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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 20, 2002 - Issue 59


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Brokaw Donates $25,000 to Endowment

Tom BrokawNBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, a Yankton native, has donated $25,000 to the Oglala Lakota College's Gerald One Feather Lakota Studies Faculty Endowment Fund.

The faculty-endowment fund honors One Feather, a founder of OLC, for his years of work to improve the education of Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Brokaw and One Feather met while undergraduates at the University of South Dakota and have stayed in contact throughout the years.

"Gerald is a special hero of mine," Brokaw said in a news release. "He has never given up on his mission of providing first-rate education for the Oglala people."

Under a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, OLC will receive $500,000 from NEH to support two Lakota faculty endowment funds if OLC can raise $1.5 million by 2003. The two endowment funds are named the William Horn Cloud Lakota Language Faculty Endowment Fund and the Gerald One Feather Lakota Studies Faculty Endowment Fund.

Horn Cloud, who died in 1982, was a respected Lakota singer dedicated to keeping Lakota language and songs alive.

The plan is to invest the endowment funds and use the interest earnings to pay yearly salaries for three new faculty positions in the Lakota Studies Department by the 2003-2004 academic year.

At this point, OLC has raised nearly $1.1 million toward the NEH challenge, according to the college.

The two Lakota Studies faculty-endowment funds are part of a larger effort to raise $10 million to fund 15 faculty positions by 2004, through OLC's Phase III of the Rebuilding the Lakota Nation Through Education Campaign.

In 1999, OLC completed the first two phases of the Rebuilding the Lakota Nation Through Education Campaign, raising more than $7 million to build the Woksape Tipi Learning Resource Center, nine instructional centers throughout the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the He Sapa Instructional Center at Rapid City.

Last month, OLC embarked on a faculty-endowment fund for its nursing department. When this fund reaches $675,000, it will provide another faculty member for the school's nursing program.

Providing funding for additional faculty members is a priority for OLC administrators. North Central Higher Learning Commission has recommended that OLC have 70 percent of its courses taught by full-time faculty, rather than the current 50 percent.

For more information, call OLC President Tom Short Bull or development director Marilyn Pourier at 455-2321.

Oglala Lakota College
Oglala Lakota College is chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities that enhance Lakota life. These opportunities include: community services; certificates; GED; associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees. Oglala Lakota College provides a framework of excellence for students’ knowledge, skills, and values towards piya wiconi - a new beginning for harmony in fulfillment of aspirations and dreams. Oglala Lakota College is committed to continuous improvement and is creating Oglala Lakota University through outstanding teaching, research, community service and assessment.

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