Indian Country Today – AMERIND Risk Donates Thousands Graduate Students

AMERIND RISK  AND AIGCAMERIND Risk’s Golf Fundraiser Donates Thousands to Uninsured Families, Graduate Students


The 2015 Protecting Tribal Families Golf Fundraiser was held April 23, at the Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M. And this year, AMERIND Risk shared the proceeds with the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC).

AMERIND’s portion of the proceeds will benefit the AMERIND Risk Family Emergency Fund, which assists uninsured Native American families who experience hardship due to unforeseen disasters/loss to their home. AIGC, a national provider of scholarships to the American Indian and Alaskan Native students pursuing graduate and professional degrees, benefitted equally in the proceeds of this year’s fundraiser.

Derek Valdo, CEO, and Nancy Harjo Serna, director of marketing, for AMERIND Risk, presented AIGC with a $6,700 check to contribute to the cultural and economic wellbeing for individuals and tribes through graduate education, on July 2 at the Santa Ana Golf Club.

Photo:  Derek Valdo, CEO, and Nancy Harjo Serna, Director of Marketing, of AMERIND Risk; Derek C. Gutierrez, PGA, Director of golf/GM, Santa Ana Golf Corp.; Linda Niezgodzki, Development Associate, and Joan V. Currier, COO, of the American Indian Graduate Center/AIGC Scholars, hold the check that will benefit the AMERIND Risk Family Emergency Fund and AIGC.


150 American Indian and Alaska Native Students Awarded Prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship

Albuquerque, NM – This fall 150 American Indian and Alaska Native students will begin their college experience as Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS). These scholars represent 18 states and 37 different American Indian tribes.

Overall, for the 2008-2009 school year GMS awarded one thousand scholarships to highly talented students of color. The 2008 class of Gates Millennium Scholars graduated from more than 800 high schools, representing 47 states and American territories, and will attend 360 different institutions of higher learning. Through the life of the program, a total of 20,000 students will receive scholarships to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, Gates Scholars have established a record of excellence—in school and in life. GMS recipients stay in school, are involved with both campus and home communities, and complete their education. They also continue to give back after their academic careers are complete. “The application process is competitive and rigorous but the caliber of the applicants we receive makes the selection process even more challenging. Impressive is the only word to describe these applicants,” said Sam Deloria, Director of the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC). The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). To assist in the implementation of this program, the UNCF established a partnership with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars.

GMS Press Release
Website Press Release
AIGC Monette and Abbott

The Reality of Who Higher Education is For -Native American Calling, Monday, April 23, 2012

Just what is the reality of higher education and whose needs it should be serving? It seems there are several views. Some tribal leaders are hoping the next generation will take on careers that will aid in nation building. Parents on the other hand often say they are hoping for their children to take on a job that makes them money so they can support them and their future families. But, who’s asking the actual student to find out what they want? How do the potential students’ views line up with what others want for them? Our guests is Sam Deloria (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) Director/American Indian Graduate Center.

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First Indian Law pioneers to Supreme Court and Deloria offers a fresh approach

Albuquerque Judaism Examiner

You could hear the snap, crackle and pop of intellectual athletics as a different kind of Indian all-stars team, The First Thirteen, assembled at the University of New Mexico Law School in Albuquerque recently.  These were the first Native American attorneys to argue Federal Indian law cases before the Supreme Court, from 1980 through 2001.

The event was sponsored by the American Indian Law Center (AILC) and others, the attorneys donated their own time and travel, and proceeds benefited the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians and Alaska Natives (PLSI), a two month program of the Law Center that replicates the first semester of law school. In fact seven of these attorneys had attended that summer program before going on to law schools around the country.


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Charles Trimble: American Indian Graduate Center Memories

This article appeared in The American Indian Graduate Magazine, Spring 2012, pg 42.

It also appeared on on March 7, 2012

In the fall of 1969 I received a call from Taos Pueblo merchant and civic leader John Rainer, asking if I would serve on the Board of Directors of a new organization he was putting together, American Indian Scholarships, Inc. The organization was to receive funds from the Indian Education division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and to seek and evaluate scholarship applications from American Indian students in graduate school, and to fund worthy applicants.

