Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Donates $50,000 to American Indian College Fund

July 14, 2016

 Amanda Not Afraid, a Sovereign Nations Scholarship recipient. 

“I have relied heavily on scholarships to pay for my schooling and thanks to the American Indian College Fund I was able to attend the University of Montana and acquire my Bachelor’s degree without student loans. I now know what it takes to pursue and acquire a post-secondary education and this has given me motivation to go for my Masters of Public Health from the University of Montana.” – Amanda, Sovereign Nations Scholarship recipient.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has made a donation of $50,000 to the American Indian College Fund (the College Fund), the nation’s largest and highest-rated American Indian scholarship organization. This donation is being used to improve American Indian access to higher education through scholarship support.“In order for Native communities to prosper, we need to invest in our children and grandchildren’s higher education,” said SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig. “The American Indian College Fund is an excellent investment in making that priority a reality.”

The SMSC has contributed $2.74 million to the American Indian College Fund over the past 20 years. These gifts have endowed the College Fund’s Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund, established the SMSC Tribal College Scholarship Program, and most recently helped to support a nationwide campaign, Stand with Native Students, geared to create equity in higher education amongst American Indian students. Currently only 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, compared to 29.3% of the overall population and the College Fund is working to increase that number.

Established in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years. The College Fund believes “education is the answer” and has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit aicf.nmcstaging.com.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “With their continued support of the College Fund, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community shows they are committed to the importance of ‘education is the answer’ and to solving the challenges that Native peoples face as tribal citizens. With an education, American Indians can provide for themselves and their families; improve health and wellness; and promote quality programs and services. We are honored to be a partner in their commitment to higher education for Native students.”

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Making its top priority to be a good neighbor, the SMSC is the largest contributor to Native American Indian tribes and causes across the country. It also focuses on being a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise, and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employers in Scott County.