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Tiwahe Foundation Awards 13 American Indian Family Empowerment Fund Grants

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The Tiwahe Foundation has awarded 13 grants to Native American individuals in the Twin Cities seven-county metro area through its American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund. The program awards $70,000-$80,000 annually to American Indian individuals and families seeking financial resources to achieve their goals, shape their future and make positive contributions to their community through three priority areas: economic self-sufficiency, education and cultural connections.

Grants range from $500 to $2,500—enough to make a significant impact on grantees and the community and contributing to the self-determination of individuals. Since its inception, the American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund has made nearly 600 grants totaling more than $1 million to grantees. The program strives to reverse the social, educational and economic challenges facing American Indians by investing in human capital, skills, resources and cultural strengths that people possess that allow them to live healthy and productive lives, build strong relationships and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Individuals received awards in the following focus areas:

Educational Achievement:

—Alisa Bednarchuk, Lower Sioux: Tuition at St. Catherine University

—Vanessa Castrejon, Oglala Sioux: Computer for home

—Rachel Cloud-Engesether, Lac Courte Oreilles: Tuition at Augsburg College

—Julianna Danielson, Red Lake Ojibwe: Tuition at Minneapolis College of Art and Design

—Nancy Johnston, Spirit Lake Sioux: Reading and writing curriculum for second grade class

—Rachel LaRose, Fon du Lac Ojibwe: Help with living cost while pursuing Nursing degree

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—Ira Mason, Red Lake Ojibwe: Tuition and books at Augsburg College

—Marley Saice, White Earth Ojibwe: Educational expenses at Anoka-Ramsey Community College

—Tasha Tomecko, Sisseton Wahpeton: Educational expenses at Century College.

Economic Self-Sufficiency:

—Gernell (Gus) Claymore, Cheyenne River Sioux: Art materials and a computer

—Maureen Jones, White Earth Ojibwe: Support for a laptop computer, printer and software for work

—Shannon MacPhie, Leech Lake Ojibwe: Purchase products for small business

—Jamison Mahto, Red Lake Ojibwe: Support to purchase technology to design, develop and launch website

For more information about the Tiwahe Foundation, which was created to help renew the American Indian community through the Circle of Giving, visit and watch the YouTube video below.