62_MTMGC Promotion_FB-INIn honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Ryan Michel.

A student at Colorado State University, Ryan is the son of Melvin and Michelle Michel of Fairbanks. His paternal grandparents are Eleanor and the late Michael Michel of Fairbanks. Ryan’s maternal grandparents are Edward and Antonette Marrs of West Virginia.

Ryan is from Fairbanks and is a recipient of the Morris Thompson competitive scholarship awarded by Doyon Foundation. He’s pursuing a degree in construction management and plans to graduate in 2022.

“Doyon Foundation has helped support my financial needs,” he says. “Without the Foundation’s assistance, I would have had to take on additional student loans.”

Ryan’s volunteer projects during the school year include helping Elders with yard work.

His plans include a summer job with Doyon Utilities before returning to Colorado State in the fall. Long-term goals are attending law school and specializing in construction law.

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.

A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our golf ball sponsor, GCI, and our dice roll sponsors, Explore Fairbanks and MAC Federal Credit Union. Your support makes scholarships for students like Ryan possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.

To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details. 

118_People Promotion_Noah_FB-INIn honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Noah Lovell. A University of Alaska Fairbanks student, Noah is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He graduates in 2020.

His parents are Patrick Lovell of Chelan, Washington, and Sallie Lovell of Fairbanks. His maternal grandparents are Lillian Evans of Rampart and the late Joseph Burns of Fairbanks. Noah writes that his paternal grandmother was born and raised in Japan and his paternal grandfather is from the Midwest; both passed away before he had a chance to meet them. Noah’s hometown is Fairbanks.

Noah Lovell: I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities Doyon Foundation has provided for me. Because of the Foundation’s basic and competitive scholarships, I’ve been able to pay the cost of tuition and gas for my car, which I use to commute to and from school. I haven’t had to take out loans. I haven’t had to pay out of pocket to help get through college.

Doyon Foundation has made a financially stress-free college experience a reality. It’s an immense blessing to say, “I’m debt free.”

Doyon Foundation: That’s inspiring, especially when so many students find paying for college to be a real challenge.

NL: The biggest challenge I faced during my college education is the feeling that I may not be doing enough. The only way to combat this is to tackle your education head on, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I try my best in every project, essay or presentation. The reward isn’t just the feeling that you’ve done your best. It’s knowing that you’ve given it your all and made yourself proud.

DF: You believe that requires looking inside first.

NL: I think we go through life trying to make others happy. But we can easily check up on ourselves throughout the day, week or month or even the school year by asking, “Am I on track?”

Doing this makes you more self-aware. You’re able to build up maturity as an individual and when you do that, you become a builder of a stronger community and society.

DF: For you, asking if you’re “on track” started in childhood!

NL: I’ve played the violin since fourth grade and started playing the piano around three years ago. I love to read and write poetry. Painting has become a new hobby even though I’m not very good at it.

But that’s what life is all about — trying new things. I’ve centered my life around trying everything healthy at least once. If I’m good at it, then great, but if not, that’s OK. I can try another thing.

One of the most important qualities to have in life is the ability to try something new and not care if you’ll be judged or not.

DF: And if what you love is learning?

NL: If you love being a student, then go all the way to get your doctorate! The world is in your hands.

DF: What takes up your time outside of school?

NL: I volunteer regularly with the Fairbanks Concert Association and with Great Alaskan Accounting People. (The acronym, GAAP, is a play on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the federally adopted accounting standards.) I was the information technology officer for GAAP this past school year but next year I’ll be the recruiter, which I’m really looking forward to.

DF: You’ve mentioned that you’re known for being optimistic. How did you come by that trait?

NL: Everyone handles disappointment differently, but I’ve learned that when you’re able to change your outlook so that the world isn’t something to be feared but instead has opportunities waiting for you, then everything will shift. This takes time, but it’s so worth it.

It’s not only about coping with that feeling you get when all your aunties and uncles are asking, “What are you going to do next?” and you realize that you haven’t put much time or thought into the goals and skills that life is asking of you. Instead it’s learning that life is always going to open up when you’re able to give.

Giving is what makes life enjoyable. My favorite thing to do is give love, which makes the whole entire world run.

DF: That sounds like a tip for success in college and beyond.

NL: First and foremost, believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it and everything else will fall into place. Success starts from within.

DF: Since you mentioned it — and aunties and uncles might be reading — what are you going to do next?

NL: My summer plans include interning in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. I also plan to work toward my master’s degree in business and I hope to teach English in Japan one day.

Doyon Foundation has helped motivate me and inspire me. Without Doyon scholarships, I would have had a harder time going through college. Thank you! Baasee’

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.

A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our bachelor’s-level sponsors: Alaska Airlines, Brice Inc., Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Calista Corporation, CIRI, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Doyon Drilling, Inc., Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Flowline Alaska, Inc., Saltchuk Companies, and Wells Fargo. Your support makes scholarships for students like Noah possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.

