Friday, August 7, 2020

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

Please help the Fund celebrate 40 years of tribal colleges at the 13th annual 2008 American Indian College Fund (the Fund) Flame of Hope Gala will be held at Gotham Hall in New York City on Wednesday, October 29 at 6 p.m.. The event will celebrate the success of tribal colleges since the founding of the first tribal college by the Navajo nation in 1968. It will also raise funds for student scholarships and honors a longtime supporter.
Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m.
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.
Pendleton Woolen Mills, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, will be honored for their longtime support of the Fund.
Sponsors for the event include USA Funds, Toyota, Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, The CollegeBoard, Allstate, Nissan, IBM, Richard Black, Best Buy, GMAC, the Tierney Family Foundation, and Brian & Vivian Henderson.
For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact Lucia Novara at or 303-430-5323.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

American Indian College Fund Named a 2019 Top Colorado Workplace

American Indian College Fund Named a 2019 Top Colorado Workplace

The American Indian College Fund was awarded a Top Workplaces 2019 honor by The Denver Post. Located just north of downtown Denver, Colorado, this education non-profit serving Native American college students for 30 years was ranked number 32 of 65 of Denver’s top small companies.
The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection.
Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “The College Fund’s team is very appreciative of this award as we recognize that it is a reflection not only of the great environment we strive to have for our work but it also honors the people we serve. Indigenous people value relationships, industriousness, and creativity. We are proud to honor their values as we accept this recognition.”
“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”
“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” Claffey said. “It’s an achievement that organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”
To join the American Indian College Fund team, check out our redesigned webpage for career opportunities.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, only 14% of Native Americans and Alaska Natives have a college degree—less than half of other groups. The dedication to the College Fund’s mission is evidenced by the 2018 Employee Engagement Survey, in which 98% of the organization’s employees responded that they were always/nearly always motivated by the mission and vision of the College Fund. Making a difference in Native American communities is not just a motivator for American Indian College Fund employees, making their work meaningful—it also makes a difference in Native American students’ and community members’ lives.
Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” to many challenges Native Americans face. It provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring Native American students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.
In addition to its dedication to serving its constituents, the College Fund is also dedicated to transparency and its relationships with its supporters. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit the College Fund’s Top Workplaces page or our website.

College Fund Publishes Free College-Going Guidebook for Native Students

College Fund Publishes Free College-Going Guidebook for Native Students
The American Indian College Fund, with generous support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, is publishing an invaluable tool for Native American high school students seeking higher education. Native Pathways: A College-Going Guidebook provides content related to how to get into college, choose a school, pay for it, and what to expect the first year in a way that speaks to Native cultures and experiences as students consider attending college.
Check out our new guidebook for getting into and succeeding in college!
In addition to content specific to student needs and culture, Native artists and designers contributed to the book. Jonathon Nelson, a member of the Navajo nation from Hogback, New Mexico who currently resides in Denver, designed the cover, titled, “Kindred Mocs.” Nelson’s work is featured at Photos by Matika Wilbur, from the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes of Washington, were included. Wilbur is the creator of Project 562, a project dedicated to photographing the more than 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Amanda Cheromiah, who is Pueblo from Laguna, also provided photos.
The guidebook was created as part of the Native Pathways to College Program, also funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The College Fund launched the program to meet the needs of tribal communities and in response to the college-going and completion crisis among Native American and Alaska Native students. Research shows the national rate of all students going to college within six months of graduating from high school is 70%. For Native American and Alaska Native students, those numbers are closer to 20%.
The College Fund knows that education improves the lives of individuals, their families, and entire communities, yet merely providing scholarships to help students pay for college is not enough for Native students to succeed. To create a college-going culture, the College Fund initiated the program, working with high school students, first-year, students, and two-year college students seeking to continue their education at a four-year school. With a $2.5 million grant renewal from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College Fund will be able to continue efforts to increase college access and success.
Students, school counselors, and others can download the book for free on the College Fund’s web site. Hard copies may be available for some high schools. Please send an email to for more information.

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.