NAFWS Scholarships

NAFWS Scholarships

2023 Scholarship Application is closed.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am not enrolled with a Federally-recognized Tribe, but am a descendent, can I still apply? 

Yes, you can. If you are not enrolled with a Federally-recognized Tribe and do not have a Tribal ID document/card. You MUST submit a completed BIA Form 4432 to claim Indian Preference. The process to complete the BIA Form 4432 can be lengthy b/c you need certain signatures, start this process as soon as you can and as early as you can. It is good to get this document completed and saved for your records, so in the future, you can supply this document if you would like to claim Indian Preference for future scholarships, funding and jobs.

I recently graduated high school in May of 2023, am I eligible? 

Yes! As long as you are going to be attending college/university in Fall of 2024. You still need to submit an enrollment verification document.

I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, and will start my graduate program in Fall of 2024, am I eligible? 

Yes! As long as you are going to be attending college/university in Fall of 2024. You still need to submit an enrollment verification document.

How do I know which region I need to put on my application?  

You can refer to the NAFWS region map, and you will apply to the region that your Tribe is located in. In example, Jane Boots is an enrolled member of Confederate Tribes  of the Colville Reservation (Washington) and resides in Colorado because she is attending school at Colorado State University. Jane Boots will indicate in her application, that her region is Pacific Region.

Do I turn in the letters of recommendation?

No, Letters of Recommendations are required to be submitted by the recommender, not the student applicant. If submitted by student, letter will not be accepted. Recommenders must submit their letter by email or website form to Ashley (Carlisle) Mueller, Education Coordinator by the scholarship deadline date and time.

2023 NAFWS National Scholarship Recipients

We know that pursuing higher education, having a job, raising a family, spending time with friends, spending time with family and/or having time for yourself, can be difficult. We would like to praise our students for doing a great job!

NATIONAL: Aaron Cajero Jr.

Tribe:Pueblo of Jemez Graduate: Oklahoma State University

Mr. Aaron Cajero Jr. and is from the Pueblo of Jemez located in northwestern New Mexico. Being raised in his community showed him early on the importance of natural resources. Having this understanding and respect, continues to fuel his interest in this field to ensure these natural resources are available to his people, children, and for future generations to come. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Science from New Mexico State University and has dedicated 12 years to this career. His goals are to continue these efforts by contributing in notable research to contribute valuable knowledge to the field of wildlife ecology. He has started his 3rd semester at Oklahoma State University: Natural Resource Ecology and Management Graduate program. His thesis will cover black bear kleptoparasitism on cougar kill rates in northern New Mexico.

SOUTHWEST: Crystal Miller, PhD(c)

Tribe:Walker River Paiute Tribe Graduate:University of Arizona

Crystal Miller is a citizen of the Walker River Paiute Tribe and a PhD student in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. She focuses her studies on the Federal Indian Policies that govern and provide both the guidelines and restrictions on Native Nations ability to assert their own sovereignty. She has invested in the protection of tribal lands, resources and continues to fight legally and politically to ensure that the tribe's interests are included in regard to lands directly impacted by outside agencies. Her commitment to understanding and disseminating knowledge to Native Nations is a high priority that is evidenced in the work she has done and continues to do. Crystal always returns back to the traditional knowledge that the land is inherently tied into our holistic being and the protection of it is an inherent responsibility to ensure balance in life remains.

GREAT LAKES: Brady TwoBears Jr.

Tribe:Ho-Chunk, Navajo, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Undergraduate:Purdue University

"My name is Brady TwoBears Jr. I am an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation (Woonąǧire Wąąkšik) and I am also a part of the Navajo Nation (Todích'íí'nii) as well as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I grew up in both Flagstaff and the Navajo reservation in a town called Birdsprings. I am a first-year master’s student in environmental science at the University of Arizona with a focus on arid and semi-arid soils. I am conducting my research on the carbon cycling and carbon/nitrogen dynamics of the Red Rock soils located near Tucson, AZ. I graduated with my undergraduate degree from Purdue University, also majoring in environmental science. My goal is to be able to work with both the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as well as tribes in the southwest. My interest is in soil conservation and utilizing healthy soils to improve agricultural systems. I envision implementing a comprehensive approach that combines sustainable agriculture and improved soil management techniques."

GREAT LAKES: Kendra White

Tribe:Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin and Oneida Undergraduate:University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

"Posoh! My name is Kendra White, and my tribe affiliation is Menominee and Oneida. I am pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Science with a minor in Biology, as well as earning a certificate in Indigenous Studies. My journey is deeply rooted in my family’s history. I will be the fifth generation in my family to work to protect our natural resources. Growing up I spent a lot of time in the woods; hiking, hunting, picking berries, and simply, taking rides on the logging roads that crisscross my reservation. These experiences have paved my education and career path thus far. I am deeply committed to addressing environmental issues and protecting the gifts of Mother Earth. With the support of this scholarship, I aim to further my education, conduct research, and learn more about my people to bridge the gap between traditional wisdom and contemporary environmental science. Making a positive impact on Indian Country will give my life meaning and help me reconnect with my cultural identity. Guided by the values of a good heart, good mind, and a strong fire, I am committed to leading with integrity and fostering community connections."

