Being a Native American comes with a list of certain advantages, especially concerning government relations in terms of education. Native American grants are some of the most abundant, actually ranking 3rd behind African American and Latin American grants. The list is long, but you will have to fit into certain categories in order to qualify. There are many North Americans that can claim Native American familial relations, but until that bloodline is established, it will be difficult to get your hands on the monies necessary to make it all the way through your particular college program.
The most important thing to remember in your situation (if you wish to utilize your Native American status to extract grant government funding) is that you will have to claim some kind of Native American citizenship or decent.
Now, not all grants are going to support every Native American. There are many organizations out there that do help Native Americans, but that will have to depend on the tribe from which you are descended. For instance, if you are someone from the Iroquois Nation, then you may not necessarily qualify from a foundation that seeks to help those from the Sioux Tribe. Once again, that is going to come from a grant by grant basis.
Another thing to keep in mind is that grants are not always going to come in as quick as you want them to. For instance, a federal grant is going to move much more slowly than a non-profit organization grant will. So, in your planning, make sure you take that into account.
One thing you will want to keep in mind is that a secondary citizenship might have to be established in order to realize grant funding. As we said before, it is easy to make dubious claims of Native American decent, so gaining access to these funds may be a matter of a large amount of paperwork, establishing a dual citizenship with a Native American tribe.
In addition to that, it might carry extra taxation and other obligations if you do decide to go that route. So, just make sure you go through the proper channels and do your research before you go into that kind of a life changing status alteration. It may be helpful to speak with a lawyer that deals directly in these matters, as they will advise you on what the smart thing to do happens to be.
The List of Grants
If you need some place to begin, then here is a list that’s been put together by out staff and taken from other Internet sources. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list, but it may help on your road to find government funding for your educational needs.
The Daughters of the American Revolution offers several grants and scholarships for both male and female Native Americans who wish to attend college. Request information in writing, and enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. Here are two of the programs the DAR offers:
- The American Indian Scholarship is open to Native Americans regardless of age, tribe, or state of residency. It is available for technical school, college, and university students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (although undergraduates are given preference) and is based on financial need and academic record. This is a one-time grant of $1,000. Students must have at least a 2.75 grade point average and submit proof of American Indian blood.
- The Frances Crawford Marvin American Indian Scholarship is designated for students enrolled full time at either a 2 or 4 year university or college. Applicants must provide proof of Native American blood and a grade point average of at least 3.0 as well as financial need. The amount of the award depends on the returns provided by the endowment and varies.
The Association on American Indian Affairs offers the Allogan Slagle Scholarship specifically for Native American students who are not members of one of the federally recognized tribes.
The American Chemical Society offers several grants and scholarships for minority students, including Native Americans, who are undergraduates in chemistry or related fields.
GRANTS AVAILABLE FROM NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
Almost every tribe has grants available for tribal members who wish to attend an institute of higher education. Some of these are listed below.
- Backfeet Nation Higher Education Grant provides $3,500 annually to 140 undergraduate students.
- Menominee Indian Tribe Adult Vocational Training Program offers $100 to $2,200 for up to 70 students at technical colleges.
- Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Higher Education Grant provides $100 to $1,100 annually for up to 136 undergraduate students.
- Yakima Nation Tribal Scholarship offers $1,000 to undergraduate students who have at least a 2.0 grade point average.