New location, noteworthy speakers, Native dance and regalia at 2019 event

 

98_Grads Reception 2019 Promotion_FB_IN

Doyon Foundation’s 2019 Graduate Reception is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever, with alumni speakers Aaron and Ethan Schutt, Elder speaker and honorary doctorate recipient Rev. Anna Frank, 2019 graduates dressed in Native regalia, and a performance by the Troth Yeddha’ dance group! This year’s event also has a beautiful new location – the festivities will be held at the Doyon, Limited Chiefs Court in Fairbanks on Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m.

The annual event is held each spring to celebrate the hard work and incredible accomplishments of Foundation scholarship recipients who are at the end of one important journey and getting ready to start on the next.

We are honored to have brothers Aaron and Ethan Schutt as our alumni speakers. Aaron serves as the president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, and Ethan is the chief of staff at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. We are very proud of their accomplishments, and look forward to the words of wisdom they will have to share!

We will also hear from special Elder speaker Rev. Anna Frank, who is receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Anna has worked with Tanana Chiefs Conference and as an ordained minister for many years. She is also the second Chief of Denakkanaaga, Inc., sits on the Alaska Commission on Aging, and was recently named Elder Advisor for Fairbanks Native Association.

The reception will also feature an inspiring address from a graduate speaker, graduate introductions, and refreshments.

High school and college students who are graduating or have graduated during the 2018 – 2019 academic year are invited to attend, along with their friends, families, teachers and other Foundation supporters. Graduates are encouraged to wear their Native regalia, if they have it.

We hope you’ll join us at this very special event. If you plan to attend, please RSVP with your name and the number of people attending to grantf@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

Students graduating this year are encouraged to complete our short graduate information request form by Monday, May 6. We’ll feature the information you share in our popular annual graduate yearbook! Check out the 2018 graduate yearbook on our website.

Doyon Foundation awards $50,000 for language revitalization projects

104_Our Language Grants Promotion Updated_FB-IN

Doyon Foundation is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Our Language grant awards. This year, the Foundation is awarding a total of $50,000 to nine organizations to support community-based language revitalization projects.

“The 2019 Our Language grant awardees represent a dedicated group of community members coming together on behalf of our ancestral languages. We commend their efforts, and look forward to great outcomes from each of these projects,” says Doris Miller, executive director of Doyon Foundation.

The 10 ancestral languages of the Doyon region are all severely to critically endangered, and will be lost within the span of a few generations if no action is taken. To address this crisis, Doyon, Limited established the language grant program in 2012, and the Doyon Foundation language revitalization program now manages it.

“Each year the situation for our languages grows more urgent, and the call to action ever louder and clearer. Doyon Foundation is proud to support our communities and their efforts to learn and teach the languages passed down to us from our grandparents,” says Allan Hayton, the Foundation’s language revitalization program director.

This year’s grant awards are even more significant, as 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, as recognized by the United Nations. “Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives. They are not only our first medium for communication, education and social integration, but are also at the heart of each person’s unique identity, cultural history and memory,” states the UN website.

“Each of the languages in the Doyon region deserve our daily recognition in 2019, and every year,” Hayton urges. “Get involved, learn, teach, speak your language each and every day.”

The 2019 Our Language grant recipients include:

Athabascan Fiddlers Association. KRFF 89.1 Voice Of Denali broadcasts across the Doyon region, with listeners regularly calling in to contribute to the “Native Word of the Day” and “Phrase of the Day” in the many languages across the region. KRFF’s Our Language grant project involves isolating, cataloging and archiving digital copies of these words and phrases for use in current and future revitalization efforts throughout Interior Alaska. The files will be accessible to learners on the KRFF website.

Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments. A project entitled “Gwich’in Language Learning & Material Creation Around Salmon Fishing” will create language-learning opportunities and materials centered around traditional Gwich’in subsistence activities. The project is scheduled to take place in summer 2019, during the Yukon River king salmon runs in late June and early July. Lessons will be centered around the smokehouse along the Yukon River within the village.

Fairbanks Native Association. The Denaakk’e Hʉdełnekkaa are a parent group for students enrolled in the Denaakk’e Head Start program, which is currently in its second year with 15 3 to 5-year-olds enrolled. The goal of the Denaakk’e Hʉdełnekkaa parent group is to support one another, and in turn support the children and teachers in learning and speaking the Denaakk’e language. This project will engage in learning games and activities, work with Elders, meet regularly to learn Denaakk’e, and maintain an open invitation to others interested in learning Denaakk’e.

Koyukuk Tribal Council. This project will create and organize a Denaakk’e language revitalization program, with a mission “to sustain our cultural heritage, traditional lifestyle and healthy environment for future generations.” The project will engage in community language planning, teaching and storytelling through the use of video, posting local place and building names in Denaakk’e language, and fostering a learning environment within the community.

