American Indian College Application & Scholarship Information (edu)

It is that time of year to help you students plan for an academic life after high school (this information is also for current college students).  The Northern California Indian Development Council and the Del Norte Indian Education Center have prepared a comprehensive list of resources, scholarships and writing tips too help ease the process.  Please feel free to share this with your students and families.

Best of Luck
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Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing all federal student financial assistance programs. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school. To Get The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FASA), click here

AFFORDABLE IVY: Click here to download a document that tells you how to apply to Ivy League colleges and Stanford tuition free or at greatly reduced prices.

General information about financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

Start your scholarship search with these two sites:

FastWEB Scholarship Search


1) Scholarships for Native American Students
There is a downloadable pdf paper copy of the information here.

2) 10 Weblinks for Scholarships Databases & Search Engines (access to HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of Scholarships)

3) 53 Pages of General Scholarships
There is a downloadable pdf paper copy of this list here.

4) Weblinks for Over 75 General Scholarships
Resource for High School Students: Paying for College, Native American Version
 download the pdf here.

5) American Indian Education Foundation for Graduate level students

6) Specific scholarships for American Indian students

7) Large database with scholarships for Native students

8) Scholarships for Graduate Students

9) Collection of scholarships and grants for graduate level students


Here are the top five reasons why you can't afford not to apply for scholarships:
From US News & World Report:

1. College costs a lot more than it used to. According to a 2010 Trends in College Pricing report by College Board, since the year 2000, public four-year tuition and fees have increased more than 5 percent annually above inflation. Tuition at public two-year colleges and private four-year colleges also increased by 3 percent above inflation.
[See which public colleges offer the lowest in-state costs and the lowest out-of-state costs.]

2. The economy stinks, and your parents have no money. Well, hopefully that's not 100 percent accurate, but there's definitely some truth to that statement. While parents still very much value contributing to their children's college tuition, the amount that families can afford to contribute has declined. A study commissioned by lender Sallie Mae and conducted by Gallup found that the number of families who planned to cover few if any college costs had risen while the number of parents expecting to cover more than half of the costs had dropped. A similar survey conducted by Longmire and Company, a higher-ed consulting firm, found that 33 percent—the largest percentage of parents—said they planned on contributing less than $5,000 to their child's college tuition, barely enough to cover four years of textbooks.
[Learn more about paying for college.]

3. The cost of college living is up. Unless you plan on living at home and commuting to school—a very good option for a lot of college students—plan on paying a lot more than your older brother or sister paid for your apartment, food, books and supplies. All of these things have gotten more expensive.

4. State support for students has decreased substantially. Although it looks like America may have weathered the worst of the recession (let's hope), many states are still reeling from the economic slump and most have made large cuts in public service funding—including higher education. As a result, public colleges and universities have increased tuition, meaning you're probably going to pay more now.

5. People owe a lot of money. One quarter of the U.S. population—70 million people—owe a collective $700 billion in student loan debt. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the average college graduate has acquired $24,000 in student loans by the time they graduate, and that figure is likely to increase. Experts say this may be the next financial bubble to burst.
[Read more about the higher education bubble.]

I know what you might be thinking. And the answer is a resounding yes—going to college is worth it. Your college degree will be one of the most lucrative investments you'll make. College graduates earn, on average, $20,000 more per year than someone with just a high school diploma, according to a 2007 report by College Board. The cost of attending college may seem daunting, but that's exactly why finding, applying for, and receiving scholarships are essential to ensure that you won't struggle to make huge student loan payments upon graduation. Scholarships are no longer just a bonus. They're crucial for bridging the gap between the increasing cost of tuition and what you and your family can afford to pay out of pocket. —Michelle Showalter

Kúmateech /Later
André Cramblit, 
Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council (NCIDC) 

How To Apply for OJJDP Tribal Youth Funding (opportunity)

JUVJUST OJJDPs E-mail Information Resource

Webinar To Discuss How To Apply for OJJDP Tribal Youth Funding

The U.S. Department of Justice is sponsoring a webinar series to provide guidance on its fiscal year 2016 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). This solicitation allows federally recognized tribal governments and tribal consortia to apply for funding to support public safety and victim services in tribal communities. On January 20, 2016, at 3 p.m. ET, OJJDP will lead a 1-hour webinar highlighting the application requirements for funding for OJJDP’s Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts and Tribal Youth Programs (purpose areas 8 and 9). Presenters will identify tools and resources for applicants to facilitate the application process, discuss the requirements for each of the OJJDP

-funded purpose areas, and answer questions related to CTAS.


