University of Minnesota and Shakopee Tribe Announce 2017-2018 Scholarship Recipients


December 1, 2017

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the University of Minnesota today announced the newest class of scholarship recipients for the SMSC Endowed Scholarship program. They include 19 Native American students from 10 different tribes.

The new scholars represent:

• Fourteen undergraduate students and five graduate students

• Ten scholars from Minnesota tribes

• Eight students at the University of Minnesota Duluth, six at the Twin Cities campus, and five at the Morris campus

• Majors including civil engineering, biochemistry, medicine, environmental studies, social work, and the undergraduate and master’s-level tribal administration and governance program in Duluth

The SMSC Endowed Scholarship program was established through a $2.5 million gift to the University of Minnesota from the SMSC. The gift leveraged a former university matching program that doubles the impact of the gift to students. Since the program began in 2009, more than 200 students have received this scholarship. Thirty-eight students are enrolled this year, representing more than 30 tribal nations across the United States.

“As I look toward my future, I feel confident that I will succeed at the University of Minnesota,” said Alexandrah Walker, a scholarship recipient and member of the Meskwaki Nation in Iowa. “I am highly motivated to finish school and earn my degree, and after graduation I intend to give back to my community and inspire others to do the same. This scholarship helps ease the financial burden of moving toward my goals.”

The new 2017-2018 SMSC Endowed Scholarship recipients include:

• Millie Baird, White Earth Band of Ojibwe (MN)

• Mika Barrett, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe (WI)

• Chandell Boyd, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (MN)

• Jenna Cashman, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (MN)

• Austyn Dagen, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (MN)

• Jeremy Flaherty, Stebbins Community Association (AK)

• Reece Foster, Klamath Tribes (OR)

• Dana Hewankorn, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (MT)

• Theo Liberty, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (MN)

• Tatianna Maghan, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (MN)

• Falon McNabb, Rosebud Sioux Tribe (SD)

• Kelly Nayquonabe, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe (WI)

• Charles Neher, Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin (WI)

• Dannah Nephew, White Earth Band of Ojibwe (MN)

• James Pendleton, Lower Sioux Indian Community (MN)

• Autumn Person, White Earth Band of Ojibwe (MN)

• Madilyn Ross, Upper Sioux Community (MN)

• Charity Valentin, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe (WI)

• Alexandrah Walker, Meskwaki Nation (IA)

The University’s Office for Equity and Diversity administers the scholarship. Native American students who have been admitted to any University of Minnesota campus are eligible to apply for the SMSC Endowed Scholarship. Scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 academic year are due March 1, 2018, for undergraduate students and May 1, 2018, for graduate students. Visit for more information.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Native American tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to Native American tribes and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise, and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County.


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