2020 Census’s goal is to hire someone in every single community in the state. Students can earn money for their education during their time off work! The US census is recruiting and paying $28- 31 per hour. Students can also choose their own schedules and it is very flexible.

Apply at 2020census.gov/jobs.

Alyssa“I would not have been able to reach my goals without Doyon Foundation”


An undergraduate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) scheduled to graduate with an associate degree in process technology in May 2020, Alyssa Sommer is the daughter of Fred Sommer, Jr. and Diane Evans-Sommer of Fairbanks. Alyssa’s maternal grandparents are Lily and Alfred “Dick” Evans of Galena. Her paternal grandparents are Dorothy and the late Fred Sommer, Sr. of Nulato.

Alyssa’s hometown is Fairbanks. She attends UAF with support from a Doyon Foundation competitive scholarship.

Among Alyssa’s lifelong ambitions has been to help run the Fort Wainwright power plant, where she has worked as a coal operator since August 2019. The plant is one of three units owned and operated since 2007 by Doyon Utilities LLC and supplying service to military sites in Alaska. Fairbanks-based Fort Wainwright is home to an electrical distribution system, a central heat and power plant, and a heat distribution system, among other services operated by Doyon Utilities.

Alyssa’s plans after graduation include advancing to boiler operations and controls at the power plant. Fort Wainwright is an Army installation that includes some 1,400 on-post housing units. Its civilian and military population totals about 11,000.

“I’m looking forward to learning and progressing,” says Alyssa, who enjoys tracing various boiler system components to gain greater insight into the unit overall. Daily tasks include unloading coal from rail cars; directing coal through the plant system; and inspecting equipment and hauling ash to the landfill. “From the first time I saw process technicians in action in 2011, I knew that was the job I wanted,” Alyssa says. She values the chance to work close to home and among welcoming coworkers.

“I would not have been able to reach my goals without Doyon Foundation,” Alyssa says. “Doyon Foundation has helped me start the journey in my desired lifelong field.” In 2016 she earned a certificate in welding from UAF and an associate degree in diesel mechanics from the University of Alaska Southeast. In each semester she was awarded Doyon Foundation scholarships.

Attending school full-time while working a physically demanding full-time job has Alyssa managing a hectic schedule. “It’s quite important to me to get in family time whenever I can,” she says. Going for long drives, taking walks, swimming, cooking and going to the movies are among ways that she manages stress while enjoying family and friends.

“Time has its challenges,” she says. “I never quite feel prepared at times. But I push forward. I try not to beat myself up if I don’t get the grade I want or if I find I need to take a break for a day.”

Her advice to other students: Remember that stress can undermine focus that’s needed to do well in school. “Try not to stress,” Alyssa says. “Take a day to relax when needed.”

Meet more of our students! Check out our more student profiles on our blog. 

Learn more about Doyon Foundation and our scholarships on our website!

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Doyon Foundation sends heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Elder Sarah Silas of Minto.

Sarah dedicated herself to passing on her Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ language and culture, and has been a true inspiration for the mission of Doyon Foundation. Sarah often attended our language gatherings, and after hearing a circle of participants introduce themselves in their languages she said, “It is so beautiful hearing you all speaking your language; it is like hearing birds chirping and singing their songs.”

We were ever so humbled that day when Sarah shared her gratitude with our group. She looked at everyone gathered and said, “Thank you for putting our words back in our mouths.”

We at Doyon Foundation are forever grateful for Sarah’s many contributions, and will strive to keep her legacy alive for this and future generations.

2020 Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship Application
Application Due: Friday, November 15, 2019

First Alaskans Institute (FAI) is pleased to announce applications are now being accepted for our 2020 Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship to place Alaska Native and rural Alaskans in Washington D.C. during a congressional session January 6 – June 1, 2020. This current opportunity is to place a Fellow in the office of Senator Dan Sullivan. The goal of the fellowship is for leaders to become familiar with the Alaska Delegation, the congressional and appropriations process; grow understanding of their own histories and the priorities of their community and Alaska Native peoples; learn and use the skills of past, present and future leadership; know the evolving issues that challenge Alaska Natives and Alaska; and strengthen their ability to be a culturally-connected leader in every space they occupy. To apply online visit here.

History of Alaska Senator Al Adams
The Al Adams Fellowship launched in 2013 to honor the late Iñupiaq statesman from Kotzebue who exemplified genuine and culturally connected political leadership throughout his life. He served as a Trustee of FAI and continues to have a presence in memoriam through this fellowship, inspiring a new generation of leadership through his legacy.

