American Indian College Fund Says New Proclamation Undermines Significance of Native People

Nov 8, 2019 | Blog, Native American Heritage Month, President's Blog

Native American Heritage Month

President Trump’s National American History and Founders Month Decree Conflicts with Native American Heritage Month

Denver, Colo., November 6, 2019 — Since 1990, November has been designated as Native American Heritage Month to celebrate Native people and their contributions to society. However, leaders with the American Indian College Fund are concerned that President Trump’s newly formed proclamation that November will also be considered National American History and Founders Month may divert attention from Native issues and undermine the experiences and role of Native populations in this country’s history.

“Native American Heritage Month allows us to honor our indigenous populations and for us specifically, the Native students we support,” says Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “While we are pleased that earlier this fall, President Trump still proclaimed November as Native American Heritage Month, we worry that this latest decree impacts the American understanding of the repercussions this country’s founding had on Native people.”

Every November, Native American Heritage Month spotlights Native cultures with month long celebrations. Each year the College Fund uses November to celebrate the students and Native educational institutions it funds as well as amplifying student voices on issues concerning them and indigenous people in the U.S.

“We urge national media and influencers to continue to elevate the contributions of Native people and to call attention to the diversity of indigenous people and our contributions to society,” says Crazy Bull. “We want everyone in America to take the time to understand what it means to indigenous people to have both these proclamations occur in the same month.”

About the American Indian College Fund—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” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.23 million to American Indian students, with nearly 137,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $208 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 students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. 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 www.collegefund.org.

Reporters: The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

Recent Blog Posts

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

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

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.

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

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.