Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

American Indian College Fund Honors 35 Tribal College Students of the Year

Awards sponsored by The Adolph Coors Foundation


Tribal College and University Students of the Year at the Albuquerque ceremony posed with their awards.

Denver, Colo.-March 7, 2023-The American Indian College Fund honored 35 tribal college and university students with 2022-23 Student of the Year awards and scholarships, and Dr. Michael Oltrogge, President of Nebraska Indian Community College, with its 2022-23 Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year at a ceremony held Sunday, March 5 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

The Adolph Coors Foundation sponsors both awards with the College Fund. Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) select one outstanding student to represent their institution. Awardees received a $1,200 scholarship. Dr. Oltrogge received a $1,200 honorarium.

The 2022-23 Tribal College and University Students of the Year for each TCU are:

Student of the Year TCU

• Ethan Werk Aaniiih Nakoda College

• James St. Onge Bay Mills Community College

• Morgan Harrison-Woolf Blackfeet Community College

• Danesha Leaf Cankdeska Cikana Community College

• James Russette Chief Dull Knife College

• Melissa Wescott College of Menominee Nation

• Kogee Postoak College of the Muscogee Nation

• Dustin Hughes Diné College

• Ashla Ojibway Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

• Fanci Jackson Fort Peck Community College

• Randy Estrin Haskell Indian Nations University

• Yael Yisrael Ilisagvik College

• Ethan Nopah Institute of American Indian Arts

• Leeah Owens Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

• Kristy Baccam Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University

• Christopher Erle Leech Lake Tribal College

• Mya Walks Over Ice Little Big Horn College

• Wakinyanhotunwin Flute Player Little Priest Tribal College

• Charmaine Williams Navajo Technical University

• Theresa Juarez Nebraska Indian Community College

• Mickki Garrity Northwest Indian College

• SaRaya Houle Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

• Summer Afraid of Hawk Oglala Lakota College

Vena Cobenais Red Lake Nation College

• Jeremiah Little Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

• Dominique LaForge Salish Kootenai College

• Keshena One Star Sinte Gleska University

• Billy Keeble Sisseton Wahpeton College

• Konnor Starr Sitting Bull College

• Alicia Dixon Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

• Clarissa Rosette-Bumpas Stone Child College

• Cory Ventura-Ramon Tohono O'odham Community College

• Issac Drees-Hajicek Turtle Mountain Community College

• Ayanna Maynard United Tribes Technical College

• Emmett Tibbetts White Earth Tribal and Community College

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, "We are so appreciative of all of our tribal colleges' students and are especially joyful to recognize the TCU Students of the Year. We think of these students as representing their classmates with their dedication to their education and their desire to give back to their communities. It isn't easy to be a student today; college takes time and effort and many of our students have families to help to support and are among the first in their families to go to college. We thank them for sharing part of their life's journey with us."

The American Indian College Fund named Dr. Michael Oltrogge, President, Nebraska Indian Community College, its Tribal College and University Honoree of the Year.

About the American Indian College Fund-The American Indian College Fund has been the nation's largest charity supporting Native higher education for 33 years. The College Fund believes "Education is the answer" and provided $15.5 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2020-21. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $259 million in scholarships, programmatic and community support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation's 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation's top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit


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