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News Release

Vermont Law and Graduate School Announces Initiative to Support Abenaki Community

Tuesday, May 2, 2023


First Nations Scholarship Will Help Students Pursue JD and Master’s Degrees

Vermont Law and Graduate School announced a new VLGS scholarship initiative to support the Indigenous people of Vermont.

The First Nations scholarship is available to citizens of state or federally recognized tribes. The purpose of the scholarship is to enable Indigenous students to pursue careers in any of the many programs offered by Vermont Law and Graduate School, including legal degrees within the Law School and master’s degrees offered by the Graduate School and its School for the Environment.

“We are pleased to announce during this Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week our commitment to supporting the Indigenous people of Vermont,” said Vermont Law and Graduate School President Rod Smolla. “As a concrete first step in strengthening our relationship, we are pleased to announce that an annual scholarship supporting an Indigenous Vermont student’s pursuit of a legal degree will now be available immediately.”

In addition, Smolla announced he has reached out to the Abenaki Alliance leadership to meet this summer to discuss the legal needs of Abenaki communities and additional steps that Vermont Law and Graduate School may undertake to provide support for those needs.

A representative from the Abenaki Alliance, a consortium of Native community advocates, offered, “We are grateful for the connections that have formed between our respective communities and appreciate this generous opportunity for the upcoming generations to have access to a legal course of study within our homelands."


About Vermont Law and Graduate School: Vermont Law and Graduate School, a private, independent institution, is home to a Law School that offers both residential and online hybrid JD programs and a Graduate School that offers master’s degrees and certificates in multiple disciplines, including programs offered by the School for the Environment, the Center for Justice Reform, and other graduate-level programs emphasizing the intersection of environmental justice, social justice and public policy. Both the Law and Graduate Schools strongly feature experiential clinical and field work learning. For more information, visit vermontlaw.eduFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Abenaki Alliance: The mission of the Abenaki Alliance is to foster a collective voice for the Abenaki communities of our homelands while building a strong, sustainable and united presence that shares our Native heritage, culture and values with those around us. Visit them at: