Fellowship will support Native American students studying, living and working in D.C.
The George Washington University signed a memorandum of understanding Friday that will provide funding for Native American students who are members of federally recognized California tribes to study, live and work in Washington, D.C.
The MOU with the Agua Caliente Band Of Cahuilla Indians will establish the Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship and will support students through GW’s Native American Political Leadership Program. The semester-long fellowship will welcome its first cohort in spring 2016.
“This is a significant opportunity for future fellows, for the band and for the GW community,” said Gregory Lebel, director of NAPLP. “We are very excited about this new and important partnership with the Agua Caliente Band, and we’re honored to be the home of the Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship.”
NAPLP is part of GW’s Semester in Washington program and provides full scholarships for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students. Milanovich Fellows, in addition to taking courses at GW and participating in NAPLP activities, will secure part-time internships and take part in a one-week bonus program that includes seminars and briefings with key policymakers, issue advocates and community leaders.
“This experience at the George Washington University will allow Native American students to enhance classroom learning and gain invaluable experience in the real world,” said Jeff L. Grubbe, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. “It’s well known that college graduates have the ability to achieve at a higher level and obtain a much-needed competitive edge in today’s job market. We want students in the fellowship program to achieve this kind of success.”
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe located in Palm Springs, Calif., with 32,000 acres of reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. The fellowship is named after Richard M. Milanovich, who served as tribe chairman for nearly 30 years prior to his death in 2012.
“Chairman Milanovich was a respected leader throughout Indian Country and Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Grubbe said. “This fellowship recognizes his legacy of service to the tribe and the relationships he cultivated.