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The American Indian College Fund's Mission
The American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.
History and Mission
In the wake of the civil rights and American Indian self-determination movements of the 1960s, tribal leaders realized they would have to take control of the direction of education in order to reverse centuries of misguided and failed federal education policies.
In 1968, the Navajo Nation created a first-of-its-kind educational institution--a college controlled by the tribe, located on the reservation and established specifically to provide higher education to tribal members. With that monumental event, the tribal college movement was born. Since then, the number of tribal colleges has grown to more than 30, located in 12 states and serving more than 250 American Indian Nations from every geographic region in the United States.
When the American Indian College Fund was launched, providing scholarship support to the tribal colleges was its primary mission.
Tribal colleges are beacons of hope for social and economic change in the communities they serve. These institutions are vital to Native America and beneficial to the country as a whole because they help Native communities in the fight against poverty. At the same time, tribal colleges preserve language and culture by integrating these important elements into their curriculum.
Tribal colleges receive little or no local or state tax support, so corporate, foundation and private donations are crucial. As the success of the tribal colleges grows, so does the need for private-sector support.
Tribal college presidents recognized the need to establish an organization to raise private-sector funds for the colleges and to compliment the efforts of its sister organization, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. As a result, the American Indian College Fund was established in 1989. Originally located in New York City, the Fund's consolidated its headquarters to one office in Denver, Colorado in 2002.
- Gina Del Castillo
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