Success Stories

Caitlynn From Cove

A graduation photo of Caitlynn

Cove is a small community in Arizona located in the Navajo Nation, south of the famous Four Corners area, and just miles from the New Mexico border. Caitlynn is Dine from Cove and working on her master’s at a university in New Mexico. She applied for funding to work on her Masters of Arts in Indigenous Leadership, Self-Determination, and Sustainable Community Building. It’s the first year that the university is offering this degree, but as Caitlynn describes it: “it is a life-changing experience to be one of the first cohort members.”

In her scholarship application, she shared what higher education means to her, “Pursuing higher education as an Indigenous (Native American) is an empowering path for both my Tribal Community and myself. It is with deep reverence of my family that I will use this degree to further my scholarship and research into matters that impact my Tribal Nation.”

Caitlynn is honoring her late grandmother, or shimá sání, a dedicated member of Cove and “a pivotal advocate in response to the uranium industry” through her capstone research. She is as passionate about the endless impacts that uranium has had on her community as her grandmother. “My homeland is not a lab. There are people that have lost so much: homes, environment, culture, and loved ones.”

Caitlynn is now part of the Class of 2020 and an AIEF Scholar. She will be a force in her community and tribal nation. Caitlyn took some time to send us a graduation photo, as well as a heartfelt acknowledgment. Congratulations Caitlynn!

“Yá’át’èèh shik’èí dóó shidine’è, Caitlynn Mayhew yinishyé. Kinłichíi’nii nishłį́, dóó Bilagáana bashishchiin. Táchii’nii dashíchei. dóó Bilagáana dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné asdzáán nishłį́.
Hello, my name is Caitlynn M. I would like to thank you for your generous donation to the American Indian Education Fund and for allowing me to share my educational journey with you. Completing this Masters of Arts degree in Native American Studies not only an incredible triumph for Indigenous scholars but for my family as well. My degree does not belong to me, but to my family, traditional community, educational community, and to all that have helped me on my path to graduation. Thank you again. Hózhǫ́ Nahásdłį́į́ (It is fulfilled in beauty).”

— Caitlynn, Class of 2020