Tiwahe Foundation Awards 12 American Indian Family Empowerment Grants


The Tiwahe Foundation has awarded 12 grants to Natives in the Twin Cities' seven-county metro area through its American Indian Family Empowerment Program. The program awards $70,000-$80,000 annually to American Indian individuals and families seeking financial resources to achieve their goals, shape their future and make positive contributions to their community through three priority areas: economic self-sufficiency; education and cultural connections.

Grants range from $500 to $2,500—enough to make a significant impact on grantees and the community and contribute to the self-determination of awardees. Individuals received awards in the following focus areas:

Goal 1: Preserving and Renewing Native Cultural Connections

Travis Decory, Sicangu Lakota- Support for preserving traditional songs and stories. Also, purchasing a computer for family.

Zhawin Gonzalez, White Earth Band of Ojibwe- Naming ceremony for children, supplies to make a ribbon shirt and take family to Powwows.

Goal 2: Educational Achievement

Robert Blake, Red Lake Ojibwe- Support for attending Minneapolis Community and Technical College and purchasing a vehicle.

William Carter, Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe- Purchase of laptop computer for classes at the University of Minnesota.

Nicole Hendrickson, Sokaogon Band of Ojibwe- Support to complete Real Estate courses and the start up costs
associated with getting licensure.

Charles Jackson, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe- Support to complete Bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan State University.

Kateri Palacio-Traxler, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux- Support to take Accounting classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Gianna Strong, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux- Support for books and travel expenses while attending University of Minnesota-Morris.

Carrie Warren, White Earth Band of Ojibwe- Support with books, tuition and fees at Augsburg College.

Tia Williams, White Earth Band of Ojibwe- Support with educational expenses at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Goal 3: Economic Self-Sufficiency

Sandra Jones, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux- Support to purchase a computer to work from home.

Nicole Koenig-Roy, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe- Support with start-up cost associated with operating a small business.

The Empowerment Program strives to reverse the social, educational, and economic challenges facing American Indians by investing in human capital, skills, resources and cultural strengths that people possess that allow them to live healthy and productive lives, build strong relationships, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

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