Wildcat receives Cobell scholarship for second year
TAHLEQUAH – In 1996, banker and Blackfeet citizen Elouise Cobell led a class action lawsuit to demand back payment and improved accounting on Individual Indian Money Accounts managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. After 13 years, the federal government made the largest settlement in U.S. history of $3.4 billion. The settlement, in part, led to the Cobell Scholarship for Native American students.
Cherokee Nation citizen Sky Wildcat is pursuing a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas and is a recipient of the Cobell Scholarship.
“The application involves reflecting on the actions of Elouise Cobell and how they relate and inspire our own journeys,” Wildcat said.
Working in higher education after starting her college career, Wildcat said she always heard about different scholarships that were available. She said she knew when she went to pursue her doctorate that her education was going to become more expensive.
“When I decided to continue my education for my doctorate, I knew it was going to be a lot more expensive than my prior education and that I needed to avoid student loans, so I put a lot of effort into this scholarship to try and prevent it. I am extremely fortunate to receive it,” she said.
Wildcat received the scholarship during the first year of her doctorial pursuit, and will receive it again for her second year in the amount of $12,500. She said her future plans are to work as a director at a Native American student center or tribal college.
“It has definitely put my mind at ease as to how I am going to focus on my current responsibilities without worrying about accruing debt,” she said. “I really don’t think that I would be continuing if I hadn’t received any scholarships, especially one as generous as this.”
Wildcat said students who want to apply for the scholarship should focus on key points pertaining to the history of how the scholarship came to be.
“It is essential to read the documents regarding the settlement and Elouise Cobell, as suggested in the application,” she said. “Make sure to focus on how her achievements have paved the way for Indigenous education, and specifically, your education. The application is long and requires some time and effort, but it is definitely worth it. Don’t be afraid to ask your mentors, advisers, peers, etc. to look over your application for suggestions and edits.”
For information, visit https://cobellscholar.org/