Diné College Awarded Indigenous Visionaries Grant
American Indian College Fund Program Promotes Leadership in Tribal College Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2021
TSAILE, Ariz. — Diné College undergraduate student Harley-Daniel Interpreter, and staff member Crystal Cree have been awarded a grant under the 2021-22 Indigenous Visionaries: Native Women Leadership Fellowship by the American Indian College Fund.
The Indigenous Visionaries program serves undergraduate Native women enrolled full-time at tribal college and universities (TCUs) with a fellowship for the academic year. Indigenous Visionaries fellows are paired with a woman mentor in their area of study at their TCU.
Diné College has received this grant and offered this fellowship program for two years. This year only four out of the 35 accredited TCUs were awarded.
Crystal Cree, Diné College alumni, is the Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Projects in the Office of the President. Harley-Daniel Interpreter is a senior at Diné College and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She is also the Social Media Engagement Agent in the Office of the President.
The program combines place-based and experiential training for fellows to equip them with technical skills, hands-on experience, tools for personal growth and self-care, and networking opportunities. Through mentoring relationships, fellows participate in a community project, learn how to address tribal and local issues, understand what it takes to create change in a community, and experience possibilities for a potential career in their field of choice.
The American Indian College Fund’s goal is to develop Native women leaders who have a foundation in Indigenous knowledge, culture, and history to bring visionary leadership to their Native communities in the future.
Cree and Interpreter plan to host educational forums and voter outreach discussions to create voter accessibility through apps, while challenging youth and the community to get involved in community action.
“We are excited to continue our student-led initiative to spread voter education and outreach in the surrounding communities. Last year, our student co-hosted a voter education zoom forum and this year, we plan to take it a step further and register people to vote, create access to voter apps, and involve students to be an example for their communities,” said Indigenous Visionary mentor, Cree.
“I have become interested in organizing efforts within the community/public level and learning about various issues. The past few years, my involvement started out as just showing up and listening, which is a simple form of action, but perhaps one of the most important things you can do,” said Indigenous Visionary participant Harley-Daniel Interpreter. “I look forward to working with our youth, the community, and future partners.”
Diné College is a four-year tribal college located on the Navajo reservation with six campuses and two microsites across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. It primarily serves Navajo students. The school offers 20 bachelor’s degrees, 16 associate degrees, and six certificate programs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The College, established in 1968, is the first tribal college and was formerly named Navajo Community College.