Register for the free webinar.

Learn more about CTAS and access supplemental materials. 

Visit OJJDP's Tribal Youth Program website and its Programs for Tribal Youth webpage.


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The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of theOffice of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to JUVJUST or OJJDP News at a Glance. Browse past issues of JUVJUST and OJJDP News at a Glance.

Office of Justice Programs, 810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20531, United States

Repatriation of Tribal Sacred Objects (NEWS)

Secretary Jewell Advances Discussion on Repatriation of Tribal Sacred Objects with French Authorities

PARIS, France – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell met today with French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira to express the United States' concern about tribal sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony that are sold at French auction houses, and to seek cooperation in working to repatriate objects to Indian tribes in the United States.

In the meeting, Secretary Jewell and Minister Taubira discussed their shared commitment to helping tribes repatriate their sacred cultural objects that, under tribal customary law, are owned by the tribe as a whole and cannot be legally sold by individuals. The Secretary and Minister agreed to explore pathways that might provide greater protections for U.S. tribes seeking to repatriate their cultural property.

Secretary Jewell also met with President Catherine Chadelat of the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, France's auctioneering association and regulator.

Paris auction houses have recently held a series of auctions that included Native American sacred objects such as ceremonial masks. The next such sale is scheduled for December 7 and includes items of concern to several tribes. In the meeting, Jewell noted U.S. tribes’ requests for greater transparency from French auction houses about the origins of objects being sold.

At the request of tribes, the U.S. Department of the Interior has worked closely with the Department of State, including the U.S. Embassy in Paris, to engage French authorities and raise public awareness. Only certain objects are considered “not for sale” by tribes, including objects that are sacred, used for religious or healing purposes, and deeply important to tribal identity.

In the meetings, Secretary Jewell also emphasized the unique legal and political relationship between the federal government and federally recognized tribes in the United States. Federally recognized tribes have their own governments within the U.S. political system, with the power to make contracts, own property, regulate their territory, to sue and be sued in court, and to appear in proceedings of administrative bodies, the same as any other sovereign nation.

Hopi Solstice Ceremony (information, holidaze)

The History of The Hopi Soyaluna Ceremony

(Soyal, Soyala, Sol-ya-lang-eu)


It is a ceremony related to the sun as it relates to the winter solstice.  It is one of the Hopi's most sacred ceremonies and is also called the "Prayer-Offering Ceremony" because it is a time for saying prayers for the New Year and for wishing each other prosperity and health.

The date of this observation is on December 22.  It is celebrated by the Hopi Indians. Although a black Plumed Snake is the basic symbol of this ceremony. But it is not based on snake worship. (Just like their Snake Dance Ceremony isn't either.)  It is a ceremony related to the sun as it relates to the winter solstice.  It is one of the Hopi's most sacred ceremonies and is also called the "Prayer-Offering Ceremony" because it is a time for saying prayers for the New Year and for wishing each other prosperity and health.

Worshiping the sun is pretty common among many ancient people.  In North America, the Hopi also noticed that the sun rose and set at different points on the horizon. They also noticed that the sun would reach it's most vertical position in the summer and that when the sun rose lower in the sky it meant that the weather was colder and the earth was barren.

In midsummer, the Hopi performed their Snake Dance Ceremony when they felt the sun was close to the earth. (See our page on this Sun Dance) But, basically the Sun Dance was a request for rain from the gods of the underworld. But, when the sun started to go away, the Hopi attention was now focused on the sun leaving them altogether. Yikes!  

