The future of my nation begins with my education.

The future of my nation begins
with my education.

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Native Votes Count!

Indian Country needs your vote to elect tribal, state, and national leaders to address the important issues facing our students, TCUs, and Indigenous communities!

Featured News

Cheryl Crazy Bull Publishes Brief on Native Student College Access

The Campaign for College Opportunity published “Ensuring College Access and Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Students,” authored by Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, as part of its “Affirming Equity, Ensuring Inclusion, and Empowering Action,” a national initiative that elevates best practices supporting the college preparation, admission, affordability, and success of minoritized students that came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to curtail the use of race in college and universities admissions. The Campaign’s national initiative seeks to ensure America does not return to an era of exclusion in higher education.

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Despite centuries of trauma connected with education as an assimilation tool, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) peoples have remained resilient and advocated tirelessly to achieve equal opportunity in higher education, building a movement to restore Native culture and community life with the creation of tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCUs). Yet the participation of AIAN people in higher education remains low with 16% of AIAN people ages 25-64 earn a bachelor’s degree compared to 32% of the rest of the U.S. population. The number of Native youths in higher education is significantly less than that of the rest of the U.S. population and substantially decreased over the last 10-15 years.

President Crazy Bull urges all colleges and universities to strive for ensuring equal opportunity, inclusion, and creating a strong sense of belonging on their campuses, and for learning from TCUs to build education institutions that honor Native identity and empower these students to succeed. “Ensuring College Access and Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Students” presents the current state of higher education access and completion for American Indian/Alaska Native Students (AIAN) and details a series of best practices and recommendations that ensure AIAN students can succeed in higher education without abandoning their cultures. The brief also explores how leaders at the federal, state, and institutional level can ensure access to higher education for AIAN students in ways that affirm their cultures and the unique sovereign political status of American Indian and Alaska Natives.

Featured News

American Indian College Fund Student-Designed Pendleton Blanket “Drum Keepers” Available for Purchase

Winning Design Created by Little Priest Tribal College Student, Trey Blackhawk

March 26, 2024, Denver, Colo.— The 2023 winning Tribal College Blanket Design, Drum Keepers, is now available for purchase. The blanket is the latest addition to Pendleton Woolen Mills’ American Indian College Fund collection. The acclaimed lifestyle brand from Portland, Oregon has created wool blankets in partnership with the College Fund for more than 20 years. A portion of the blanket line’s sales provide approximately $50,000 in annual Native student scholarships. Pendleton also contributes to a scholarship endowment that, combined with the total of scholarships disbursed, exceeds $2.5 million.

Trey Blackhawk (Winnebago) is a graduate of Little Priest Tribal College with a degree in liberal arts who is currently working on an applied sciences degree. His design, Drum Keepers, was selected from 59 submissions.

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Tribal Colleges and Universities

Tribal colleges and universities provide dynamic higher education opportunities, most on or near reservation lands. Known for their remarkable programs, culturally-relevant curricula, and familial student care – tribal colleges allow students to further their careers, attain an advanced degree, or better support their communities.

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From Our President

Support for Native People in Higher Education Includes Permitting Sharing of Tribal Affiliations

Employees at the University of South Dakota were told to remove tribal affiliations and gender pronouns from email signatures, citing a policy by the Board of Regents. This move lacks support for Native individuals in higher education, according to Cheryl Crazy Bull of the American Indian College Fund, who urges allies to stand with Native faculty and staff by including such details in their signatures.

American Indian College Fund President and CEO to Host Webinar Series

American Indian College Fund (College Fund) President and CEO, Cheryl Crazy Bull, will be hosting a three-part webinar series titled “Native Higher Education Insights.” Over the course of three sessions, she will cover what’s changed in the higher education environment post-pandemic and news from the various tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and Native students.

Featured News

Century of Citizenship

American Indian and Alaska Native communities have achieved a great deal in the past century. Here at the American Indian College Fund, we look forward to what successes the future will bring as we encourage Native students, scholars, and communities alike to use the tools of citizenship to make their voices heard and their peoples prosper.

