Guiding Our Destiny with Heritage and Tradition

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! In honor of Native American Heritage Month, a generous supporter has offered to match ALL gifts up to $100,000!

November is Native American Heritage Month and the theme this year is “Guiding our Destiny with Heritage and Tradition.”

American Indians have made immeasurable contributions to our nation’s heritage and there are countless reasons to celebrate.  You can celebrate with us by visiting our website often this month for fascinating articles, fun activities, delicious recipes, and exciting blog posts from guest writers.

Also, in the midst of this celebration please remember that for American Indians celebrating their heritage isn’t confined to one month. American Indians are striving to keep their wonderful culture and customs alive every day of every year!

And we have an additional reason to celebrate this month! A generous donor has agreed to match any gift, dollar-for-dollar, made to the American Indian College Fund between now and November 15th, up to $100,000, helping to send even more students to college.

Even as we celebrate, we remember just how important it is to continue our work together to ensure that American Indian students have the help they need to lift themselves and their communities through receiving a college education.  We all know education is the bridge from poverty to sustainable self-sufficiency and American Indians living on reservations face harsh realities in life: devastating poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and unemployment rates as high as 90%.  This reality exists 365 days a year.

So this November, we at the College Fund challenge you to support American Indian students… and learn more about the unique and special American Indian culture that has enriched our lives throughout our nation’s history.

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! In honor of Native American Heritage Month, a generous supporter has offered to match ALL gifts up to $100,000! Please do what you can to help us by November 15! DONATE HERE: https://community.collegefund.org/pages/native_heritage_month_2013

Flame of Hope Gala Honors Victory

The American Indian College Fund took over the ice rink at the old Depot to host its annual Flame of Hope Gala to celebrate its victories in educating the mind and spirit of Native people. Donors met the students that benefit from their generosity, enjoyed a live art performance and entertainment by Native musicians and dancers, and pledged their commitment to the next 25 years of success. Thank you for your support and commitment to Indian Education as we enter our 25th year.  Please enjoy a small glimpse of the imagery captured by the American Indian College Fund media specialist Jaime T Aguilar.

 

Annual Flame of Hope Fundraising Gala Raises More than $400,000 to Benefit Native Education

20_copy.jpg

The American Indian College Fund is projected to raise $550,000 support Native student scholarships at its 18th annual Flame of Hope Gala, held on October 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Proceeds will benefit Native education.

Native artist Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) created a painting live at the event, which was awarded to the donor providing the largest gift. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe took the painting for their donation of $50,000. A silent auction including art by the nation’s top Native artists, and entertainment by Native musicians, including classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala and the dance and music group Brulé, were featured. Haskell Indian Nations University alumnus Dominic Clichee spoke during the program.

The American Indian College Fund honored the Northwest Area Foundation of Minneapolis for funding a $1 million, one-year Tribal College Leaders in Community Innovation Award, providing financial assistance for tribal college programs impacting local communities at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota; Sitting Bull College in North Dakota; Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota; Stone Child College in Montana; and Northwest Indian College in Washington State.

We thank the 37 individual, corporate, foundation, and tribal nation sponsors that made this year’s Flame of Hope Gala a tremendous success. Flame of Hope Sponsor: USA Funds. Keeper of the Flame Sponsor: Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota. Vision of Hope Sponsors: The CocaCola Company, Comcast NBC Universal , Lannan Foundation, Nissan North America, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Circle of Hope Sponsors: Anheuser-Busch Companies, AT&T, The Richard Black Family: Richard, Heather, Kara, and Erica, Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services; McDonald’s Corporation, Target Corporation, Travelers, UPS Foundation, US Bank, Walmart Foundation, Wieden + Kennedy. Spirit of Giving Sponsors: CBS Corporation, FedEx, Grotto Foundation, Jenzabar, Mattel, Peskoff Foundation, The Tierney Family Foundation, United Health Foundation. Visionary Sponsors: Amergent, Kimberly S. Blanchard, Dine College, Kauffman and Associates, Inc., Leech Lake Tribal College, National Indian Gaming Association, MAG Mechanical. Ignite the Flame Sponsors: Aramark, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, College of the Muscogee Nation, Northwest Indian College.

