March 18, 2016 – The Leech Lake Tribal College received a $13,000 donation from LeRoy Staples Fairbanks towards a $50,000 endowment scholarship fund. This marks the beginning of the final phase of giving, with the remainder of the pledge to be completed later this year. Friends, family and staff members were present for the check presentation event hosted on campus.

“What Mr. Fairbanks and his family have done is investing in the future of our community. In any successful community, there exist three characteristics: economics, leadership, and education. You need those three things to create community viability and I’m glad Mr. Fairbanks has the foresight to invest in education, which I believe direct correlation to the other two components,” said Amarin Chanthorn.

Mr. Fairbanks made a brief statement prior presenting the check. He stated how growing up in a poverty has made him more keen to invest in education while he has the means to provide others the opportunity to alleviate some of the burdens associated with attending college.

“I want to start a movement where our people strive for a better life and education is a way to achieve that. I hope to inspire other to invest in education, not just K-12, but in higher education as well. The fund is not a quick fix; it’s a long-term investment in people, in trust they themselves will be able to pay-it-forward one day in their own manner,” said Representative LeRoy Staples Fairbanks.

The LeRoy Staples Fairbanks Sr. and LeRoy B. Fairbanks Scholarship is intended to award returning sophomores to LLTC to help with tuition, books, supplies, fees and other associated costs of education. The recipient of the first award was Andrea Brown and this year’s award winner to be selected later this spring. The scholarship was established in 2013 in honor of Mr. Fairbanks uncles, with a $50,000 pledge to be completed in four years. The pledge and donations thereafter is the largest scholarship fund at the College. It is projected to distribute multiple awards annually in the upcoming years.

“I may not have another opportunity where I am financially able to do something like this. So I made the pledge because I know this will have long lasting impact far after I’m done with my political career. By creating an endowment fund, I know it will continue to sustain itself and provide the assistance our students need. It’s a worthwhile investment in our community,” said LeRoy Staples Fairbanks.

The Leech Lake Tribal College provides accredited higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values. The College has articulation agreements with area colleges and universities. The College has recently established the “2+2 Program” with the University of Minnesota Duluth to help ensure positive transition to a four year university.

To learn more about opportunities to support the Leech Lake Tribal College and its mission to provide accredited education grounded in Anishinaabe values, please contact Amarin Chanthorn at (218) 335-4262 or or by visiting our website at