Honoring Native Voices, Cultures, Histories, and Ancestors on International Museum Day

Did you know there are federal laws regarding what museums can keep in their collections when it comes to Native peoples? The American Indian College Fund believes elevating the visibility of contemporary Native artists and their voices is integral to telling our stories. It is just as important for Native people to be represented respectfully and accurately through the arts in museums and other institutions.

American Indian College Fund Launches “Make Native Voices Heard” Voting Campaign

Native Americans are more impacted by the law than any other group in the United States. Native students in higher education, or seeking a higher education, in particular are impacted by federal and state laws impacting funding for education, such as Pell Grants, student loans, and federal funding for tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), 70% of which comes from federal sources.

Student News

Graduation: A Time to Celebrate Your Achievements and Culture

In 2019, the American Indian College Fund teamed with the Native American Rights Fund to gather content Native American students need to work with school administrations in advance of graduation to ensure they can celebrate their graduations in a traditional way. We have updated this blog for 2024 but many of the principles are still the same.

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust Partners with American Indian College Fund to Support Native Student Veterans

The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) has received a $50,000 grant from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to implement a six-month fellowship focused on empowering Native student veterans to success. The Naabaahii Ółta’í (Student Warrior): Native Student Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program is a mentorship opportunity that builds relationships between veterans based upon their shared experiences.

American Indian College Fund Launches “Make Native Voices Heard” Voting Campaign

Native Americans are more impacted by the law than any other group in the United States. Native students in higher education, or seeking a higher education, in particular are impacted by federal and state laws impacting funding for education, such as Pell Grants, student loans, and federal funding for tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), 70% of which comes from federal sources.

News from our Progams Team

College Fund Programs Team

Leadership Hits Home

A blog post by Ann Wadsworth Cante’ Wast’e Wiya (Enrolled Member of Spirit Lake Nation), Cankdeska Cikana Community College Executive Assistant, 2023-2024 Indigenous Visionaries Fellow.

American Indian College Fund Partners with Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies to Enhance Native Arts Programs 

The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) announced new efforts to enhance Native arts curriculum development programs at six tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). Each of the participating TCUs will receive $100,000 to enrich their curricula by integrating Indigenous education values and incorporate Native knowledge, language, and cultural practices. The project will also help to expand institutional capacity, developing or revising academic courses, minors, and certificate and degree programs.

College Fund in the News

Cheryl Crazy Bull Publishes Brief on Native Student College Access

The Campaign for College Opportunity has published "Ensuring College Access and Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Students,” authored by Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. This latest publication is part of the Campaign for College Opportunity's "Affirming Equity, Ensuring Inclusion, and Empowering Action," a national initiative that elevates best practices supporting the college preparation, admission, affordability, and success of minoritized students.

Gray Magazine covers Trey Blackhawk, winner of the 2023 Tribal College Blanket Contest

Gray MagazineMar 26, 2024

Gray Magazine covers Trey Blackhawk, winner of the 2023 Tribal College Blanket Contest and discusses the importance of giving Native students this opportunity to share meaningful stories through design.

Jasmine Seeks Role as Voice for Her People and Environment as University of Michigan Law Student

University of Michigan LawOct 18, 2023

College Fund student ambassador Jasmine (Menominee) has long been an environmental activist in her community, which depends upon the environment for its economic livelihood. Today she is studying at the University of Michigan Law School to pursue a career as an attorney working in litigation and appeals after realizing that the aspect of the environmental movement that affects her the most is social justice.

Congratulations Dyani White Hawk

MacArthur FoundationOct 4, 2023

The American Indian College Fund congratulates Dyani White Hawk (Lakota), multidisciplinary artist and tribal college and university graduate, who was named a 2023 MacArthur Fellow. Read more about Ms. White Hawk, her prestigious achievement, and her art.

Higher Education Leaders Respond To Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling

ForbesJune 30, 2023

Forbes offers perspectives from several higher education experts on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action and shares hope for colleges and universities to still achieve diversity with a little bit of creativity.

Barack Obama says affirmative action ‘allowed generations of students like Michelle and me to prove we belonged’

Yahoo! NewsJune 30, 2023

In sharing his own experience with affirmative action, Former President Barack Obama also noted the American Indian College Fund and other organizations that support students who have historically been systemically excluded from pursuing higher education. Learn more in the article shared by Yahoo.