Organized Village of Grayling. This project will involve an 11-week course with 51 students, drawing from lessons created with knowledgeable Elders. Coordinators will create basic word and phrase lists, develop lesson plans, and arrange classes with the goal of all participants mastering basic conversational skills in Holikachuk language. Older students will assist in the recording of lessons, as well as help with teaching younger students.

Native Village of Minto. Tr’ukheyiyh, “We are talking,” is a one-year pilot project that will utilize real-world immersion and online tools to provide language learners of all levels easier access and greater retention by providing a foundation to start, continue or contribute to community language revitalization efforts. The project will draw from new and existing content for Benthi Kokhut’ana Kenaga’, and plans to utilize in-person lesson instruction, summer cultural camp immersion, and recorded lessons shared via YouTube.

Nulato Tribal Council. This project will work to translate the 1983 Central Koyukon workbook into the Lower Koyukon language. There will also be an accompanying video of translations, which will be posted online for learners. All Nulato and Kaltag tribal members will have access via www.nulatotribe.net.

Tanana Tribal Council. The Tanana Cooperative Community Language Preservation and Revitalization Project will continue to create interactive video lessons to teach common phases and conversations by Elders who speak Denaakk’e as used in Tanana, and share materials both in cultural camps and in classrooms.

Tetlin Village Council. This project will focus on promoting the Tetlin dialect of the Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana) language through two sessions at Tetlin Culture Days. The sessions support the Tetlin Community Plan priority to “promote language preservation by proactively encouraging cultural activities that bring the community together.” Participants will be provided with copies of the Upper Tanana alphabet, as well as books and CDs from Elders Roy and Cora David.

Last year, the Foundation awarded nine grants totaling $64,000 to support projects including professional development, radio broadcasts, teacher training, audio and video lesson development, language immersion activities, culture camps, and lesson plan development. Read more about the 2018 grant projects on our blog.

For more information on the language revitalization program or Our Language grants, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact the language revitalization program at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048

The Indigenous languages of the Doyon region:

  • Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana)
  • Deg Xinag
  • Denaakk’e (Koyukon)
  • Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross)
  • Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim)
  • Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)
  • Hän
  • Holikachuk
  • Inupiaq
  • Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana)

Foundation shares “great ideas” from 2018 grantees

The recipients of the 2018 Our Language grants, awarded by Doyon Foundation, recently completed their language revitalization projects and submitted reports detailing their efforts and outcomes.

“The 2018 Our Language grantees are a varied group of dedicated and resourceful organizations with great ideas to share with others around the region,” says Allan Hayton, the Foundation’s language revitalization program director.

The 10 ancestral languages of the Doyon region are all severely to critically endangered, and will be lost within the span of a few generations if no action is taken. To address this crisis, Doyon, Limited established the Our Language grant program in 2012, and the Doyon Foundation language revitalization program now manages it.  Since inception of the grant program, $350,000 has been awarded to support a wide range of language revitalization projects.

“The hope of the Our Language grant program is to support community efforts in strengthening languages, cultural identity, traditional wisdom and values so they may be passed on to future generations,” says Doris Miller, Foundation executive director.

The 2018 Our Language grants supported the following language revitalization projects and efforts:

Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC). Jennifer Romer, ANHC’s director of education, and language instructors Alice Hess and Mellisa Heflin attended the Indigenous Language Institute (ILI) 9th Annual Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The institute “provided an opportunity to learn from successful language programs within urban and rural programming to enhance our community continuum,” Romer says. Speakers at ILI’s Institute included Laura Jagles address on “How We Carry and Bestow Knowledge,” and Madison Fulton and Eric Hardy’s look at “Historical Trauma and Cultural Resilience: An Indigenous Framework Approach to Empower Language.”

KRFF Voice of Denali 89.1. KRFF has a large collection of “word of the day” and other phrases in the many Native languages across their listenership area. They had a target of digitizing over 7,000 Native language audio clips from their radio shows. The process involved editing existing “word of the day” and “phrase of the day” electronic files and then broadcasting them out to KRFF’s listening audience in Interior Alaska and beyond. KRFF has posted the Native language clips to their Soundcloud, which can be accessed on their website.

Eagle IRA Council. The Eagle project focused on creating podcasts from books and other learning materials. A community workshop was held on how to create podcasts in the Hän language and develop more learning materials accessible through phones and other devices. The workshop created greater capacity by teaching production skills to community members, and enlisting Eagle School students’ help with the project. The project also created “daily life” instructional videos featuring Bertha Ulvi and Ethel Beck, who shared how to set rabbit snares and clean rabbits in the Hän language. Eagle plans to continue building on this project by developing and submitting a 2019 Administration for Native Americans grant proposal.

Native Village of Fort Yukon. Community youth created their own council and planned a youth and cultural language program, including year-round cultural activities where Gwich’in language is used to teach traditional activities. At a winter culture camp, a participant shared that it was “empowering to speak the language in a positive environment” among their friends. Participating youth shared their experiences on air at the KZPA radio station, highlighting the language skills and cultural knowledge learned through the activities.

