Three exceptional American Indian scholars. Three women who are able to pursue higher education, thanks to your generosity. Three American Indians who are starting to see the sphere of their influence and impact grow. Meet Nylana, Tasha, and Kasa. Their stories are a concrete example of how your support of the College Fund can impact lives in ways we can’t predict or even imagine.



by Paul Pierce, Patience Milrod, and Darrow Pierce

In the past, we have made what we called charitable contributions to the American Indian College Fund. We now are now making reparation payments.

We feel that the most effective and consistent way to do this is with monthly giving, so that is the method we choose.

Our giving is based on our increased awareness and acknowledgement of the indirect and direct harm, violence, and injustice that we and our ancestors have perpetrated on indigenous people in what is now the United States. We have for quite a while recognized this situation and felt a responsibility to address it.

Therefore, our ongoing contribution to the work that the American Indian College Fund is doing is in response to a debt owed. It seems impossible to quantify the exact nature of that debt.

Since we are at present unable to identify, acknowledge, or compensate the descendants of those whose lives, land, and culture were taken by our ancestors, we as a family are committed to remedying this harm to the extent we are able, and in ways that will have the most impact on this injustice.

Become a monthly donor! Visit collegefund.org to set up monthly giving today!

Have you set aside money for charitable giving through a donor-advised fund, charitable giving account, or trust?

If so, you can easily and conveniently make a designation to the American Indian College Fund today. Visit www.collegefund.org/DAF to get started.


Actress Bette Midler with College Fund Student Ambassadors


The American Indian College Fund’s first-ever student-hosted Flame of Hope Gala was the perfect way to celebrate 30 years of service to Native communities

This year’s Flame of Hope Gala at New York’s famed Gotham Hall was an unparalleled success. The event drew more than 300 guests, including celebrities like Bette Midler, Margaret Colin, and Katherine Grody, and raised almost a half-million dollars for the American Indian College Fund!

Native dancers from the Redhawk Native Arts Council entertained the guests, followed by a land acknowledgement:

“In honor of those who came before us, we would like to recognize that this evening we are on the lands of the Lenape, Mohigan, and other indigenous people.”

This led to an insightful student couch discussion where College Fund scholars addressed topics such as sovereignty and what they envision for their Native communities.

The College Fund honored Board member Kim Blanchard with the Yuonian Yatanpi Award. This award was created to honor outstanding lifetime supporters. The name Yuonian Yatanpi is Dakota and means “With Highest Honor.” Over the past 14 years, Kim has contributed nearly $750,000, providing nearly 250 student scholarships and supporting 400 Tribal College and University faculty through professional development and recognition.

The evening’s headline entertainment included a performance by Brooke Simpson, an American Indian singer who is passionate about songwriting and people. Brooke was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice and has released two singles – “2am,” which charted on the iTunes pop chart, and her most recent release, “Perfect,” which is now available.

The evening was capped off with guests participating in a round dance.

A big thank you to all those who made the evening a success by showing your love and commitment for Native communities.

An Epicurean Engagement

An Epicurean Engagement

When asked if you are familiar with traditional French or Italian cuisine, perhaps a specific entrée, a favorite restaurant or recipe might come to mind. But how many of us are familiar with the first American cuisine – the type of food that not only uses locally sourced ingredients, but ingredients indigenous to the region we live in?

Our new interactive event, Epicurean Award to Support Scholars (or as we like to call it, E.A.T.S.S.), engages guests in tasting, learning about, and experiencing the history of original America Indian foods and revitalizing them in today’s world.

On February 7th, our inaugural event was held in Minneapolis. With the help of our hosts, famous Native American Chefs Sean Sherman and Ben Jacobs, we challenged four Twin Cities chefs with creating and preparing a signature dish incorporating two of three ingredients indigenous to the Midwest: Native Squash, Choke Cherries, and Staghorn Sumac.

Anne Andrus, Co-Owner and Chef of Honey and Rye Bakery said, “I have experience cooking and baking with squash, yet when I received the native heirloom squash for this event, it almost felt new to me! The variety was so lovely and very rich in color, texture, and taste; a reminder to pause and enjoy the beauty that exists naturally in indigenous foods grown right here in Minnesota.”

But the real celebrity chefs of the evening were our student scholars enrolled in culinary programs from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (Hayward, Wisconsin) and Navajo Technical University (Crownpoint, New Mexico). One of the evening’s favorite foods was the Puffed Wild Rice and Berry Coulis, courtesy of our students at Lac Courte Orielles. See the photos from our Twin Cities E.A.T.S.S. event.

The next E.A.T.S.S. event will be held on September 17 in Denver, Colorado at Mile High Station.

To learn more about our E.A.T.S.S. event series visit www.collegefund.org/eatss