I readily agreed to serve, for John Rainer was a good friend and the program seemed to be a great cause. At the time I was at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, helping to set up a program to help stem a high dropout rate among Indian students there. I was also working to put together the new American Indian Press Association and to raise funds for its administration.

My first meeting of the AIS board was memorable for me, for I found myself in a virtual Who’s Who of Indian scholars and leaders. A few of them, besides John Rainer, I had met earlier – Lucy Covington, Ada Deer, and Leah Manning, three of the most outstanding women in Indian affairs, ever. I had also met Bob Bennett (Oneida), past Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and one of the incorporators of the new organization.

The others were well known names in Indian affairs at the time, but I had not known them personally: Joe Sando of Jemez Pueblo, Dr. David Warren of Santa Clara Pueblo, and Overton James, long-time Governor of the Chickasaw nation of Oklahoma.

Earlier that year I had worked with Lucy Covington in her campaign to unseat the Colville Tribe’s council, which favored the plans of the federal government to terminate them; so I knew her quite well, and had the greatest respect for her. Likewise with Ada Deer in her fight to get the termination of the Menominee Tribe reversed and her tribe restored to federal trust status. I first met Ada at a special activism workshop in New York City in mid-1956, and later spoke for her cause at a rally in Wisconsin.

Leah Manning and her husband Arthur, both of the Shoshone-Paiute of Nevada, I had met at conventions of the National Congress of American Indians, and had learned about her outstanding work in the field of sociology, especially Child Welfare. A gentle, well- educated and elegant woman, she was also an expert on her tribal culture, and was a traditional singer and story-teller. Along with her daughter Tina and a grandchild, Leah perished in a house fire in 1979.

Joe Sando I recall as a gentle person with a rich background in cultural research and preservation among the Pueblo peoples, including directorship of the Institute of Pueblo Study and Research at the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque. He authored several books on Pueblo history and cultures.

Dave Warren I had always seen as sophisticated and scholarly, yet down to earth and friendly. He had risen in stature in the days when many young people were coming onto the scene in Indian affairs, many of them activists in the ranks of the National Indian Youth Council. I had heard much about him and was eager to meet him, and to this day I consider him one of the outstanding leaders in my experience in Indian affairs. He had served many years as Director of the Center for Cultural Studies and Research in the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and later on the Board of the National Endowment for the Humanities and as Deputy Director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

I had met Overton James at the National Congress of American Indians and had heard much about his leadership among the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma. He was well into his first term as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation when he came onto the Board of AIC, Inc., and would serve as Governor for another 18 years beyond. He served as president of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, president of the Choctaw-Chickasaw Confederation, chairman of the State Indian Affairs Commission, trustee of the National Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Council on Indian Opportunity, and the National Congress of American Indians.

Forty three years after it began, American Indian Scholarships, Inc. is now the American Indian Graduate Center, and over those years AIGC has disbursed more than 15,000 graduate fellowships with the support of the Bureau of Indian Education, corporate and foundation partnerships, and alumni and private donors.

Sam Deloria, the current Director of AIGC, is a forward-thinking man but always is looking back with his hand extended, helping younger people on their way up. As Director of the American Indian Law Center, he helped launch several generations of Indian lawyers on their way through their studies to careers in protecting Indian rights, and advancing tribal governance.

I have been privileged to have served with these great leaders who started the American Indian Graduate Center, and those who keep it alive and growing. They have enriched my life and inspired me over many years.

Charles “Chuck” Trimble, was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. He was principal founder of the American Indian Press Association in 1970, and served as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians from 1972-1978. He is retired and lives in Omaha, NE. He can be contacted at and his website is

AIGC was in NMBW & Native Peoples Magazine

The notable nonprofit American Indian Graduate Center of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the oldest and largest provider of scholarships to American Indian and Alaskan Native Students, has selected new officers. Assuming the role of president is David Mahooty (Laguna Pueblo). Joining him as board members are Bill Anoatubby (governor of Chickasaw Nation since 1987) and attorney Dana R. Jackson.

