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American Indian College Fund Names New Leader

The American Indian College Fund has chosen Cheryl Crazy Bull, Sicangu Lakota, who most recently has served as the president of Northwest Indian College as its next leader.
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Cheryl Crazy Bull, or “Wacinyanpi Win” (They Depend on Her), president of Northwest Indian College, in Bellingham, Washington has been named head of the American Indian College Fund (AICF).

The AICF Board of Trustees said she was appointed president and CEO after a nationwide search to replace Richard B. Williams, Lakota, the current head, who will serve AICF as a senior advisor after his retirement September 30.

“The board is delighted to have found a remarkable candidate for president, whom we believe has the drive and the qualifications to continue Mr. Williams’ remarkable achievements and to build upon them to create even more value for tribal colleges and the students they serve,” said Dr. Elmer Guy, chairman of the Board of Trustees and president of Navajo Technical College, in Crownpoint, New Mexico. “We are confident that Dr. Crazy Bull is poised to take the American Indian College Fund to the next level of growth,” he said. “We know our donors and the communities we serve are as excited about the Fund’s next chapter as we are.”

Crazy Bull, Sicangu Lakota, has been the first woman president since 2002 of Northwest Indian College, the regional tribally chartered institution of the Lummi Nation which serves tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

During her presidency at the college she worked on the accreditation of the school as a four-year degree granting institution and on the refinement of the college’s degree granting and strategic planning processes.

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She has served as a board member of the Denver-based AICF, and is a fourth-term chair of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Board, the consortium of tribal colleges in the U.S. and Canada; is on the advisory board of the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center; and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian.

She had more than 17 years’ service with Sinte Gleska University, a tribal college on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, her home reservation, and spent more than four years as chief educational officer of St. Francis Indian School, a tribally chartered K-12 school on Rosebud, the college said.

Crazy Bull holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from South Dakota State University and an honorary doctorate from Sinte Gleska University. She received an Indigenous Leadership Award from the Lannan Foundation and has received other honors and awards.

She has spoken on behalf of tribal education, cultural knowledge preservation and revitalization, and community development, and has experience in economic planning, micro-enterprise development, and fostering Native American studies as an academic discipline.

Crazy Bull has broad experience with building networks of supporters of tribal students and tribal education and with all aspects of fundraising, AICF said in a release.

The trustees said that during Williams’ “long and extraordinarily successful tenure, the Fund grew its endowment from $5 million to nearly $35 million and raised more than $220 million in scholarships and program support for American Indian students and tribal colleges.”