The Hopi believed that at the winter solstice that took place in December the Sun God had traveled as far from the earth as he ever did. So, in order to bring the Sun God back, this meant that it would require the most powerful humans (aka Hopi warriors) to talk the Sun God to turn around and come back to them.  

Therefore, the whole purpose of the Soyaluna ceremony that the Hopi do still to this day, is to prevent the disappearance of the sun at the time of the year when the days are the shortest.

The preparations for the Soyaluna ceremony start by cutting pieces of cotton string and tying feathers and pinyon needles to the end. These are exchanged among friends and relatives during the day.  Sometimes this is done by tying them in the recipient's hair. 

When the person who made this feathered string gives it to someone, he says, "May all the Katchinas grant you your wishes tomorrow."  The Katchinas are the spirits of the Hopi ancestors. (See our page on Niman Katchina.) Then the giver holds it vertically and moves the string back and forth horizontally. Later that night, everyone takes a willow branch and attaches all the strings that he or she has received to it.  The sticks are carried to the kiva (ceremonial meeting room) and placed in the rafters making the room look like a bower of feathers and pinyon needs. (More about the Kiva is on this page.)

The main celebration will take place in the kiva wear the chief resident of the Hopi society wears a headdress decorated with images that symbolize rain clouds. He will also carry a shield that has a star, an antelope and other symbolic objects have been drawn. Someone will also carry an effigy of Palulukonuh, also called the "Plumed Snake" what is carved from the woody stalk of the agave plant.

The shield bearers enter the kiva and take turns stamping on the sipapu (a shallow hole covered by a board that symbolizes the entrance to the underworld.) Then they arrange themselves into two groups: One on the north side of the room. One on the south side of the room.  They then start singing as the bearer of the sun shield rushes to one side and then the other.  He is driven back by the shield bearers on both sides. The movements of the shield bearers symbolize the attack of hostile powers on the sun. It's not uncommon for one or more of the participants in this mock struggle to faint from the heat inside the kiva and exhaustion.

 One the west wall of the kiva is an altar made up of a stack of corn (two or more ears have been contributed by each family in the pueblo, surrounded by husks and stalks. There's also a large gourd with an opening in it. The head of the effigy of the Plumed Snake sticks out of this gourd. In a puppet-like manner, the snakes head will rise slowly to the center of the opening and make a roaring noise. (All this is done by someone manipulating it in the background behind the altar.) The shield bearers will then throw meal to the Plumed Snake effigy. In response to each offering the snake roars.  When the Sun God's footprints appear in the sand, everyone knows that he's been persuaded to return.

The name "Soyala" means Time of the Winter to those who have been given that name.

The effigy of the plumed snake that is in the kiva is painted black and has a tongue-like appendage protruding from it's mouth. This black snake symbolizes the evil influences that are driving the sun away.  So the assembled chiefs make their offerings of prayer and meal to this black Plumed Snake to try to persuade him not to "swallow" the sun, like he does when there is an eclipse.

The Hopis believe that the days are shorter in the winter and grow longer in the summer because it's driven away by hostile forces and then after a considerable battle it's persuaded to return.  So, without the Soyaluna ceremony the sun might never come back, bringing warmer weather that's needed for growing corn and other food. 

So, the bearers of the Sun Shield represent the Hopi Sun God, whose favors are crucial to the tribe's survival.

10 Things Teachers Should Never Do When Teaching Native Kids (edu)



Each year, teachers with no background or understanding of Native history, culture, or current affairs, offer mainstream and Native students damaging, stereotypical curriculum. As summer winds down and kids get ready to go back to school, let's discuss some things teachers shouldn't do and ways parents can help.

Don’t Ask Native Students to Speak for Their Race

Teachers often ask Native students about anything that comes up about Native Americans. Tell your child’s teachers that every tribe is different as are opinions among Indigenous Peoples, and your child cannot speak for everyone. Recommend books like 500 Nations by Alvin M. Josephy.