The Al Adams Fellowship is designed to achieve two core purposes:

* Advance Our Ways of Life: Encourage high-caliber young Alaska Native leaders to increase the presence of Alaska talent and knowledge in Washington, D.C. among the Alaska Congressional Delegation (and other agencies they engage with), and to serve as a resource and ambassador for advancing Alaska Native peoples and issues; and
* Be Good Relatives: Have our leaders take on the responsibility to learn and engage in the political and congressional systems, build leadership capacity, integrate and actively use culture and values in any environment, develop networks and connections to important issues, and be inspired to commit to being an advocate for Alaska Native peoples and communities throughout their life. ·
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;
* Full time 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;
* Fellow is expected to secure their own housing and accommodations during Fellowship. ·
Duties & Core Competencies Required

* Written/Verbal Communication: Capture and disseminate relevant information; Assist with drafting speeches, legislation & social media posts; Find and distribute daily news clippings; Attend committee hearings and provide written or verbal summaries to congressional staff.
* Social: “Constituent Work” – communicate and work with constituents in the office or by phone/mail/email to respond to their concerns/interests; Problem solve; Attend committee, constituent and staff meetings.
* Research/Analytical: Analyze legislation; Research; Track budget development; Follow bills; Draft or carry legislation; Track and research Alaska Native issues.
* Office Management: Process emails & printed mail; Schedule meetings on Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, etc. ·

* Application due date: Friday, November 15, 2019
* Candidate interviews & reference calls: Monday, November 18 – Thursday, November 21, 2019 * Final selection of fellow: Friday, November 22, 2019
* First Alaskans Institute Training in Anchorage, AK: Wednesday & Thursday, December 18 & 19, 2019
* Senator Sullivan’s Office Training in Washington, D.C.: Friday, January 3, 2020
* Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship in Washington, D.C.: Saturday, January 4 – Monday, June 1, 2020 ·
How to Apply
Successful applicants will be selected based on an application and interview. Applicants must submit ALL of the following:

* Completed Al Adams Young Political Leader Fellowship application form online and attach documents listed below;
* Typed biography describing personal, professional and family background no more than 250 words. Be sure to include English name, Indigenous name, hometown, culture, parents, grandparents, school, hobbies and passions at the very least.;
* Photo of applicant engaging in cultural activities, wearing regalia, or with their family; * Current resume no more than 2 pages;
* Two professional or personal references from community members, colleagues, peers, teachers, professors, employers, supervisors, Elders, etc. Provide the names and best contact information (name, cell and email for each). Note: We are not accepting letters of recommendation as we would like to speak to your references directly;
* Written or video essays (250 to 650 word limit, 1 minute 30 seconds to 3 minutes limit);
* Copies of relevant training certificates or unofficial transcripts if still attending a post-secondary institution although there is no academic requirement to be eligible for the Al Adams Fellowship. Official transcripts may be requested if you are selected as a Fellow; and
* If Alaska Native/American Indian, please include a copy of your Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal ID Card.

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


Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

We are pleased to share our November 2019 Native words of the month in Holikachuk. This month, we feature a short conversation between Tristan Madros and Mary Deacon.

Tristan: Sits’ida’onh dant’anh? (What are you doing my friend?)


Mary: Gooqa yix ts’i ghisoł. (I’m walking to the store.)


Tristan: Koon ninagi’eł. (See you later.)


For more translations, view our Native word of the month archives on the Foundation website.

We also invite you to access free online language-learning lessons by signing up for Doyon Languages Online! We currently have lessons available for HolikachukDenaakk’eBenhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in, as well as a special set of Hän lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby. All interested learners may sign up and access the courses at no charge – sign up today!


66_Spring Scholarship Reminder Promotion_Blog.jpgGet up to $1,200 for school – apply by November 15!

Winter may be on its way, but it’s already time to start thinking about spring – spring scholarships, that is! The application period for spring 2020 Doyon Foundation scholarships is now open. Applications must be received by Friday, November 15, 2019, at 5 p.m. Remember that our basic scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your application in early!

(Did you know that we also award advanced college credit scholarships up to $400 to high school students, as well as short-term vocational scholarships up to $1,000? Applications for these are accepted year-round and funded on a first-come, first-served basis! Check out our scholarship resource handbook to learn more.)

Applications are accepted through our online scholarship portal, available on our website. First time using the new system? See our step-by-step instructions on how to create a new account. Questions on the application process? Check out our tutorial on how to apply for a scholarship.

