Courtesy American Indian College Fund
Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull is the president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund.

American Indian College Fund to Administer Cobell Scholarship Fund


The Cobell Education Scholarship Fund will be administered by the American Indian College Fund with a fifth of the annual scholarships awarded by the American Indian Graduate Center, announced Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on March 12.

“This scholarship fund for Native American students will be a lasting, meaningful legacy of the Cobell Settlement that will help strengthen Indian communities, advance tribal progress and secure a better future for the first Americans,” Salazar said in a press release.

As part of the Cobell settlement a $1.9 billion land buy-back program was established to purchase land for tribal governments. For each purchase, a donation will be made to the scholarship fund. The Interior is authorized to set aside up to $60 million for fund from these purchases. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, for land purchases less than $200, $10 will go to the scholarship fund; for land purchases between $200 and $500, $25 goes to the fund; and for any land purchases over $500, five percent of the purchase price is donated to the fund.

“My mother, Elouise Cobell, cared deeply about the next generation of Native people and she insisted on this scholarship as part of the settlement,” said Turk Cobell in the release. “It is a fitting tribute to her courageous work and will be a longstanding and appropriate legacy of her extraordinary perseverance and vision.”

Salazar named the American Indian College fund after receiving nominations from the lead plaintiff and evaluating them through a selection committee. The committee recommended the college fund as the recipient organization saying the money it receives should be devoted to scholarships for vocational certificates and four-year accredited colleges, including tribal colleges. The graduate center will provide 20 percent of yearly scholarships to encourage Native graduates to continue their education and get professional and doctoral degrees.

“We are honored to have been selected to administer the largest scholarship fund ever established on behalf American Indian and Alaska Native students,” said Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, in the release. “I look forward to working with the American Indian Graduate Center to provide greater opportunities for higher education to the next generation of Indian leaders and professionals.”

The graduate center is looking forward to fulfilling its end of the scholarship fund as well.

“We congratulate our colleagues at AICF on the award of this historic scholarship fund to their administration. AIGC is humbled and honored to be part of it. Elouise Cobell’s legacy will live on through our future scholars,” said Sam Deloria, director of AIGC, in a press release.

Now comes the task of appointing a Board of Trustees to oversee the college fund. The board will consist of no more than five members—two to be selected by the secretary, two to by the lead plaintiff and one to be selected by the college fund.

Board members will serve an initial four-year term and can be reappointed for an unlimited number of successive terms.

Tribal nominations for board members should send a curriculum vitae, letter of intent which indicates willingness to serve and a 250-word statement to:

Lizzie Marsters

Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street NW

Room 6118

Washington, DC 20240

Nominations should be postmarked no later than April 11, 2013.

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Renee Judkins's picture
Renee Judkins
Submitted by Renee Judkins on
So how would a person apply for this money set aside for people that want to continue their education ? Or is this just another farce of a promise, with money that should have gone to the people? Education was promised in the treatys, yet... this money was to be awarded to *THE PEOPLE* now, they take it to pump it into a trust responsibility of the United States... We get screwed every which way but loose, from the government ... are you handing this money over to the RBCs to decide who gets it ??? I read where people only have until the 30th of this month to apply, yet there is NO INFORMATION, or APPLICATIONS any where to apply.... Elouise Cobebell did not do her people a service catering to her own wants and needs when she negotiated these agreements on the spending of money owed the people... but her getting 14 million off the top sure suited her needs, now what about the rest of the people, left in the cold ?? SHAME ON THE U.S. and SHAME ON THIS WOMAN, people did not get what they should took years to mismanage these moneys yet they are going to fix it in ten ? and if you aren't found in ten, it goes back to the government... RIGHT, what a bunch of crap !!! So tell us, how are our kids suppose to access this money to HELP them with school ???

Debbie Sebok's picture
Debbie Sebok
Submitted by Debbie Sebok on
I admire Eloise Cobell for looking out for the future of the American Indian. As the saying goes: Knowledge is power. Thank you...Debbie Sebok (Rincon Tribe)