American Indian Higher Education Consortium Receives Transformative Gift from MacKenzie Scott

With her no-strings-attached gifts, Scott is making history as one of the most generous and empowering philanthropists in recent history.  

Alexandria, VA —  Today, Mackenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett have helped elevate the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and the Tribal College Movement, naming AIHEC, the American Indian College Fund, and IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts as three of 286 high-impact organizations that will share $2,739,000,000 in gifts.

“People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating,” states philanthropist, writer, and advocate MacKenzie Scott.

Last year, Scott gifted $4.2 billion to 384 national nonprofits and educational organizations to help combat the pandemic’s devastating economic effects. Several Tribal Colleges were named as recipients, including Chief Dull Knife College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Navajo Technical University, Salish Kootenai College, and Turtle Mountain Community College. Blackfeet Community College, also a recipient, reported that Scott’s gift was the largest donation in the school’s history.

With her no-strings-attached gifts, Scott is making history as one of the most generous and empowering philanthropists in recent history. Her giving is rooted in a deep concern for longstanding social inequalities and injustices, as well as a recognition that we are all related. “Any wealth is a product of a collective effort,” she states. “We are attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change. In this effort, we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands, and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others.”

Carrie Billy (Diné), AIHEC’s president and CEO states: “AIHEC is grateful for this wonderful gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, which honors our commitment to the vision of all Tribal Colleges and Universities: Strong sovereign Tribal nations through excellence in Tribal higher education. It is appropriate that the gift come at this time, as we emerge from a long period of darkness into a new season of hope and growth. June is Ya’iishjááshchilí, when the big rains come to nourish newly planted seeds and new berries and seeds are ready to pick, sustaining us while the crops grow. That is this gift to us: it gives us sustenance and strength today, but it is a seed that will grow, thrive, and provide gifts for decades to come.”

About Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs): Currently, there are 37 AIHEC-affiliated TCUs in North America, operating 75 sites and campuses and serving more than 160,000 students and community members annually. TCUs were created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians and generally serve geographically isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important educational opportunities for American Indian students and are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance to encourage American Indians—especially those living on reservations—to overcome the barriers they face to higher education.

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Carmen Davis - Founder, Publisher and Executive Editor

Mrs. Davis is the founder, publisher and executive editor of the only Native American wholly owned and operated national tribal business publication, Native Business Magazine, and the producer of the annual and nationally attended Native Business Summit.

Mrs. Davis is also president of Davis Strategy Group has over 23 years of service to Indian Country and as an entrepreneur she has successfully established, operated, managed and grown several businesses in multiple sectors. She is equal parts a strategic visionary and behind-the-scenes implementor, essential in guiding and overseeing every process of brand development, business expansion, nation-to-nation relationship building and more.

She was named in 2009 as one of the first recipients of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s, “40 Under 40” award which recognizes up and coming community and business leaders from across Indian Country.