In the fall of 2017, the Center for Tribal Studies began coordinating its own committee to help fund Native American students at the end of each semester who might be experiencing a financial rut. The award ranges from $50 -$400 with each applicant being considered on a case-by-case basis. Each recipient is required to complete at least three hours of volunteer service hours within 30 days of receiving the award.
“We noticed a need within our Native student community,” said Alisa Douglas, CTS student coordinator. “This award creates opportunities for students who are in a one-time emergency at time in the semester that can be pretty chaotic.”
The emergency fund allows recipients with personal expenses that could affect their ability to successfully accomplish their academic goals. Those expenses include: transportation related issues, unexpected utility bill increases, rent, groceries, and medical. The funds cannot be used for tuition, fees, fines, or campus housing.
“We understand that students have lives outside this institution,” said Shelly Dreadfulwater, emergency fund committee member. “No two students are in the same situation, so we just hope to ease any stress that they may have financially, but even though we want to help every student, we cannot award every applicant.”
For the month of April, CTS organized an art show to bring awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Me Too movements. A portion of the funds raised during the art show were used to support the American Indian Emergency Fund.
“The art show was a way for us to spread awareness for the MMIW and Me Too movements, while advocating for our students in need,” said Sara Barnett, CTS director. “We even featured some artwork from our students, who were eager to help out in any way they could for their peers and community.”
To be eligible for the emergency fund, each applicant must be enrolled full-time, undergraduate 12 hours and graduate 9 hours. And each applicant must also provide proof of enrollment in a federally recognized tribe.
CTS has exhausted its funding for the fall semester, but encourage eligible students to be on the lookout next semester.
For more information on the American Indian emergency fund, visit CTS on Facebook at NSU Center for Tribal Studies, call 918-444-4350, or email email@example.com.