Tiwahe Press Release
American Indian Family Empowerment Fund Grants Awarded
MINNEAPOLIS (February 9, 2017) Eleven grants were awarded to Native American individuals in the Twin Cities through Tiwahe Foundation’s American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund (AIFEP). These grants are made in partnership with the Two Feathers Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation. AIFEP strives to reverse the social, educational and economic challenges facing American Indians by investing in human capital, skills and cultural strengths through three priority areas: cultural connections, educational achievement and economic self-sufficiency. Over the past 20 years, the AIFEP fund has awarded over 800 individuals close to $1.5 million. During the January 2017 grant round, the following individuals received awards:
Goal 2: Educational Achievement
Brittany Austin, Standing Rock, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Brittany is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Education.
Jolene Chestnut, White Earth, to support her education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Jolene is in her final year of the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance Program.
Akikwe Cornell, Sault Saint Marie, to support her education at the University of Minnesota. Akikwe is completing a doctoral program in the Department of American Studies.
Honor Lamont, Ogalala Sioux, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Honor is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services.
Amber Leger, Leech Lake, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Amber is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Business Management.
Anne O’Keefe-Jackson, Lower Sioux, to support her education at Augsburg College. Anne is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration.
Jason Poitra, Turtle Mountain, to support his education at Dunwoody College of Technology. Jason is pursuing a one year welding certificate.
Samora Redding, White Earth, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Samora is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services.
Sasina Samreth, White Earth, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Sasina is pursuing a certificate in Accounting.
Goal 3: Economic Self-Sufficiency
David Bernie, Yankton Sioux, to bring Indigemojis, an Indigenous Sticket Emoji app, to the Android market. Indigemojis launched for iOS August of 2016 and includes categories such as Women Warriors, Francis Frybread, Indian Love, Pow Wow and Activism.
Benjamin Spears, Red Lake, to upgrade business equipment for Spears Tree Care. Benjamin has worked as a Certified Arborist for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board for over a decade and runs his own business providing consultation and diagnosis, trimming, removal and disease control.