To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details. 

118_People Promotion_Cory_FB-IN

In honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Cory LePore is a student at the University of Hawaii Manoa where he’s pursuing a master of arts degree in economics. Originally from Bethel, Cory is the son of Cory LePore Sr. and Cindy LePore, both of Bethel. His maternal grandparents are Beverly Turner and Thaddeus Tikiun, both of Holy Cross.

Cory earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in 2018. He is a member of the International Economics Honor Society, which recognizes scholastic achievement.

Doyon Foundation: Congratulations as you look ahead to earning your master’s degree in 2020. What attracts you to economics?

Cory LePore: Our world has many economic challenges that we’re facing daily and the fact that there’s no one correct way to approach those problems is so fascinating. Studying economics provides me with skills to make an impact on those problems throughout my lifetime.

DF: Economics is famous for being a difficult field, one that requires good ability in math and statistics as well as an understanding of human behavior.

CL: My biggest challenge has been trying to find my proper way to study. I found myself trying to cram math material into my brain the night before an exam and I ended up doing subpar.

I was in my first year as undergraduate at UAF when I found a way to study that suited me. I realized I’d have to dedicate more time and effort. I tried breaking my study time into several days, usually starting a week before an exam, and then study a couple of hours a day. I saw a massive change for the better in my grades.

I found this approach by trying all sorts of study techniques. I tried studying in a group and using flash cards. I’d read and research different strategies online.

DF: Your advice to other students is to remember that teachers and advisers are there to help. How did you learn this lesson? Why do you think so many students overlook these sources of help?

CL: I think they’re afraid. Students tend to think that teachers are there to teach and that’s it. But in reality, most teachers love when you interact with them outside of class. It shows you’re willing to challenge yourself and that you really want to learn the topic.

DF: You’ll be interning at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company this summer.

CL: I’ve been at Alyeska the past three summers. The work involves spreadsheet modeling, demand and market analysis, profit maximization analysis, and assisting in contract negotiations.

Interning provides me with hands-on experience so I’ll be better prepared as soon as I enter the workforce.

DF: How did Doyon Foundation scholarships help you?

CL: I was able to just take my classes and focus on school. Doyon Foundation scholarships freed up so much of my time and stress by allowing me to not have to work full time while in school.

Thank you so much for your academic support of Alaska Native students. It’s very much appreciated!

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.

A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our Doctorate-level sponsors: Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Inc., Doyon Family of Companies, and KeyBank and Key Equipment Finance. Your support makes scholarships for students like Cory possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.

To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details. 

118_People Promotion_Keating_FB_IN

Born in the community of Holikachuk on the north bank of the Innoko River in west-central Alaska, Elizabeth Keating is an Elder taking part in Doyon Languages Online, a Doyon Foundation project that develops online language learning for nine of the 10 Alaska Native languages of the Doyon region.

Elizabeth’s ancestors include parents Louise (Andre) and Paul Keating, and grandparents Chief and Lizzie Alexie. Elizabeth writes that names of other family members were lost when self-assigned names of Alaska Native people were converted to English. Many substitutions were in place by the early 1900s.

Holikachuk is an Athabascan language intermediate between Deg Xinag and Denaakk’e (Koyukon). It is Elizabeth’s first language, spoken to her by the grandparents who raised her from birth. Holikachuk is among Alaska Native endangered languages at risk of falling out of use as speakers age or switch to another language.

“My language makes me who I am on all levels of being,” Elizabeth says. “It affects how and what I think about life and the world around me.”

Early photos depict the community of Holikachuk as a collection of log buildings amid low hills, tall grass and muskeg bogs. Anthropologists working from stone tools found in the area believe that people have dwelled at Holikachuk since prehistoric times despite regular springtime flooding. In 1963 residents voted to move west to Grayling on the Yukon River, where king salmon runs and regular barge visits helped support a community.

Today Elizabeth contributes to language revitalization by recording words in Holikachuk for Doyon Languages Online. The project is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit supporting endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. The Foundation released a Holikachuk course as part of the Doyon Languages Online launch this summer. The course, along with courses in Gwich’inDenaakk’e and Benhti Kenaga’, is now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

Recording in Holikachuk is challenging. “I lost the use of my language except for some words and phrases,” says Elizabeth, who lives in Anchorage. “I am relearning. There are no fluent speakers of Holikachuk left, so the work of recording is critical.”

“I truly appreciate Doyon Foundation for getting grants to do this work. I appreciate the patience and understanding of everyone with Doyon Languages Online.”

Doyon Languages Online is engaging: Photos, videos and hints are available, and learning is reinforced with explanations of grammar and culture. Each segment undergoes full review by speakers, linguists, and the staffs of Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages.

“My grandparents did not speak English,” Elizabeth recalls. Her father, whom she saw often but did not live with, spoke only English and so Elizabeth learned English too. Living in two languages was a kind of balancing act.