SOUTHWEST: Ashley Miles

Tribe:Hopi and Santa Ana Pueblo Undergraduate:University of Colorado - Denver

"Ashley Miles is an Undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Denver double majoring in Biology and Business Management. While also being a scholar in other programs that support environmental studies such as, Environmental Stewardship for Indigenous lands (ESIL) and Tribal Solar Fund. Her studies focus on working as a liaison between tribes and the U.S. government, as well as, building awareness through environmentally focused curriculum for indigenous youth. Ashley hopes to share environmental conscious knowledge with her tribes in both New Mexico, Santa Ana Pueblo and Arizona, Hopi. “I hope to practice and pass down traditional ecological knowledge to support in efforts of preservation and conservation."


Tribe:Navajo Nation Undergraduate:Lawrence University

"Ya’at’eeh! My name is Bailey Nez and I am from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. I come from the Red Running into the Water Clan and Tangle Clan. I attend school in Appleton, Wisconsin, at Lawrence University where I am majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Geoscience and also play varsity volleyball. I completed my first year with a 3.972 GPA and hope to continue on this path in my academic career. I ultimately hope to practice Environmental Law by using my education in Environmental Science and Geology to provide solid legal advice to tribal nations in environmental protection matters. My greatest passion is to work on behalf of tribes to aid in the protection and conservation of our Mother Earth’s natural resources. I’ve wanted to work to protect the Earth since I was a child and am now pursuing my future career in college with the assistance of wonderful organizations like the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. A’hee’hee, thank you!"

NATIONAL: Sumaya Quitugua

Tribe:Acoma Pueblo and Chamorro(Guam) Undergraduate:Fort Lewis College

"Sumaya has graduated from Perry High School and is continuing her education at Fort Lewis College. She's majoring in environmental science. Ms.Quitugua served as Vice President of the Phoenix Indian Center, Future Inspired Native American Leaders (FINAL) Youth Council for the 2022-2023 Year and now serves as an Earth Ambassador for the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Youth Council. On campus, she serves as a manager for the Fort Lewis Women's Basketball Team as well a member of the Pueblo Alliance club on campus."

NATIONAL: Melvita Nez

Tribe:Navajo Nation Undergraduate:Northern Arizona University

"Yá’át’ééh! (Greetings) My name is Melvita Nez. My clans are Lók’aa’ Dine’é (Reed People Clan)  eí nishłí, Bįįh bitoodnii (Deer Spring Clan) eí báshíshchíín, Hashk'ąą hadzohi  (Yucca-fruit-strung-on-a-line clan) eí dashícheí, Tł 'ízí lání (Many goats clan) ei dashínalí. I am from a small, rural community called Tonalea, Arizona, located on the Navajo Reservation. I am currently a third-year, First-Generation student at Northern Arizona University. I am pursuing a degree in Public Health with a minor in Psychology.  I have been raised around livestock, horses, and cattle, as well as cultural values, which have contributed to my love for Shíma Nahasdzáán (Mother Earth). The Native American Fish and Wildlife Scholarship will help me identify connections between the environment and mental, physical, and social health, and how it all factors into our well-being. Ahé’héé! (Thank you)"

NATIONAL: Angelisa Hoffman

Tribe:White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Apache Undergraduate:San Carlos Apache College

"Angellisa Hoffman is an esteemed member of the White Mountain Apache tribe and the San Carlos Apache tribe. Raised in Cibecue, AZ, she embarked on an educational journey on the San Carlos Apache reservation, culminating in her graduation from San Carlos Apache High School. Her path led her to San Carlos Apache College, where her sincere commitment to environmental advocacy ignited. Angellisa's journey has been diverse experiences across various tribal departments, including wildland firefighting, fire use, forestry aide, thinning and inventory crew, SWFF camp crew, Wildlife technician, and NRCS soil conservationist trainee. These engagements have enriched her understanding of tribal dynamics and environmental concerns. In 2023, Angellisa graduated with an Associate of Arts from San Carlos Apache College. She is poised to embark on a significant journey as she undertakes a USDA-NRCS Soil Conservation internship. Guided by a steadfast dedication to the environment, agriculture, and ecosystem comprehension, she aspires to contribute meaningfully to the tribes' environmental endeavors. Beyond her immediate pursuits, Angellisa's aspirations encompass fostering educational opportunities for Native Americans, minorities, and diverse cultural backgrounds. Her journey propels her toward a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources at Northern Arizona University, where she envisions harnessing her expertise for the betterment of her community and beyond. Angellisa's unwavering dedication to community, environmental stewardship, and education positions her as an undeniable force for positive transformation."

NATIONAL: Ciara Benally

Tribe:Navajo Nation Undergraduate:University of Arizona

"Hello, My name is Ciara Benally. I am attending the University of Arizona as an Agricultural Engineer major in my first year. I am from Indian Wells AZ, and graduated from Holbrook High School. By becoming an Agricultural Engineer, I want to come back to the reservation and work with NRCS to reach more farmers or ranchers about the new implementation to improve their land. Just like their motto says, “Helping people help the land”. My passion for achieving this goal comes from how I was raised around animals and running a ranch. Then when I was around 5 I started showing livestock animals grew my love for animals and helping others."

GREAT PLAINS: Jules Ecoffey

Tribe: Oglala Sioux Undergraduate:University of Nebraska

More information about our Scholarships & Internships

 If you are interested or would like to share this opportunity, please click for the application by clicking the link below.

In Recognition of Their Support

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society would like to thank those organizations that provided us with support over the years. With them we grew an effective national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.

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