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Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment


A student drum group at Salish Kootenai College sings an honor song during a building dedication ceremony.


American Indians share a long history of philanthropy. A person's value was measured not by what they owned, but rather what they gave away.

Today the tradition of generosity continues. Your tribe can help needy American Indian students pay for college through The Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment (SNSFE). This permanent endowment is supported by Indian nations, businesses, foundations and individual donors.

  • The SNSFE will provide scholarships to American Indian students in perpetuity.
  • SNSFE Scholarships are available to students of any Indian nation or major enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or professional school who are attending either tribal colleges or mainstream universities.

History of the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment

In 2001, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community made history by donating $900,000 to launch the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund. The American Indian College Fund set a goal to raise $10 million for the endowment.

The Challenge

In 2005, the Shakopee community made an additional $600,000 challenge grant, offering to match the funding if Indian nations, businesses, foundations, and individual donors also supported the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment. The Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay generously responded to the challenge grant with a gift of $25,000 to support SNSFE.

In 2007, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux Community gave another $300,000 challenge grant, and the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians met the challenge with a $100,000 grant.

How Your Tribe Can Help

When the wise leaders of our tribes made decisions, they considered the future of our people. The SNSFE honors our ancestors by providing education for our people in perpetuity.

Your gift to the American Indian College Fund to support the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund will be a gift that will give forever in the tradition of the Indian way of giving.

Help us reach our goal by giving generously.

Contact the American Indian College Fund to learn more about the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund Endowment at 1-800-776-3863.

EIN Number

To contribute to or learn more about this initiative or how your tribe can partner with the American Indian College Fund, contact Cheryl Ellenwood at (303) 426-8900.