Don’t Have Students Make Indian Names or Animal Totems

Many teachers try to teach about Native peoples through crafts projects or assignments like letting students choose Indian names for themselves. Consider it a teaching moment and print out this letter from Wisconsin Activist Richie Plass.

Don’t Host Powwows or First Thanksgivings Without Tribal Input

Some teachers think hosting a student powwow without any tribal input is okay, and honors Native people. Approach teachers as soon as school starts, and let them know you would be happy to help plan an appropriate celebration for Native American Heritage Month. If you don’t, imitation powwows with fake animal names, paper bag vests, and fake feather headdresses could happen. Direct teachers to read “The Harm of Native Stereotyping,” and “American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving.”

Communicating with teachers about how to teach Native children is a good way to avoid scenes like this. 

RELATED: Video: Florida High School’s Horrific Display of Cultural Stupidity

Don’t Ever Tell Native Students They Are Going to Drop Out

There is no excuse for it but there are some non-Native teachers who have been known to say things like this. Many Native students report that teachers told them it didn’t matter if they attended school or got good grades, because they would fail anyway. Native students graduate and attend the best colleges in the country, some in the face of many hardships. Teachers should be supportive of all students 

Don’t Say that Columbus Discovered America

This should be old news by now, but non-Native teachers are uncomfortable with the truth. Tell them to do some research and even read Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen.

RELATED: American History Myths Debunked: Columbus Discovered America

Don’t Use Words Like Primitive, Savage, Or Uncivilized

Please. Mainstream science is only just beginning to understand astronomy, geology, and other sciences that have been common knowledge to indigenous people for thousands of years. Is your child’s teacher not so sure about that? Show them this link to StarTeach Astronomy and their page on “Ancient Astronomy of the North American Indians.” 

Check Reading Lists: Avoid Racist Commonly Used Books

Books like Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Garth Williams and Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare are still commonly used in the classroom and feature hateful and/or stereotypical portrayals of Native people.  Other books may not be overtly offensive to an unsuspecting teacher but are still incorrect or misleading. Read “‘I’ Is Not For Indian: The Portrayal Of Native Americans In Books For Young People” on Native Culture Links before deciding to use a book in your curriculum. Teachers can also check out the American Indians in Children’s Literature blog.

Don’t Speak About Natives Only in the Past

Too many teachers are disconnected from Native peoples and have no sense of Natives in the present. If you suspect this is the case, offer to come into the classroom to do a presentation or even provide the teacher with a link to, purveyors of tribally approved curriculum and information. You can also recommend Native news sources.


Don’t Allow Mainstream Students to Bully Native Kids

If teachers see students doing the woo-woo thing, making fun of long hair, calling Native students by mascot names, etc., do not assume it will “toughen them up.” Bullying can result in suicide, damaged self-esteem, embarrassment and more. Teachers can use this as time to teach about diversity and respect.

Teacher Shouldn’t Assume They Know Anything About Natives

When teachers have no understanding of Native culture, they teach stereotypes. Have them contact their local tribes for speakers and be sure they have appropriate sources to get them on the right path to teaching accurately about Native peoples. Native Web Search has loads of resources.




Webinars (opportunities)

Webinar: "Restoration of Family Values and Healthy Community Characteristics"

In Native cultures, Native peoples had non-violent life ways based on an understanding of the natural world, viewing health through the traditional concepts of balance and sense of well-being. This webinar will discuss how restoring traditional family values can support positive social change and healthy community characteristics where Native families can exist in a web of relationships, each equal in importance and value. 

