Native Village
Youth and Education news
September 2010 Volume

Students establish scholarship
Condensed by Native Village

Idaho:  Last September. the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho donated $2,000 to the American Indian Student Alliance at North Idaho College. Instead of spending it, the students decided to establish a scholarship program for future tribal students.

When the year ended, the AISA had raised another $2,000 and presented the funds to the North Idaho College Foundation,. NICF manages the college's scholarship programs.

“I’m glad the club is doing this, that we’ve created this, not for us but for the people that will be following us,” said AISA student Antonia Bancroft, Navajo. “It amazes me that students realize it’s not benefitting us but future students. I think that’s really cool and that the students realize that.”

Last year, 139 tribally enrolled students attended the school. Only 14% were given funds from their tribes to help with their college education. While some students receive other types of financial aid, many do not.

“For financial aid, if you’re younger than 24, you have to include your parents income," said AISA student advisor, Evanlene Melting Tallow, Blackfeet/Blood. "If you do that and are middle class, the student won’t be able to get a Pell Grant. The only thing they’ll be eligible for is a student loan. What happens is that parents can’t afford tuition and books and so forth so the students have to rely on loans. You see students taking out a lot of loans for community college to be able to attend school.”

A major fundraiser is planned for this fall: the Che’nshish Scholarship Scramble. Che-nshish means "assisting or giving to others" in the Coeur d’Alene language. The Coeur d’Alene Casino and Circling Raven Golf Club will sponsor the golf tournament and donatw half the proceeds to the AISA scholarship fund. 

Students hope to raise $10,000. If so, they will receive another $10,000 from the American Indian Education Foundation Challenge Grant.

If that should happen the scholarship fund would suddenly jump to about $24,000.  The first scholarships will be available in Spring, 2011.

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