In August 2008 former President George W. Bush signed Congress the Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008 into law. The reauthorization will help more students attend tribal colleges across the country and will include funding for tribal colleges across the United States. It also authorizes an annual increase from $6,000 to $8,000 for each student attending a tribal college.
Despite the bleak economic indicators, including a high jobs loss report at the end of January, there is reason to be optimistic about American Indian education and the Fund. Our supporters are some of the most loyal and devoted people in the country. Even when times are tough, they give something. Our students and the Fund are blessed to be able to count on our corporate, foundation, and individual supporters.
I was personally saddened when my friend and former tribal college resident and veteran of the tribal college movement, Sky Houser, passed on on January 29, 2009. Sky died at a hospice facility near his sister’s home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at age 65. At the time of his death, he was the special projects officer for the Scott Bordeaux Leadership Institute at Sinte Gleska University.