The Denver-based has announced that it has been selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior to administer the $60 million Indian Education Scholarship Holding Fund.
The fund was designated as part of the in Cobell v. Salazar by lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, who initiated the class action lawsuit in 1996 on behalf of American Indians whose trust fund lands had been mismanaged by the federal government. Cobell passed away in October 2011 at the age of 65. Under the agreement with the Department of the Interior, the fund will distribute 20 percent of its scholarship monies to the in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"We are honored by the confidence the government and plaintiffs have demonstrated in us," said Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. "They have confirmed what our supporters know: The American Indian College Fund has a proven history of twenty-four years of leadership and fiscal responsibility. We are rooted in advancing educational and vocational scholarships for Native peoples while maintaining strong relationships with Native communities....We look forward to working with the special trustees of the Indian Education Scholarship Holding Fund to discuss how we will implement and raise additional funding to improve access to education for all Indian people, regardless of financial circumstance, transforming Indian Country."