Nine Native American students from Indian nations across the midwest have received scholarships from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Minnesota, the tribe announced today. The scholarship program is designed to recruit and retain talented American Indian students with demonstrated financial need.The group includes four students from Minnesota tribes, three from Wisconsin, one from South Dakota and one from North Dakota.
Since 2009, when SMSC donated $2.5 million to the University to create the scholarship fund, more than 190 students from 48 tribes in 18 states have received financial assistance. Eighty-three of them are enrolled this year, 59 in undergraduate programs and 24 in graduate studies, including three enrolled in the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance Program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
The University of Minnesota matches the interest earned on the endowment funds, with proceeds dedicated to providing scholarships for qualified American Indian students. The SMSC has donated more than $300 million to organizations and charitable causes since 1992. In addition, it funds its own community infrastructure and contributes generously to regional governments and infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.