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Message by Sam Deloria, Director AIGC

S DeloriaWelcome to the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) website where you will find new and exciting things from being able to fill out an on-line scholarship application, network, sign up for our email blasts and order or download our latest version of “The American Indian Graduate” magazine.

AIGC offers scholarships and resources to students—that’s been our forte for over 41 years. AIGC serves both undergraduates and graduates pursuing any field of study. Additionally, AIGC Scholars administers the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program – a generous and prestigious scholarship.

Since 1969, we have assisted more than 15,000 Native American and Alaska Native students obtain a post-secondary education through over $44 million in scholarship awards.

At AIGC we are constantly reflecting on the collective accomplishments of the donors, stakeholders, students and mentors who make the American Indian Graduate Center possible, it is equally important to look at the road ahead of us – as Native Americans and advocates of educational advancement – and understand the unique challenges facing our students today from financing tuition, to transitioning to college and then successfully entering the workforce.

Going forward, as we support our students to their commencement walk, our goal is to continue building relationships with companies that are proven advocates for higher education – creating additional scholarships and opportunities for educational support to our constituents. Together, we will demonstrate a strong commitment to higher education and American Indian leadership development through continued scholarship awards and mentoring opportunities.

Sam Deloria, Director (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)
American Indian Graduate Center

American Indian Graduate Center Awards First Fellowship to Shinnecock Law Student

Albuquerque, NM – November 30, 2010 – The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving cultural and economic wellbeing for individuals and tribes through undergraduate and graduate education, today announced that it has awarded its first fellowship scholarship to a Shinnecock Indian Nation member. Members of the Shinnecock Nation, which became the 565th Native American tribe recognized by the United States government earlier this year, were formerly ineligible for the fellowship program because the tribe lacked federal recognition.

Kelly Dennis, a law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque, NM, received the $3,000 fellowship award. A member of the Shinnecock Nation, graduate of the Pre-Law Summer Institute at the American Indian Law Center, and participant in the American Indian Law Certificate Program, Dennis hopes to represent her tribe and other underrepresented American Indian tribes upon her graduation.

“Kelly would like to use her expertise to assist tribes striving to find creative paths that will strengthen and rebuild their nations,” said Sam Deloria, Director of AIGC. “AIGC recognizes the potential of these dreams and considers it a privilege to lesson the financial burden of paying for a law degree in order to achieve such aspirations. And we like to hope that her award marks the first federal assistance to the Shinnecock Nation.”

Kelly is one of more than 350 Native American and Alaska Native graduate students who received a monetary award through the AIGC fellowship program this year. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Education funds the fellowship program, which includes approximately $1.2 million in annual awards. The fellowship amount is typically between $1,000 and $5,000 per academic year.

“After 32 years of persistence to gain federal recognition, it is so satisfying to learn of the opportunities we have opened for our deserving young minds,” said Gordell Wright, a member of the Shinnecock Nation Board of Trustees.

Indian Country Today -Deloria: Advancing students, one scholarship at a time

For 41 years the American Indian Graduate Center has made higher education more attainable for American Indians/Alaska Natives by providing scholarships and mentor programs – giving undergraduate and graduate students alike the opportunity to obtain college degrees or certifications and develop professionally. Since 1969, we have helped more than 15,000 AI/AN students obtain a post-secondary education with more than $44 million in scholarship awards.

Indian Country Today -full article

Obama’s Play for Indian Country


Barack Obama has vowed to expand the electoral map for the Dems. Turning out the politically neglected Native American vote may be the key to doing so.

If Barack Obama wins New Mexico on November 4, he may want to thank Wizipan Garriott, the vote director of what the Obama campaign calls its “First Americans” voter outreach program. The effort targets the politically neglected but heavily Democratic Native American vote, which Obama strategists believe could be critical to putting some historically red states into play for Obama.

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Steve Stucker mentions AIGC presence at the Balloon Fiesta on his blog

American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC)

Steve Stucker's BlogThe American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) invites you to visit us at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Our exhibit booth is located at the northeast corner of Park.  AIGC will celebrate and honor New Mexico’s 22 tribes showcasing youth dance groups, drum groups, Navajo Code Talkers, film screenings and jewlery, pottery, sculpting, weaving and drum making demonstrations.  You can find the schedule of events at