Monday, April 28, 2008

See You in Dallas!

The Fund is hosting a special event in Dallas, Texas to celebrate 40 years of tribal colleges this Thursday, May 1 at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Fund will also honor the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma by repatriating $25,000 worth of historical artifacts it received from a private donor. Two of the Fund's board members, Steve Denson of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and Chuck Hensley of Williams Financial Group, are co-hosting the event.

I am delighted to be celebrating how tribal colleges are transforming Indian Country through education. In addition, it is a great honor to be a part of preserving the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma culture and tradition by returning historical documents and other national artifacts, which the Fund received as a gift from one of its supporters.

All proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for American Indian students. I hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vote for The Fund in the National Geographic Geotourism Challenge

The American Indian College Fund has entered its Journeys for the Mind and Spirit in the National Geographic Geotourism Challenge. See how we are helping to increase sustainability in Indian Country trough our tours and vote for our program online at The Geotourism

Twelve finalists will be chosen based on the innovation, social impact and sustainability of their programs, and will present their programs at The Geotourism Challenge Summit this fall. Three winners will be chosen by online voting and will receive $5,000 each.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Help Honor the Code Talkers!!

Language peservation is an important part of tribal college curriculum. But did you know that native languages have helped keep Amercica free?

Native American language used as code was made famous by the Navajos in WWII. Ironically, these men voluntarily served this country and used their language to help win the war six years before the Native American Citizenship Act. It is also ironic that at the same time the Choctaw language was being used to benefit the war effort, Native languages were being banned in government schools.

Help is needed to recognize the original Native American Code Talkers. The Assistant Chief of the Choctaw nation is working with members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill that will make it possible to issue medals for service as a Code Talker. Congressman Dan Boren has introduced HB 4544, which currently has 95 co-sponsors. 289 co-sponsors are needed, and many Congressional representatives need to hear from their constituents before they will agree to sign on.

The Navajos' service was recognized with medals in 2000. However, members of other Native American tribes also used their languages as unbreakable top-secret codes in WWI and WWII. Choctaws were the first to use their Native language as "code" to transmit messages on the field.

All of the Choctaw Code Talkers are now deceased. Only a few of their children remain. Recognition of these men is needed now. HB 4544 and S 2681 would allow a gold medal to be presented to each tribe, with a silver duplicate medal presented to individual Code Talkers or their families. Bronze medals will be sold by the United States Mint, and all costs will come from the revolving fund for such activities of the Treasury, with no appropriations necessary.

Please contact your representatives and ask them to support these bills as a co-sponsor.

For help with maps on who your Congressman or Senator is, go to

Contact your Congressman with direct e-mail, phone numbers or addresses, which are
available at

Contact your state's Senators with direct e-mail, phone numbers or addresses, which are available at

It is recommended that e-mail or phone calls be the contact method.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We Are the Number One Indian Education Charity in American

Last week we spent close to three days in brainstorming sessions with a direct mail team to strategize for new direct mail concepts to educate the public about our organization, our mission, and our students. As part of that session, we had the opportunity to hear the results of an extensive phone survey that we commissioned on behalf of the Fund to learn more about our constituents' perceptions of us.

We learned that in your eyes, and those of our other supporters, we are the number one Indian education charity in America. And for that, we thank you. It is because of your support and your commitment in our endeavors that we are there. You believe in the opportunity for Indian people to better their lives through education.

You believe in the transformative power of education to lift people out of poverty.

And you believe in how education has a ricochet effect, impacting others in a student's family, community, reservation, and state.

Graduation is just around the corner, and a new group of students will be leaving college to begin new careers, or to move forward professionally in their current ones. Thanks to your beliefs in the power of a tribal college education, this new group of graduates will be embracing a promising future.

Thank you for your past, present, and future support, and thank you for making us the number one Indian education charity in America today. We are humbled by your trust, and our commitment is stronger than ever to continue our mission and calling--in a good way.