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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: , Public Education Director, 303-426-8900

Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation Awards $50,000 to The Fund to Continue Scholarship Program

June 10, 2010

Denver, Colorado – The Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), recently granted $50,000 to the American Indian College Fund (the Fund) to support the Spirit of Sovereignty Scholarship Program. Established in 2008, this program awards scholarships to Native American students attending our nation’s tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). This most recent gift is an installment of a total contribution of $150,000 which provided a $2,000 scholarship to a student at each of the TCUs for both the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters.

The generous grant also allowed for an outstanding scholar to attend one of the largest NIGA events of the year. Shannon Alden-Wilson represented her peers at the Indian Gaming 2010 Tradeshow & Convention in San Diego in April 2010. Alden-Wilson is a pharmacy major and graduated as a Spirit of Sovereignty scholar from Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, MT in May 2010. She will be transferring to Montana State University-Billings this fall to pursue the pre-pharmacy degree. Upon completion of this program, Alden-Wilson plans to transfer to the University of Montana to participate in the school’s renowned pharmacy program.

“I am tremendously appreciative of not only the scholarship I received from the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation, but also being selected to travel to San Diego and experience the NIGA conference,” said Alden-Wilson. “The event was a wonderful opportunity to network with like-minded Native people.”

““We are proud to collaborate with the American Indian College Fund to promote the education and opportunity for Native youth,” said Ernest L. Stevens Jr., Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. NIGA, established in 1985, is a non-profit organization of 168 Indian Nations with other non-voting associate members representing tribes and businesses engaged in tribal gaming enterprises from around the country.

“The continued support from the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation and NIGA shows how both American Indians and the gaming industry are carrying on the Native tradition of philanthropy by helping American Indian students make the dream of education a possibility, while creating economic development opportunities in Indian Country,” said Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “With their ongoing investment in education, the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation is helping to create a better life for our students and all of our people in Indian Country.”

About the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation

The Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by its parent entity, the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), to reward the educational goals of exceptional Native-American students.  For more information, please visit www.spiritofsovereignty.org.