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Minister Harris announces three-year extension to scholarship programme for Choctaw Community

Picture above: University College Cork

In March 2018, it was announced a Choctaw‐Ireland Scholarship would be established in recognition of the act of generosity and solidarity shown by Choctaw Nation towards the people of Ireland during the Great Famine of the mid‐Nineteenth Century, and to foster and deepen the ties between the two nations today.

The Scholarship has been established as a joint initiative of the Irish Government and the Choctaw Nation, to deepen contemporary bilateral relations between the two nations, to increase understanding of the historic relationship between Ireland and the Choctaw Nation, to foster interest in the history, culture and society of the two nations.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (15 March) announced a three-year extension to a scholarship programme for members of the Choctaw Community.

The scholarship was announced in 2018 and following a pilot phase, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, University College Cork and the Chahta Foundation have agreed to extend it for three years.

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The scholarship covers the tuition fees at the EU rate and a stipend of €10,000 towards the student’s living costs.

Speaking today Minister Harris said:

“I am really delighted my department, UCC and the Chahta Foundation have agreed to extend this important scholarship for a further three years.

“This scholarship was put in place to recognise the great act of generosity and humanitarianism shown by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma towards the Irish people during the Great Famine. It has helped foster greater ties between our two nations.

Photo of Kindred Spirits sculpture, Midleton, County Cork. Image courtesy of Gavin Sheridan

“Today we are announcing its extension and committing to continuing to share knowledge and support each other’s culture.”

This annual scholarship programme will support a member of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in pursuing academic studies in Ireland, for a period of up to one academic year.

The scholarship is an opportunity to increase understanding of this historic relationship and further advance relations. The scholarship is open to students from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Students can choose from a range of taught Masters at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences at UCC.

Minister Harris added:

“We announce this important step today as the first recipient of the scholarship, Jessica Militante, graduates today. Congratulations to Jessica and we wish her all the best. I hope to see many more graduations from this scholarship over the coming years.”

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