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The
NIHEWAN FOUNDATION
for Native American Education


The word "Nihewan" comes from the
Cree language and means "talk Cree",
which implies "Be Your Culture".


The Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education is a small private non-profit foundation dedicated improving the education of and about Native American people and cultures. Nihewan’s focus is to help Native American students to participate in learning, while also helping people of all backgrounds learn about Native American culture.

For over 30 years, the Nihewan Foundation has sponsored students, two of whom have gone on to become Tribal College presidents who help other Native American scholars to reach their full potentials, while including their cultures every step of the way.

Our approach is three-fold:

  • support college bound students
  • prepare lower grade students for future college enrollment
  • and promote a better, more accurate understanding of the roles of Native peoples – past, present and future – in the global community, including their own.

Specific interest includes support for Native American educators, and education professionals of all backgrounds in the field of Native American studies, including administration and curriculum development through Teacher Training programs.

The Foundation's first and second initiatives serve targeted audiences. However, experience has shown that the entire global community is hungry to be more accurately informed about indigenous people, their cultures and their contributions. Therefore, through international networking forums focused on culture and education, magazine articles, websites, multimedia, film festivals, speaking engagements, and the production of educational materials as well as edutainment, the Nihewan Foundation shares relevant, engaging information about Native peoples.

Founded by singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1969 as a very specific non-profit educational organization, the Nihewan Foundation has helped significantly to educate both Indian and non-Indian educators and students. But the road to college – from reservation grade school through graduation – is underfunded. As well, accuracy about Native American cultures needs to be available to all students at all grade levels. This is the work of the Nihewan Foundation.

Learn your culture Teach Your Culture BE YOUR CULTURE

©2001 Nihewan Foundation

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