Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Makes History With Grant to The American Indian College Fund

American Indian College Fund
Saturday, 1 December 2001

$900,000 donation is the first of its kind from Indian tribe

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Prior Lake, Minn., today made history by donating a total of $900,000 over a three-year period to the American Indian College Fund. The donation launches a new initiative by the College Fund to raise a $10 million endowed fund in scholarships for all American Indian students.

"The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is happy to support such a worthwhile endeavor," said Stanley Crooks, Chairman of the tribe. "Nothing is more important to the Community than the future of Native American youth. I think the students who will receive these scholarships will be able to do great things to help their people. They live in both worlds: Indian and non-Indian and now they will have access to the best educational opportunities in America."

The donation will be given in three annual installments of $300,000 and will be used as a challenge grant from other tribal nations to build an endowed scholarship fund for all Indian students, including those at tribal colleges and at mainstream institutions. Once matched, the interest generated from the endowment will be distributed to the best and brightest Native students attending any accredited college or university in the country.

"This gift is very significant in Indian history because it marks the first time a tribe has committed to supporting scholarships for American Indian students across the country," said Richard Williams, executive director of the College Fund. "We deeply appreciate the care and generosity of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to support education for all Indian people."

The American Indian College Fund, formed in 1989, has spent more than a decade helping to increase educational opportunities for Native students. With its credo "educating the mind and spirit," the Denver-based non-profit distributes scholarships and support to tribal colleges across the country. This aid directly supports more than 5,000 students in achieving their college education. The College Fund also supports endowments, developmental needs and public awareness, as well as college programs in Native cultural preservation and teacher training.

Over the past three years, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has donated more than $12 million to Indian tribes and non-profit entities. The SMSC is a federally recognized Indian tribe located in Prior Lake, Minn.

For more information, or to contact American Indian College Fund, see their website at: www.collegefund.org

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