect of their education and future plans. American Indians have taken an institution rooted in negativity that was first designed to erase Native cultures and changed it into a shining symbol of strength designed to preserve and continue their heritage and traditions.

As a result, Haskell students have thrived as scholars and athletes, proving what can be accomplished with a tribally influenced education. They are qualifying for nationals in cross country running and are competing in award-winning basketball and football teams. They are scholars with breakthrough ideas and projects, such as digitizing the Trail of Tears and designing an Apple application that will translate a historic walking tour narrated in a Native language.

Haskell also has an amazing staff of dedicated educators and employees whose passion for these students is both remarkable and infectious. They eat, sleep and breathe the welfare of their students and the improvement and continuation of the university. This is no easy feat and there are always new challenges and temporary roadblocks, but with students and staff so deeply rooted in this cause, the future can only look bright. This school and the magnificent people involved are examples of what can happen when the seeds of self-determination are planted and the care is taken to let this beautiful creation flourish.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Passing of Margaret Teachout

All of us at the American Indian College Fund would like to express our sincere condolences to David, Gerald, and Robert Gipp on the loss of their mother, Margaret Teachout, who entered the Spirit World Thursday, October 28.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tribal College Student Perspective: Speaking at the Gala

In addition to raising $385,000 for student scholarships, our Flame of Hope Gala on Oct. 14 presented our donors with the opportunity to meet many of our tribal college students, who came in for the event.

But from a student's perspective, the event was an opportunity for our tribal college students as well. It was a chance for them to meet other tribal college students from across the country and share their journey, while also giving them the chance to build their confidence as they shared their stories with you and built their public speaking expertise that will be invaluable as they graduate and embark upon their careers.

Colleen Tenas (Kootenai), an honors student in business at Salish Kootenai College, spoke at a private reception for the Fund's supporters prior to the gala, and wrote, "I just want to thank you and the American Indian College Fund staff for the opportunity to attend the Flame of Hope Gala, and for taking the time to listen to my story. I was very glad to be chosen to speak at the Private Reception, and a little scared, but glad I did it."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet an American Indian College Fund Scholar

Attending the American Indian College Fund's Flame of Hope Gala this October 14 in Denver, Colorado at the Seawall Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts helps us raise money for student scholarships. But the gala also confers a benefit to attendees. In addition to a gourmet meal and first-class entertainment from Big Head Todd and the Monsters this year, the Flame of Hope Gala presents you with the opportunity to meet several of our tribal college students.

Iva Croff (Blackfeet) is one of those students. Iva is a Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship recipient at Blackfeet Community College (BCC) in Montana, where she is majoring in Blackfeet language. The scholarship meant so much to her, she says. "I practically made the office assistant at the BCC Business Office start to cry because I started to cry. When I received my Pendleton blanket at the Coca Cola Scholars banquet during AIHEC 2009, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. My husband said he had a lump in his throat because he was so proud of me."

Iva will graduate in the spring of 2011. "I have been so blessed while at Blackfeet Community College, especially by the American Indian College Fund."

We hope you can join us at the American Indian College Fund's Flame of Hope Gala so that you can meet students like Iva and share in the joy of their successes, while helping to support the success of other students to come!

For ticket information, visit our web site.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vote Now to Help the American Indian College Fund Win Funding!

Please help the American Indian College Fund to win funding from American Express through Members Project®. You can cast your vote at Members Project web site.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome Mellon Fellows!

The American Indian College Fund welcomes our new Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Faculty Research Program and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Tribal College Faculty Career Enhancement Program fellows to Denver, Colorado.

Both graduated and new fellowship participants are gathered to exchange research, information, and vital knowledge, building the intellectual capacity of our tribal colleges and Indian Country itself.

Thank you for doing this sacred and vital work and welcome to Denver!