About the Laguna Education Foundation

Established in 1995

The Laguna Education Foundation was originally established by the Board of the Laguna Department of Education (LDoE) and Executive Director Gilbert Sanchez. The foundation was established as a means of acquiring additional resources to support LDoE programs.

In 1998, the Laguna Tribal Council passed Tribal Resolution No.15-98 approving the establishment of the foundation as an independent non-profit organization. The schools and programs within the LDoE receive general operating support from various federal and state agencies. While funding from these sources covers basic operating costs, the funds are often restricted for specific uses and set unrealistic limits on administrative and development costs.

Due to limitations imposed by such federal and state regulations, it became necessary to establish an alternative revenue stream that would not only support the higher education needs of the people, but that would also create a venue for the development and support of more innovative and creative educational programs. To this end, the Laguna Education Foundation was created and charged with the mission to raise revenue both within and outside of the reservation to fully support the educational needs of the Laguna people.

In 2001, the Laguna Tribal Council once again rose to the challenge of funding education by establishing a $4.2 million dollar Trust Fund specifically for higher education. The benefits yielded from the Trust Fund each year go to support scholarships and the Laguna Education Foundation. The Laguna Tribal Council and Laguna tribal members continue to actively support the efforts of the Laguna Education Foundation through employee contributions and direct donations by various tribal entities. During the 2006-2007 academic year, over 100 Laguna college students were granted scholarships from the Higher Education Program of Partners for Success and the Laguna Education Foundation. The Foundation also brought in over $70,000 to support the numerous programs within the Laguna Education System.

Laguna Education Foundation Staff


LEF Higher Education Director / Acting Executive Director of LEF

Mike Conant

Began his career at Laguna as Coordinator of Laguna's PFS Higher Education Program in 2001. In August 2008, the Higher Education Program was transferred to the Laguna Education Foundation where he currently serves as director of the program and Acting Director of the Laguna Education Foundation.

A native of Louisiana's Creole culture, he spent his high school years at Holy Rosary Institute in Lafayette, La.; a boarding school with ties to Sister Katharine Drexel, founder of St. Michael's Indian School in New Mexico.

Mike holds a bachelors degree in Industrial Psychology from Sacramento State University and a masters in Business Management from National University of San Diego. He has over twenty years of experience as an operations manager working in government and private sector training organizations. He states, two of the great satisfactions of his career has been helping dozens of Laguna students graduate from college, as well as seeing both of his kids earning their college degrees.