Thursday, September 25, 2008

Join Us Oct. 29 for the Flame of Hope Gala!

We hope you will join us at the Fund to celebrate 40 years of tribal colleges at the 13th annual 2008 American Indian College Fund Flame of Hope Gala. This event will take place at Gotham Hall in New York City on Wednesday, October 29 at 6 p.m. The event will raise funds for student scholarships and honor a longtime supporter.

Guests will be treated to special entertainment by singer Jakob Dylan and Native dance by The Red Hawk Dance Troupe. CBS Correspondent Hattie Kauffman will be the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.

We will also honor our special friends at Pendleton Woolen Mills, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, for their longtime support of the Fund.

We hope to see you in New York! To purchase a table or if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lucia Novara at or 303-430-5323.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Financial Mess

It's been a crazy week, and it's only Tuesday. With the announcement of Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers' insolvencies, the financial markets have gone haywire. And now the threat of the international insurer A.I.G.'s demise may cause world markets to destablize.

It's hard for people to consider giving money to charity in times like these, and even harder for organizations like the Fund to meet its funding goals, but we have a firm responsibility to American Indian students.

You see, the reality is that if times are uncertain for you, imagine what it must be like for American Indian students, 95% of which rely on funding for an education. For you, the choice between giving and not giving might be the choice between purchasing a wide-screen television or giving $1000 to the Fund. But that choice becomes life or death to a student.

A college scholarship is a lifeline to someone who can't afford to go to college and can't afford to leave a reservation, where employment can reach as much as 80%. I don't say that lightly, because an education or new skill can open the door to a new job, feeding a family, and impacting many people. A gift to the American Indian College Fund is doubly beneficial, because even in crazy times, you can still take a tax deduction on your gift--saving you money, too.

We appreciate your past support to American Indian education, and I hope we at the Fund, our students, and our tribal colleges can count on your continued support.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In Montana

I am writing from Montana, where I am with several friends of the Fund on a Journey for the Mind and Spirit. These journeys take our supporters to Indian country, where they visit American Indian communities and see first-hand the sacred work that the tribal colleges are performing.

They are creating miracles. Graduates leave with self confidence and new skills. They are creating new jobs in their communities, or filling jobs that once were filled by non-Indians. Tribal colleges are providing hope to Indian people.

I always come away from Indian country energized and with a renewed sense of purpose. I know that our friends will leave dedicated to the cause of Indian education.

We are thinking about customizing our visits to Indian country to reflect the interests of our supporters. Drop me a line by posting a comment and let me know the places in Indian country that you would like to see and the tribal college programs you would be interested in learning more about.

In a good way,

Friday, September 5, 2008

Welcome back, students!

Labor Day weekend is officially over, and with it, summer has ended. That means one thing in the world of tribal colleges: back-to-school time!

Whether you are a new student this year or returning to complete your education after a hiatus or are headed towards the final stretch to earning your degree, I want to personally congratulate you for the strength and wisdom it took to enroll in college. Your education will be a constant companion with you throughout your life. You may lose your job, material possessions, or even struggle with illness. But once you have an education, no one can ever take that away from you. It will inform who you are, how you view the world, and how you walk upon this earth. It will impact your children, your extended family, and your partner.

You have embarked on a great personal and community journey. By choosing a higher education, you reflect well upon yourself and your people. Congratulations and good luck. Study hard, ask the hard questions, and never doubt yourself or give up and you will succeed on your journey!