Pride Foundation Grant Supports First GSA Chapter at a Montana Tribal College

The Pride Foundation granted $2,000 to political activist Rosalinda de la Luna-Long and the students of Salish Kootenai College (SKC), a school located in Montana's Flathead Reservation. The money helped Luna-Long and SKC undergrads open the first chapter of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at a tribal college: Spirit of Many Colors.

Among other recent activities, Spirit of Many Colors hosted a presentation for local first graders to discuss the deleterious effects of school bullying. They also plan to organize a panel on the issue of bullying that will involve both Kootenai students and others in the surrounding community.

Featured right is a quilt, sewn by a member of the organization, which they recently sold at a raffle. The GSA chapter at Kootenai has also worked with the school's president, Luana Ross, in order to amend the school's policy to offer more comprehensive protections for those victimized and/or discriminated against based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The group now maintains an active Facebook page, offering updates on the group's recent activities, including an on-campus screening of Inlaws & Outlaws, a humorous film based on true stories about gay and straight couples.

In an article featured on The Pride Foundation's blog, de la Luna-Long explained that one of the most important aspects the Pride Foundation's grant is that it "helps the larger campus comprehend that there are funding sources and support for the LGBTIQ community in the wider region," and its concerns represent those of a much larger body of people.

The Pride Foundation supports numerous causes similar to those of Luna-Long and Spirit of Many Colors. Since 1985, the Seattle-based organization has given away more than $36 million; $300,000 to the state of Montana alone. The foundation remains active in several other mid-west and northwest states, as well: Idaho, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.

For those interested in predicting Pride Foundation's moves in the future, a good place check is their blog, which features updates on key group members' interests. Another hint is that, most recently, Pride Foundation made headlines for a series of commercials that aired during the July Olympics featuring Republican Senator Chery Pflug discussing her support of a gay marriage bill.