Photos

Apple mobile device users: please click here to see the photos on Flickr.com

Entertainment

Gabriel Ayala
AyalaNEWPRPHOTO2.jpgA member of the Yaqui people of Southern Arizona, guitarist Gabriel Ayala is an accomplished classical musician. Ayala earned a master’s degree in music performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elementary through college, and
serves as a competition adjudicator. Although he enjoys being a teacher, his touring schedule allows him to only teach in Master Class settings.Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and internationally. He has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Museum of the American Indian, Musical Instrument Museum and the Oscar Meyer Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. Recently, he was a featured artist at President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball. >>Read More about the artist

Steven JuddPH1_0024_Edit.jpg

Steven Judd is an artist and writer. As a member of the Writers Guild of America, Judd has written many series and movie shorts, and was a semifinalist in NBC/Universal’s Comedy Short Cuts Diversity Film Festival in 2007. His work has also been included in an installment at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In 2008, Judd was selected for the Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship Program with ABC/Disney. In 2009 Judd was nominated as a Distinguished Alumni for the University of Oklahoma, where he spoke as part of the Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series.  Steven Judd will be creating a painting live at the American Indian College Fund’s 2013 Flame of Hope Gala for auction. The proceeds will benefit Native student scholarships.

>>Read More about the artist

Brulé
brulee.jpg

Paul LaRoche, adopted at birth off the Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation, discovered his heritage in 1993 after the death of both adoptive parents. He was reunited in 1993 with a brother, sister, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. The discovery of his true heritage influenced Paul to turn his feelings to humanitarian causes through music. In 1995, out of recognition for his tribe, Paul introduced his recording name as Brulé. Paul was selected as a musical ambassador and speaker for the 2000 UN Peace Conference held in The Hague Center for Peace.
Brulé has become one of the top-selling Native American recording artists with more than one million CDs sold worldwide. Brulé was also awarded the 1999 Outstanding Musical Achievement Award by The First Americans in the Arts, 2002 Group of the Year & Best Instrumental Recording Native American Music Awards (NAMMA), 2003 Best Instrumental Recording for Night Tree By Nicole with Brule (NAMMA), 2006 Group of the Year for Tatanka (NAMMA), 2007 Group of the Year for Silent Star Night and Best New Age Recording for Kinship (NAMMA), and 2008 Group of the Year for Lakota Piano II (NAMMA).

Our Partners:

Thank You to Our 2013 Flame of Hope Gala Silent Auction Contributors:

  • Timothy H. Terry (Akimel O’Odham)
  • Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe)
  • Judy Gould
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Bobby Bales (Taos Pueblo)
  • Andrew and Gladys Pacheco (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
  • Daniel B. Ramirez (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe)
  • Waya’ aisiwa Gary Keene (Acoma Pueblo)
  • David Gary Suazo (Taos Pueblo)
  • Than Povi Fine Art Gallery
  • Geraldine Tso (Navajo)
  • Todd Lone Dog Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota Tribe)
  • C.J. Shije (Zia/Acoma Pueblo)
  • Lou Thoumann
  • >>see more

 

American Indian College Fund Annual Flame of Hope Fundraising Gala Raises More than $400,000 to Benefit Native Education

American Indian College Fund Annual Flame of Hope Fundraising Gala
Raises More than $400,000 to Benefit Native Education

20_copy.jpg

Please click here to see more photos on Flickr.com

 

The American Indian College Fund is projected to raise $550,000 support Native student scholarships at its 18th annual Flame of Hope Gala, held on October 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Proceeds will benefit Native education.

Native artist Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) created a painting live at the event, which was awarded to the donor providing the largest gift. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe took the painting for their donation of $50,000. A silent auction including art by the nation’s top Native artists, and entertainment by Native musicians, including classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala and the dance and music group Brulé, were featured. Haskell Indian Nations University alumnus Dominic Clichee spoke during the program.

The American Indian College Fund honored the Northwest Area Foundation of Minneapolis for funding a $1 million, one-year Tribal College Leaders in Community Innovation Award, providing financial assistance for tribal college programs impacting local communities at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota; Sitting Bull College in North Dakota; Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota; Stone Child College in Montana; and Northwest Indian College in Washington State.