Edzeno’ Native Village Council (Nikolai). A Nikolai culture/language camp was held in partnership with the Iditarod Area School District – Top of the Kuskokwim School and Telida Village Council. Nikolai Village offered a culture and language camp with a focus on preserving the Upper Kuskokwim language and igniting a spark in the younger generation. Adult participant Stephanie Petruska shares, “It was good, everything from the way they were taught to just getting together every day that week.”

Native Village of Tanacross. This project provided language and culture classes where participants recorded culture and language. The goals were to document Native culture, including stories and language, and have youth speak the language. Videos and CDs produced from this project will be provided to Tanacross School, and will be available to community members wanting to learn. The project is part of Tanacross’ ongoing push to teach traditional cultural knowledge, and bridge the gap between youth and Elders.

Tanana Tribal Council. This project promoted Denaakk’e language revitalization by encouraging language learners to practice and solidify current skills. The goal was to build a base for students to develop language-learning skills, and to create videos of language lessons. The project is a partnership between Tanana Tribal Council, Tanana City School District and Yukon-Koyukuk School District. Classroom learning opportunities were offered for students in grades K through 5 during the spring semester of the 2017 – 2018 school year and the fall semester of the 2018 – 2019. The videos created through this project are intended to supplement the formal lessons, by adding opportunities to hear the language spoken when a Denaakk’e teacher is not available.

Tetlin Village Council. Tetlin’s project “Enhancing Culture Camp with Language Sessions” took place over the summer. The focus of their project was to promote language revitalization by having local speakers work together to teach participants during the Tetlin culture and wellness camp. Learners worked with traditional stories told by Titus David and learned useful Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana) Tetlin dialect expressions during the camp.

The Foundation recently announced the nine recipients of 2019 Our Language grants, which total $50,000. Read more about this year’s recipients and projects on the Foundation blog.

Doyon region tribal governments/tribal councils/communities; nonprofit Alaska Native organizations, societies and community groups; and Alaska Native cultural, educational and recreational organizations/centers are eligible to apply and receive an Our Language grant.

For more information on the language revitalization program or Our Language grants, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact the language revitalization program at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

The Indigenous languages of the Doyon region:

  • Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana)

  • Deg Xinag

  • Denaakk’e (Koyukon)

  • Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross)

  • Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim)

  • Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)

  • Hän

  • Holikachuk

  • Inupiaq

  • Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana)

Looking for other summer activities for your young learners? Alaska Summer Research Academy is a great option for middle and high school students interested in exploring various topics!

https://uaf.edu/asra/

Deadline: May 1, 2019

The Wells Fargo Scholarship for Undergraduates funds American Indian and Alaska Native students. Must be a full-time, degree-seeking incoming college freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior who holds a current GPA of 2.7 or higher. Awards are up to $5,000 for one year of study in any chosen major at any accredited institution in the United States.

Apply at www.aigcs.org.

WellsFargo_Scholarship_final

In collaboration with Doyon Foundation and other local organizations the Morris Thompson Center will host “Denaakk’e Dedeenee,” a series of intergenerational language learning activities for children attending with a parent or caregiver. Denaakk’e Dedeenee means “Say it in Denaakk’e.” Denaakk’e, also known as Koyukon Athabascan, is a Native language of Interior Alaska.

See below flyer for details.

Immediate Release – Children’s Native Language Activities at Morris Thompson Center.pdf

Denaakk’e Dedeenee flyer.pdf

Denaakk’e Dedeenee pdf for web.pdf

First Alaskans Institute (FAI) is pleased to announce applications are now being accepted for our 2019 Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship to place Alaska Native and rural Alaskans in Washington, D.C. during two back-to-back congressional sessions. This current opportunity is to place a Fellow in the office of Senator Dan Sullivan. To learn more visit here. To apply online visit here.

Highlights of Fellowship

· Six months in length;

· Travel provided to and from Washington, D.C.;

· Bi-weekly stipend pay of $1,200;

· An honorarium of $1,250 at the start of the fellowship;

· An honorarium of $1,250 after successful completion of the fellowship;

· FAI orientation before start of fellowship;

· Fulltime work schedule;

· Hands-on experience working with the congressional process;

· Priority of engaging in and researching Alaska Native issues;

· Post-secondary & higher education degrees or certification NOT required, the right candidate will have the right characteristics and the ability to be high-performing in the work environment; and

· Fellow is expected to secure their own housing and accommodations during Fellowship.

Timeline

· Application due date: Friday, April 19, 2019

· Candidate interviews & reference calls: Monday & Tuesday, April 22 & 23, 2019

· Final selection of fellow: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

· First Alaskans Institute orientation: Monday, May 13, 2019

· Senator Sullivan’s Office orientation: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

· Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship: May 15 – October 18, 2019 (Washington, D.C.)

For more information

Please contact Ella Sassuuk Tonuchuk, Indigenous Leadership Continuum Coordinator, at 907-677-1707 or or ellatonuchuk@firstalaskans.org with any questions.