Petition for the Future of Navajo Nation Scholarships
Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker
P.O Box 3390
Window Rock, AZ 86515
September 14, 2011
Dear Honorable Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker,
As a citizen of the Navajo Nation, I am writing this letter to you to express my great concern and support for Navajo Nation college students and community. As mentioned recently in the September 1, 2011, Navajo Time article, "Zah, Dodge call for scholarship fund. Former leaders say Peabody settlement should set aside for students." I am a proponent for creating a Navajo Nation scholarship trust fund.
Facts concerning this issue include:> The undesignated and unreserved fund account currently houses excess funds from the Peabody settlement in the amount of $39.3 million as of August 26, 2011 (Navajo Time, September 1, 2011).
> Currently 57% of Navajo undergraduate college students who apply for Navajo Nation scholarship funds are denied. While 48% of Navajo graduate level college students who apply for Navajo Nation scholarship funds are also denied (Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Aid, 2010 Annual Report).
> Of the total number of students receiving awards, 92% are Undergraduates and only 8% are Graduate students (Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Aid, 2010 Annual Report).
> Only 1% of American Indian/Alaskan Native students are in enrolled in degree-granting institutions in 2009, as compared to 62.3% of White students (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2011-015), Table 235). It stands to reason that the need for financial aid adds to the many issues related to this dismal statistic.
> Our sovereignty as a tribal nation is in jeopardy if we cannot support and solidify funding for the majority of our students applying for financial aid, particular at the Graduate level, as these future graduates are the hope of our nation and securing our way of life as Dine.
I employ you to become a champion in committing funds to the creation of a Navajo Nation scholarship trust fund for Undergraduate and Graduate level Navajo Nation students. Please advocate for this effort by proactively pushing for these funds to be rightfully designated for scholarships and financial aid.
Concerned Navajo Nation citizen and supporter of the future of Navajo Nation scholarship.