We thank the 37 individual, corporate, foundation, and tribal nation sponsors that made this year’s Flame of Hope Gala a tremendous success. Flame of Hope Sponsor: USA Funds. Keeper of the Flame Sponsor: Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota. Vision of Hope Sponsors: The CocaCola Company, Comcast NBC Universal , Lannan Foundation, Nissan North America, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Circle of Hope Sponsors: Anheuser-Busch Companies, AT&T, The Richard Black Family: Richard, Heather, Kara, and Erica, Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services; McDonald’s Corporation, Target Corporation, Travelers, UPS Foundation, US Bank, Walmart Foundation, Wieden + Kennedy. Spirit of Giving Sponsors: CBS Corporation, FedEx, Grotto Foundation, Jenzabar, Mattel, Peskoff Foundation, The Tierney Family Foundation, United Health Foundation. Visionary Sponsors: Amergent, Kimberly S. Blanchard, Dine College, Kauffman and Associates, Inc., Leech Lake Tribal College, National Indian Gaming Association, MAG Mechanical. Ignite the Flame Sponsors: Aramark, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, College of the Muscogee Nation, Northwest Indian College.

Our Partners:

Thank You to Our 2013 Flame of Hope Gala Silent Auction Contributors:

  • Timothy H. Terry (Akimel O’Odham)
  • Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe)
  • Judy Gould
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Bobby Bales (Taos Pueblo)
  • Andrew and Gladys Pacheco (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
  • Daniel B. Ramirez (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe)
  • Waya’ aisiwa Gary Keene (Acoma Pueblo)
  • David Gary Suazo (Taos Pueblo)
  • Than Povi Fine Art Gallery
  • Geraldine Tso (Navajo)
  • Todd Lone Dog Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota Tribe)
  • C.J. Shije (Zia/Acoma Pueblo)
  • Lou Thoumann
  • >>see more

 

College of Menominee Nation Big Day in Pre-K

College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) Sacred Little One’s project hosts an early childhood teacher institute on their campus in the Community Technology Center. Twenty-two lead teachers from the Menominee Nation’s Head Start programs are spending a day with a Scholastic trainer to be introduced to their new pre-K curriculum, Big Day in Pre-K. The Scholastic Big Day in Pre-K curriculum – a literacy based program – was selected by the Menominee Nation’s Head Start policy council with input from families and CMN faculty. Early childhood education faculty from CMN will work closely with the Menominee Nation’s Head Start to implement the Big Day in Pre-K curriculum. The second day of the teacher institute will focus on integrating the recently developed literacy book kits (developed by CMN early childhood students), with the goal of infusing Menominee culture and language into early childhood education instruction and align cultural curriculum with the scientifically-based chosen curriculum, Big Day in Pre-K.

Sacred Little Ones program event brings tribal educators to Lummi

By Shelley Macy, NWIC Early Childhood Education Director

On June 7, Lummi elders and community leaders, along with the Northwest Indian College Early Childhood Wakanyeja Sacred Little Ones (WSLO) program, welcomed WSLO teams from the College of the Menominee Nation (CMN-Wisconsin), Ilisagvik College (IC-Alaska), and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI-New Mexico) to the annual WSLO convening at the Silver Reef Casino.

All four colleges receive support funds from the American Indian College Fund’s “Wakanyeja ‘Sacred Little Ones’ –Tribal College Readiness and Success by Third Grade Initiative.”  The Wakanyeja project is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The purpose of the project is to create innovative, tribally-based activities and solutions that improve early childhood education and empower families and communities to create better education for their children.

Read More

THE HONOR IN AN HONORARY DEGREE -­‐-­‐-­‐ By Hattie Kauffman

EWU Commencement 2013-133.jpg
On June 15, 2013 Eastern Washington University presented me with an Honorary Doctorate. Yes, we all know that honorary degrees aren’t the same as real ones. I didn’t spend years in a PHD program or sweat over a dissertation. Yet when the honor came … I felt an immense relief, as if someone had just pulled a sliver from the bottom of my foot. I could finally stand upright. You see, decades ago I had dropped out of a graduate program and it had always haunted me, no matter how successful I became in my career as a network news correspondent. In the 1970’s, I was a young married mom of two attending the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota. My then husband and I had married as teenagers. Young and foolish, we made many mistakes and when the marriage ended, I thought, “I can’t stay in school. I need to get a job to support these kids.” Recalling those days, I can’t help but applaud the many Native college students who today juggle parenting and term papers. Thirty-­‐four tribal colleges serve more than 30,000 students and according to a recent study, 92% of scholarship recipients in tribal colleges are considered “non-­‐traditional”… meaning they are older than the typical American college student, they have dependents and most of the time they are female. In other words, they sound just like I was back then: a mom with kids to support. I take my hat off to you students!EWU Commencement 2013-135.jpg
(My tasseled hat, which came with the honorary degree.) Your determination will make a straighter path for your children. I know that to be absolutely true. Because, abbreviated though it was, the journalism program gave me the skills that made me a reporter; and from there,  an anchorwoman; and from there, a network news correspondent. They were all building  blocks. Standing on the podium at Eastern Washington University, I felt the blocks had finally come full circle. There I was at a college commencement, receiving a degree in honor of my life work and at last  I  was able to exhale that old regret about leaving grad school early. It was okay. The sliver pulled out, I stood tall and said, “Thank you.”

