Chahta Foundation Scholarships Send Two Choctaws to Ireland
2022 Marks 175th Anniversary of Gift That Made Kindred Spirits of Nations
Published November 30, 2022
DURANT, Okla. – Two Choctaw students are in the Republic of Ireland this school year working toward master’s degrees courtesy of the Choctaw-Ireland Scholarships from the Chahta Foundation. Skylee Glass and Aurianna Joines Palmer are attending their first semester at University College Cork.
The scholarship program was initiated in 2017 by the government of Ireland in recognition of Choctaw communities helping Irish people during the Great Famine, sometimes called the Potato Famine of the mid-nineteenth century. Barely a decade off the Trail of Tears themselves and still struggling, Choctaws received news of the suffering in Ireland. They collected what they could (equivalent to $5,000 today) sending it through churches to the Irish people. 2022 marks the 175th anniversary of that life-saving gift. The scholarships include tuition and expenses for a full year of study for two Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma students each year.
Glass, 23, has two sisters and is the daughter of Dion Glass. Growing up in Verden, in southwest Oklahoma, she graduated a state academic champion from Anadarko High School in 2018. In 2022 she graduated cum laude from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, while being active in many different clubs on campus.
Glass said, “I am very thankful to the Choctaw Nation and UCC Cork for giving me this great honor of being the Choctaw-Ireland Scholar.”
The daughter of Roger and Dana Joines, Aurianna, 22, grew up in Durant. In 2018 during her senior year at Durant High School, she also attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University as a concurrent student completing 28 credit hours. In addition, she received the Martin Scholarship covering full tuition to attend Oklahoma Baptist University. During college she started her own graphic design and photography business, Foundwell Design, which was awarded an American Advertising Award (ADDY) for her Brand Identity Campaign. In 2022 she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Oklahoma Baptist University. At Cork she is majoring in digital arts and humanities.
“I feel incredibly honored and blessed to be a Choctaw-Ireland Scholar. This scholarship has granted me the opportunity to experience a new country and culture in a way I could have never imagined,” said Joines Palmer. “I am proud to be a member of the Choctaw Nation and have the opportunity to continue the relationship between the Choctaw and Irish people during my time here.”
Students may begin the Choctaw-Ireland Scholarship process by logging on to chahtafoundation.com/scholarships/choctawirelandscholarship. Forms for other Chahta Foundation scholarships and requirements may be downloaded at chahtafoundation.com.
About The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 212,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.
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