2014-04-03 / Headlines

American Indian College Fund to Support Environmental Science and Sustainability Programs, Fellowships, and Internships

DENVER, CO -- Tribal colleges serve communities that face environmental issues such as degradation of water quality, energy development, depletion of natural resources, and agricultural management. A new Environmental Science and Sustainability Project funded by the American Indian College Fund through a $1.35 million grant will support tribal colleges and universities in select states by underwriting environmental science and sustainability programs of study and student internships; providing tribal college faculty with fellowships to earn advanced degrees in related fields; and offering fellowships for tribal college students majoring in relevant programs to complete their junior and senior years of college.

Students will gain both curricular and traditional knowledge through an intergenerational approach to learning by bringing elders and others into the classroom to help create systemic change for environmental sustainability in Native communities. The project will also expand the professional credentials of tribal college faculty in these academic disciplines to make tribal colleges the center of place-based environmental learning. As a result, the tribal colleges will provide opportunities for students to conduct research and work with faculty and other professional experts to create solutions to community environmental and sustainability issues while also educating and involving their tribal members.

Tribal colleges and universities located in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are eligible for all the programming components. Montana schools are eligible for the student fellowships and internships only under the grant terms and do not qualify for the programming and faculty fellowship resources.

The project is made possible in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund said, “Sustainability, sciences, and the environment are a natural part of the lives of tribal people. Our communities build on our past and present knowledge of how to live on the land and how to use its resources toward better futures for our children and their families. This project demonstrates our commitment to healthier, more vibrant tribal nations by perpetuating and furthering that knowledge through our tribal colleges.”

About the American Indian College Fund:The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) is the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships for American Indian students. Founded in 1989, the College Fund has been “Educating the Mind and Spirit” of Native people for 25 years, and provides an average of 6,000 scholarships annually. The College Fund also supports the nation’s 34 accredited tribal colleges and universities located on or near Indian reservations. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators. For more information, please visit www.collegefund.org.

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