EWU Commencement 2013-136.jpg

NOTE:  A member of the Nez Perce Tribe, Hattie Kauffman is the first Native American to ever report on a national network broadcast. Her memoir, Falling Into Place, is being released in September.

Sacred Books for Little Ones

Nestled between the Lummi Bay and Bellingham Bay in Northwest Washington State, four tribal college early childhood education programs brought their knowledge together among the thicket of tradition and scenery on the Lummi Indian reservation. The Wakanyeja Early Childhood Education Initiative tribal college grantees of Northwest Indian College, College of Menominee Nation, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and Ilisagvik College gathered last week for their annual Sacred Little Ones convening on the Lummi reservation.

The grantees of this Kellogg-funded initiative joined up to share their experiences at their tribal college sites and expand upon each other’s emergent specialized knowledge and give a report on how their initiatives are impacting not only the young learners, but also the programs, communities and the tribal college students studying alongside in the program. This break-through initiative on how we teach young learners incorporates the cultural aspects of learning while preparing the needs of the students to be more successful in the classroom.  The TCU grantees presented their expertise and conveyed their best practices they have identified in now their third year participating in the program.

 

 

Incorporating their curricula to their early learning centers, the team from the College of Menominee Nation presented the 17 original picture storybooks created by the student teachers in one of their courses. These books are comprised of stories about the Menominee, the seasons, animals and other lessons for young children. Then they had the other three groups create their own books during the break-out session. Here are their descriptions of the activity they participated in:

Northwest Indian College
“We did an activity where we choose a Lummi legend, The Crow and the Bear story. The moral of the legend is to not be a copy cat because you might get hurt. Instead of following the assignment (and being a copy cat) to use the Gingerbread Man framework, we did a Lummi legend. We worked together to illustrate the legend for Lummi children.” Sunshine Bob and the Sacred Little Ones team will be submitting their storybook to the Lummi culture commission for approval and feedback before they are distributed for use in early learning centers serving Lummi children and families.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

The SIPI team discussed the complexities of integrating tribal language into literary text.  The team would like to respect local tribal values regarding sharing language in text.  The SIPI team would like to develop books with the collaboration of local community.

Ilisagvik College

During the Saturday session, the CMN team presented a workshop on making storybooks that we can use with our young children in our Learning Environment. It was an abbreviated hands-on practice to give an overview of the process. The team  feels it is easier to go back home and produce its own. The team realized that this doable and it has the resources and the basic skills. to produce fun, culturally relevant classroom material.

Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, the Program Officer for the Kellogg-funded initiative from the American Indian College Fund describes the TCU programs and their best practices as exemplary models “driving the early childhood conversation from the Native [American] lens.”

For their participation in the activity, some freshly-harvested maple syrup from the Menominee Nation was presented to each cohort by the College of Menominee Nation.

SIPI Early Childhood Student is accepted into the Charles Carl Program at Yale University

Andrea Vicente is from Isleta Pueblo. This is her second year in SIPI’s Early Childhood Education Program.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) is proud to announce that Andrea Vicente, a student in the Early Childhood Education program, has been awarded the opportunity to participate in the Charles Carl Program for Students and Faculty at Yale University’s Child Study Center.  This intensive one-week program will provide participants with a unique introduction to child development and child mental health.  This includes a series of faculty speakers from Yale University who will provide an overview of research and clinical activities conducted at the Child Study Center.  Round trip transportation, lodging, and a stipend for meals are included in this week-long internship.  This program is especially designed for Native American College and University students.  As a partner of the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” grant initiative, Yale University has provided this opportunity to SIPI’s Early Childhood program (visit http://www.collegefund.org/press/detail/212 to read the press release).

