Education is independence

Jul 6, 2009 | Archives, Blog

After Independence Day, one thing strikes me: if American Indians are ever going to be free of poverty and being treated as second-class citizens, education is vital.

Education does not just mean the basics: the math, the science, the language and reading skills: education also means being educated in the Indian way. Learning our native languages. Learning our traditions and ways as Indian people, and preserving them.

Why is this important to our independence? Because we were then, as we are now, strong and independent people. And to appreciate that strength and independence, we need to continue to cultivate our strengths as Indian people, preserving our languages and teaching them and our ways to our children, rather than subverting them to a dominant culture. Just as other groups celebrate their heritage while achieving great things as the part of this great democracy, so should we as American Indians. Education is the key to that freedom: freedom from poverty, and the freedom to define who we are as a people.

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.