Fund to support new environmental project

Mar 27th, 2014 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Dina Horwedel

The American Indian College Fund has announced that it will endow a new environmental science and sustainability project designed to address the myriad environmental issues that many tribal communities face. The project, funded by a $1.35 million grant, will support tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) by underwriting environmental science and sustainability programs of study and student internships; providing TCU faculty with fellowships to earn advanced degrees in related fields; and by offering fellowships for TCU 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 that brings elders and other experts 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 TCUs the center of place-based environmental learning. As a result, TCUs 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 tribal members.

TCUs 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 and do not qualify for the programming and faculty fellowship resources. The project was made possible in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the Fund stated, “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.”

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