Andrea Vicente is from Isleta Pueblo.  This is her second year in SIPI’s Early Childhood Education Program.  Upon completion of her Associates degree, Andrea plans to continue her education at the University of New Mexico where she plans to study Special Education.  Andrea’s parents, Carol and Patrick Olguin have been very supportive of her endeavors.  Andrea receives much inspiration from her aunt Emelda Chimoni and her grandmother Josephine Lente.  Andrea is heavily involved in her community and is also a member of the Kateri Tekakwitha Circle.  She recently participated in the canonization of Saint Kateri.  Andrea is an excellent example of hard work and dedication.  She successfully balances community involvement with her studies at SIPI.  We are confident that Andrea will contribute greatly to her community in the near future.  Congratulations Andrea!

Andrea Vicente is from Isleta Pueblo.  This is her second year in SIPI’s Early Childhood Education Program.  Upon completion of her Associates degree, Andrea plans to continue her education at the University of New Mexico where she plans to study Special Education. 

American Indian College Fund Hosts an Open House and Opening Night of “Open Identities” a Printmaking Art Exhibition

The American Indian College Fund (the Fund) is hosting an open house, Friday, May 17, 2013, at 8333 Greenwood Blvd., Denver, CO.  The event begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m.  The open house was initially envisioned by Fund President Cheryl Crazy Bull as an opportunity to visit with the Fund’s local supporters, Native community members, family, and friends.  This evening is an excellent opportunity to share the work of the Fund and to celebrate our national impact on educational access for Native students attending tribal colleges across the United States.

To mark this special occasion, the Fund hosts this same evening, the opening night of an invited art exhibit entitled “Open Identities” by Native artist Cody Saint Arnold.  The evening will include a welcome by Fund President Cheryl Crazy Bull, and a few words by Cody Saint Arnold contextualizing the works presented in this special exhibition.  Guests will enjoy viewing the art, visiting with the Fund staff, listening to Native flute music, and tasting delicious Southwestern “Fresca” themed appetizers and beverages.

“Open Identities” by Cody Saint Arnold will be on display at the American Indian College Fund through September 2013. The American Indian College Fund plans to invite artists to show their work for the enjoyment of the Fund staff.  Invited exhibits will be open to visitors on special occasions into the future.  For more information about the art exhibits at the Fund, please contact Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, member of the art exhibit acquisition committee (tyazzie-mintz@collegefund.org).

It is an honor to welcome our local supporters, Native community members, family, and friends to join us for a special evening of art, music and light refreshments.

RSVP for this event to Darrick Silversmith (dsilversmith@collegefund.org).

About the Artist

Cody St. Arnold

I am a printmaker from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I am currently based in Boulder, Colorado. In my fifth year of study at CU Boulder, pursuing a BA in the Ethnic Studies program, I was forever turned to printmaking by a series of Silkscreen, Relief, and Intaglio classes presented by world-wide recognized printmaker and associate professor of Printmaking at CU-Boulder, Melanie Yazzie. In the presentation of her Navajo culture in her works, it opened my mind to how much in flux I carry my identity as a Jicarilla Apache/Keeweenaw Bay Ojibwe Indian and as a current U.S. citizen invested and living in our rapidly changing state of American culture. I wish to pursue many perspectives of philosophy that has carried me further through these seemingly troubled times for the Native American identity.
Art has always had a transcendental purpose for human beings, as if to take what we have already and create a world of matter that makes sense to us and fills our souls with an impression. I try to understand what kind of impact from things like indie rock and psychedelia, Eurocentric academia, living in the white Northeast Heights of Albuquerque, and many other events have all shaped my perception of my life. Being a Native American challenges these notions further because it is knowledge and an inescapable mission to give respect to the generations of Indians who brought us here to this world in the first place. And to challenge the notion of being Native American is further accentuated by the fact that I didn’t grow up on a reservation. Where does one feel like one can belong with such a large quantity of knowledge and inherited responsibilities?
The exhibit, “Open Identity” draws out issues of identity, belonging, cultural representation and notions of becoming.  The exhibit presents the artist’s journey with earlier prints to current works responding to the notion of educational access and success.

DONATE ONLINE RECEIVE UPDATES