Presenter: Theda New Breast, M.P.H. (Montana Blackfeet)  
Theda is a founding board member and master trainer/facilitator for the Native Wellness Institute (NWI). She is one of the pioneers in the Native training field and an original committee member for the Men’s and Women’s Wellness gatherings. Theda has more than 30 years of professional experience in providing healing and training workshops centered on historical trauma, mental health issues related to alcohol, and other drug use prevention. She is the co-founder and co-writer of the GONA (Gathering of Native Americans) curriculum, one of the Ten Effective Practices and Models in Communities of Color. Theda has facilitated over 600 GONA’s. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in Northern Montana and is a Khan-nat-tso-miitah (Crazy Dog) Society member, herbalist, Sun dancer, Pipe Carrier, and lives as Niitsitapi, like all her Ancestors for thousands of years. In 2013, The Red Nations Film Festival Honored Theda with a Humanitarian Award for her lifetime of healing work with tribes and with a Red Nations statuette for her documentary short called, “Why The Women in My Family Don’t Drink Whiskey.”

Date/Time of Webinar:
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
11:00 AM (Alaska Time)
12:00 PM (PACIFIC)

Blog Question

I am thinking of closing this blog as it is money out of my pocket.  I would use mail chimp as my primary means of communication with you. I have 105 people on this blog and 300 on Mail chimp.  I think the only thing I would be losing is the archiving.  What do you think?  Please email me your comments at

Webinars (opportunities)

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 • 12 noon – 1:30pm pacific time.  Webinar: Law School Clinical Assistance, Tribal Violence Against Women Act 2013 Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction. Presenter, Sarah Deer. This webinar will focus on ways for law school clinics to provide assistance to tribes seeking to exercise the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2013 enhanced jurisdiction. Indian tribes now have the general authority to implement criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who violate protective orders or commit domestic violence or dating violence against Indian victims on tribal lands. Tribes wishing to exercise this Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction over non-Indians (SDVCJ) must provide certain rights to criminal defendants and meet certain legal requirements. Registration link,


August 18-20, 2015 •  “Uniting & Educating Across Disciplines to Respond to Sex Trafficking of Native Women and Our Children.”  Sex Trafficking of Native Women and Children Institute.  LOCATION: Hotel Cascada, 2500 Carlisle Blvd. Northeast, Albuquerque, NM  87110.  CONTACT: (855) 649-7299.  FEES: $50.


August 19th, 2015 • 12pm – 1:30pm pacific time.  Webinar: “Restoration of Family Values and Healthy Community Characteristics.” In Native cultures, Native peoples had non-violent life ways based on an understanding of the natural world, viewing health through the traditional concepts of balance and sense of well-being. This webinar will discuss how restoring traditional family values can support positive social change and healthy community characteristics where Native families can exist in a web of relationships, each equal in importance and value.  REGISTRATION:  


Monday, August 24th, 2015 • 11:30am – 1pm pacific time.  Webinar: “Breaking Process and Trauma Bond.”  Presenters, Christine Stark (Cherokee/Anishinaabe), and Dr. Alexandra Pierce (Seneca/Caucasian).  Registration link,  


Friday, September 11th, 2015 •  The Sac and Fox Nation 14th Annual Native Nations Law Symposium. This Symposium seeks to promote relations and education of important legal topics among all legal professionals both Tribal and State.  LOCATION: Iowa Tribal Reservation, 3345 Thrasher Rd., White Cloud KS 66094.  CONTACT:Joshua Langi, (785) 742-741 ext. 2600  FEES: $30 - $150. 

Fatherhood and Wellness for Natives (webinar)

Fatherhood and Wellness for Native Men, Teens, and Boys

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT



This webinar will be a discussion on responsible fatherhood and wellness for Native men, teens, and boys. What does it take for Native men to seek a wellness path and stay committed to be a good husband, father, and mentor? The importance of rehabilitation and healing for Native men. Clayton Small, PhD, CEO for Native PRIDE will conduct the webinar.

Learning Coordinator for Native American Student Programs (employment opportunity)

Creating a Passion for Learning Program Coordinator


POSITION:   Creating a Passion for Learning Coordinator for Native American Student Programs
DEPARTMENT:   Campus Diversity and Inclusion/Student Life 
MONTHS/HOURS:   12 months, 40 hours per week
STARTING SALARY RANGE:   Commensurate with experience
AVAILABLE:   July 1, 2015 
POSTING DATE:   April 3, 2015