To be eligible for a Doyon Foundation scholarship, you must:

  • Be enrolled to Doyon, Limited or be the child of an original enrollee
  • Be accepted to an accredited college, university, technical or vocational school
  • Meet our minimum GPA requirements
  • Be enrolled in the required minimum number of credits

Part-time students are eligible to receive an $800 basic scholarship and full-time students can receive $1,200 basic scholarships. Check out our scholarship resource handbook for all the details.

There are several items you will need to submit when applying for a basic scholarship, including:

One thing we always get lots of questions about is transcripts. Do I need to submit them? Do they need to be official or unofficial? What is the deadline? Here’s what you need to know about transcripts:

  • Official transcripts only need to be submitted once per academic year (which runs August through July).
  • If you’re a “new” student (in order words, you didn’t receive a fall 2019 scholarship), then you need to submit official transcripts by the November 15 deadline.
  • If you’re a “returning” student (meaning you received a fall 2019 scholarship), you can submit unofficial transcripts. We know you won’t have transcripts for the fall semester by November 15, so the deadline for you to submit them is December 21.

DF_95_General Transcripts Infographic_v1.jpgIt is very important to log in to your student account before the scholarship application deadline to check that you have submitted all the required materials. (Put a reminder on your calendar now!)

We also encourage you to review our scholarship resource handbook for all the details on transcripts, eligibility and application requirements. You are also welcome to contact us anytime – we are here to help!

Need computer access to complete the online application? Come by the Foundation office at the Doyon Industrial Facility, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101 in Fairbanks.

Remember – the deadline to apply for a spring 2020 basic scholarship is Friday November 15, 2019! If you have questions, contact us at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

126_DLO Language Champion Promotion_FB-INI’m so proud of Doyon Foundation for its work with our languages”

Paul Mountain is the son of Josephine Rita (Nickoli) and Simeon Charley Mountain Senior. Paul’s maternal grandparents are Maria Catherine (K’elestemets) and Paul (Naakk’oos) Nickoli. His paternal grandparents are Vivian (Sipary) Peter and Cosmas Mountain. Cosmas’ parents are Charley and Mary Mountain.

Paul’s Alaska Native language is Denaakkenaage’, spoken by Koyukon Athabascan people of Nulato and Kaltag. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1991, and holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics with a minor in Alaska Native languages. He is a past recipient of Doyon Foundation scholarships.

“I have always been intrigued by the use of language to communicate,” says Paul, who is tribal administrator for the Nulato Tribal Council.

Paul’s earliest memories include time spent with his grandmother, Maria Nikoli, who spoke only Koyukon Athabascan and helped him gain a good foundation for understanding the language. His mother, uncles and aunts were instrumental in teaching the language.

“The Koyukon language is so interesting,” Paul says. “There are so many different ways to express yourself without saying too much.” For instance, when someone says “emaa,” the word may translate as “ouch” or “it hurts.” The same word may be used today as an idiom, meaning “I feel bum.” For health care providers who may be unfamiliar with Koyukon, its flexibility can be frustrating, Paul says.

As in other languages, some Koyukon words fall out of use. “Songs were made in the past using words even the fluent speakers sometimes don’t understand fully. There’s a certain amount of poetic license on the part of the songmaker,” Paul says.

Connecting words to form sentences was an important step in advancing his fluency. “I think a lot of people know lots of words and what they mean, but what they lack is how to form complete sentences. Repetition was a really good way to learn,” he says.

To remain active in language learning, Paul takes part in a Native singing and dance group based in Nulato. The dance group is sponsored by Nulato Tribal Council in partnership with Andrew K. Demoski School. In his role as tribal administrator, Paul is supportive of a Nulato Tribal Council project to re-translate workbooks into the Lower Koyukon dialect. But as Native language speakers are being lost to old age, he knows that among the biggest challenges to language learning is a lack of people available to speak with and learn from.

“It’s really difficult,” he says. “I’m so proud of Doyon Foundation for its work with our languages.”

Paul plans to continue working with the Native dance group, which includes members as young as 8 years old, to develop their understanding of the meaning behind songs. “It’s so entertaining to help them,” he says. “I’d also like to help as they grow older and learn to make songs themselves.”

About Doyon Languages Online

Through the Doyon Language Online project, Doyon Foundation is developing introductory online lessons for Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The project officially launched in summer 2019 with the first four courses, now available for free to all interested learners.

Doyon Languages Online is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

About Language Champions

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we believe it is important to recognize people who are committed to learning and perpetuating their ancestral language. We are pleased to share some of these “language champion” profiles with you.

If you know a language champion, please nominate him or her by contacting our language program director at haytona@doyon.com. Language champions may also complete our profile questionnaire here. You may learn more about our language revitalization program on our website, or sign up to access the free Doyon Languages Online courses here.