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Okhíčhaŋye Scholarship Awardees

Akiptan is excited to announce that we have awarded $55,000 in scholarships to 11 high school students who are pursuing a degree that will be used within the agricultural industry.


“Through these awards, the Okhíčhaŋye (O-KHI-CHAN-YE – the Lakota word for cultivation) Scholarship program is supporting the next generation of Native agriculture stewards from across the country,” says Dawn E. LeBeau, Program Officer at Akiptan.

All scholarship recipients are Native American high school seniors graduating this year with plans of pursuing a degree that will be applied to the agriculture industry.


Blaine Silka (Cherokee) says, "... to be awarded for my heritage and my passion for agriculture [is] a huge blessing. My goal is to earn my degree with the least amount of student debt. I am working hard to save as much money as I can." Blaine plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Oklahoma to pursue a degree in Animal Sciences, which will serve as the start of a career in livestock embryology.

This year’s applicants presented compelling essays that demonstrated a commitment to the Native agriculture community. LeBeau says, “It was heartwarming to see a strong desire to give back – to family, to friends, to community – among this group of young adults.”


“Getting this scholarship [will] tremendously help me chase my career goals and help me give back to my community when I get my degree,” said Cecelia Helgeson (Assiniboine) who has been accepted into the Veterinary Technician/Assistant Program at Pima Medical Institute in Dillon, Montana.

Congratulations to this year's recipients!

We are grateful to be able to support your post-secondary education within the Native agriculture industry.

  1. Angel Begay - Navajo

  2. Larahmy Blakely - Wyandotte

  3. Brandt Ducheneaux - Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  4. Chazz Gabe - Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  5. Cecelia Helgeson - Assiniboine

  6. Mackenzie G. Fox Jackman - Blackfeet descendant

  7. TaCannunpa Ota Win Lawrence - Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  8. Katana LeBeau - Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  9. Joy Sand - Cherokee

  10. Blaine Silka - Cherokee

  11. David N. Wolfe - Chickasaw


Our Okhíčhaŋye Scholarship is made possible with the support of the Native American Agricultural Fund.



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