American Indian Studies assistant director Urla Marcus (second from left) and Jace Decory, BHSU American Indian Studies instructor,  (far right) discuss the new American Indian College Student Scholarship Challenge Grant with BHSU American Indian students De Vina Red Horse and Derrick McCauley (far left).

Black Hills State University will have additional scholarship funds for American Indian students thanks to an American Indian College Student Scholarship Challenge Grant from the American Indian Education Foundation (AIEF).

This three-year grant was one of only a very few issued this year by the AIEF, a program of the National Relief Charities with offices in Albuquerque and Rapid City. The grant will match, dollar for dollar, the first $10,000 raised in new monies and will contribute up to an additional $10,000 for total cash raised up to $50,000. All funds will be distributed as scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native college students.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to raise substantial funds for a fast growing segment of our student population,” said Dr. John Glover, director of the Center for American Indian Studies. “BHSU has the largest percentage of American Indian students as compared to any other state university in South Dakota. There is hardly a tribal council, school, health care program or any other large enterprise in South Dakota’s American Indian communities that don’t have an active BHSU alum.”

BHSU will kick off its fundraising campaign with an American Indian College Scholarship Gala at the new Belle Luce Events Center, above Roma’s Ristorante in Spearfish, Saturday, Oct. 20. For more information, contact the Center for American Indian Studies at (605) 642-6578.