Capacity-Building Programs

Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS)

  • Waziyatawin, Dakota author of "What Does Justice Look Like."

Groundwater pollution. Overgrazing. Hazardous waste. These are just a few of the environmental issues facing American Indian reservation communities that impact health and quality of life.

The American Indian College Fund will address these issues with a three-year, $1.35 million Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS) program at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

The Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS) program will build program, faculty, and institutional capacity at tribal colleges and universities to strengthen and expand curriculum, faculty development, degree programs, and student success in the field of environmental sciences and related fields. The program will integrate place-based and inter-generational knowledge exchange.

TCUs are higher education centers located in the American Indian nations they serve with the potential to develop tribal environmental leaders in sustainability initiatives by offering academic preparation, research opportunities, and career work experiences. Educated and trained experts will address the environmental issues American Indian communities face through initiatives grounded in research and data.

Coverage map for SEEDS program - Click to enlarge

The SEEDS program will support TCUs located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the grasslands region of Montana (click to enlarge map)

The SEEDS program will:

  • Increase TCU capacity for strategic program planning, design, coordinated implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of best practices;
  • Increase TCU faculty, student, and tribal knowledge of critical environmental factors and changes necessary to advocate and steward natural resources more effectively;
  • Strengthen degree programming, curriculum, and research to inform land, water, and natural resource preservation and development policies on the local, tribal, regional and national levels;
  • Support TCUs, students, and faculty leadership development in the environment and sustainability fields;
  • Increase the TCU’s role in strategic stewardship of resources and knowledge and workforce education in the environmental sciences and related fields;
  • Build intertribal and institutional strategic partnerships with the TCUs;
  • Create program and curriculum innovations and contributions to the field, generating systemic TCU change.

The Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS) program is made possible, in part, by a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

If you have any questions about any of the grants or fellowships, contact Kendra Teague at or 303.426.9929.

APPLY>>SEEDS Program One-Year Integrated Grants. Download application information and schedule. Application deadline December 20, 2018.

Read more>>American Indian College Fund Announces Three-Year Environmental Design and Stewardship Program to Restore Native Knowledge for Healthy Earth

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