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Tribal Colleges and Universities

Empowering Tribal Colleges and Universities: A New Chapter with SFI


Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) is dedicated to transforming the educational landscape for indigenous Native American students. Our initiative extends to all Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) across the country, with a comprehensive suite of resources and support. In Summer 2023 we announced our partnership with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (Link to University Page(in site) and press release), marking a significant stride in supporting Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and indigenous Native American students. Through this partnership we will provide TCUs with modern funding solutions, access to paid internship opportunities, tutoring, mentorship, investment education and capacity building, all tailored to the unique needs of TCUs and their students. We are committed to providing more than just financial support; our aim is to equip Native American students with the tools and opportunities needed for sustainable personal and professional growth. The TCU institutions, students, and communities will establish and increase economic mobility through the lens of education.


The mission of this partnership is to ensure that every Native American and Indigenous student receives a quality education coupled with essential skills for personal and professional growth. SFI is dedicated to empowering these students with resources that go beyond traditional educational support, aiming to provide sovereignty and prosperity for current and future generations. This agreement  partnership with TCUs symbolizes a commitment to educational and financial freedom for Native American students, fostering a future rich in opportunities and advancements.

Enhanced Access to Internships

Internship opportunities that provide practical experience and career development.

Investments in Financial & Personal Success

Education on financial investment and network building to prepare students for post-graduation success.

Technological Empowerment

Ensuring students have access to the latest technological resources and education.

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University’s priority has always been the success of our students, the partnership with SFI is significant not only for our students but for all tribal colleges and universities. This innovative funding tool will strengthen our current programs and support more Native American students to achieve and obtain sovereignty for themselves and future generations.

Dr. Russell Swagger, President, Lac Courte Oreille Ojibwe University


  • Institutional Affiliation: Open to students enrolled at participating TCUs. 
  • Video Specifications: 3-to-5 minute video on the topic of financing college education.
  • Academic Level: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Seniors
  • Eligible Majors: Approved  majors.
  • Enrollment Status: Full Time (Unless Final Year of Study)
  • Academic Status: Undergraduate
  • GPA Requirement: Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (as defined by university)
  • Additional Requirements: If under 18, consent from parent/legal guardian is required; Must submit unofficial transcript and a complete W-9 form (for winners)
  • Please note: International & Foreign Exchange Students are not eligible for this competition


In our collaboration with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University, we have laid the groundwork for what is possible. Now, we are eager to expand our reach to every TCU in the nation, ensuring that indigenous Native American students everywhere have access to the resources and opportunities they rightly deserve. This is not just an initiative; it’s a movement towards educational equity and empowerment for one of the most historically underserved groups in the country.