These days, she’s semi-retired and eager to teach her language. She has posted phrases on a private Facebook site for Grayling/ Holikachuk and offered to teach a language-learning class at Loussac Library in Anchorage.

“I make myself available to anyone who’s interested,” she says. “It’s a big concern to me that we no longer have fluent speakers left. I know effort is being made at the village level; I hope more will be done.”

Doyon Languages Online is developing introductory online lessons for 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, and Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana).

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.

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we would like 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.

111_DLO_Course Promotion_Holikachuk_FB-INCourse now available for free to all interested learners

With no fluent speakers remaining, development of the Holikachuk language-learning course was perhaps the most challenging – and one of the most important – efforts of Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. Released today, Holikachuk is the fourth course release for Doyon Languages Online, which is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages. The online Holikachuk course, as well as previously released courses in Gwich’in, Denaakk’e and Benhti Kenaga’, is now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

 

 

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Like the other Doyon Languages Online courses, the Holikachuk course was developed by a team of content creators, Elders and a linguistics consultant, with the support of Foundation staff.

“The Holikachuk content creation team was in the most difficult position in comparison with the other languages this project focused on. While language is still a part of the community in Grayling, the last fluent Holikachuk Elder passed away in 2012. Working from archival recordings, and Elders that have a working knowledge of the language, the content creation team drafted, proofed and recorded 10 units of material,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

The finished Holikachuk – part 1 course includes five units, each with five lessons of content, reviews and unit assessments, as well as seven conversational videos with subtitles in English and Holikachuk, and 15 culture and grammar notes. A Holikachuk – part 2 course, including an additional five units, will be released in the fall. Supplemental resources, including a Holikachuk noun dictionary, are available in the Alaska Native Language Archive.

The Foundation extends a special thank you to the Holikachuk content creation team, Elizabeth Keating and Giulia Oliverio-Deacon, with special contributions from Tristan Madros, Elizabeth Painter, Mary Deacon and Harriet Nicholas; as well as the Organized Village of Grayling; Tribal Administrator Rachel Freireich; Chief Ivan Demientieff; Grayling School; Shirley Clark; Doyon, Limited; the Alaska Native Language Center and Alaska Native Language Archive; and all the people who worked with the Holikachuk language from the 1970s to today. Their work makes this course possible.

The Holikachuk people used to live in many villages on the Innoko River drainage near and above the Holikachuk Slough and on the Yukon River for seasonal salmon fishing. Starting in the 1800s the population was severely impacted by several waves of outsiders and diseases. Most people finally gathered at Holikachuk. A few families also moved to Shageluk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon) villages on the Yukon, and the Kuskokwim River area. In the 1960s, due to annual spring floods and erosion, the people of Holikachuk moved to Grayling on the Yukon. The Holikachuk language is most closely related to Lower Denaakk’e (Koyukon) Athabascan, but culturally the Holikachuk people are closer to the Deg Hit’an people of Shageluk, Anvik and Holy Cross.

The declining number of speakers, and the desire to preserve and pass along the Native languages of the Doyon region to future generations is the driving force behind Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. The project is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: 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).

Earlier this month, Doyon Foundation officially launched Doyon Languages Online with the release of the Gwich’in, Denaakk’e and Benhti Kenaga’ courses. This spring, the Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer.

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It 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.

For more information on the Holikachuk course and the Doyon Languages Online project, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

118_HappyFace_FB_INWe are pleased to present our July 2019 Native word of the month. Thank you to our speaker, Allan Hayton, our language revitalization program director.

Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)

Łuk Choo Zhrii = July

Tsingwahch’yaa = Funny

Yaagha’ łyaa tsingwahch’yaa ginkhii. = That one talks funny.

Listen to an audio recording:

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

The 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic took place under mostly sunny skies earlier this month, raising money for scholarships and honoring the memory of the late Morris Thompson.

The 19th annual event was held June 13 and 14 at Chena Bend Golf Course on Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks. The two-day event included a skills tournament and reception with Calcutta on Thursday, followed by the golf tournament and banquet on Friday. See more event photos on Facebook.

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While the final numbers are still being tallied, the 2019 event is estimated to have raised more than $122,000 for Doyon Foundation scholarships. Initial calculations show an increase in fundraising at the Calcutta, where supporters bid on the golf team they think will win in the tournament.

At Thursday night’s reception, guests viewed a video tribute to the event’s namesake, Morris Thompson, an avid supporter of education who served as the president/CEO of Doyon, Limited from 1985 until his passing in 2000. Guests were also introduced via video to some of the Foundation’s students and alumni, who shared how Doyon Foundation’s support has made a difference in their educational journeys.

During the reception, the Foundation made a special gift presentation to Charlene Marth, who has faithfully volunteered for the event every year for the past 19 years. Marth, who is the niece of the late Morris Thompson, is retiring from Doyon, Limited this year and said she will continue to volunteer even when retired.

The reception also included a spirited live auction, where guests bid on items including a trip to Peppermill Resort in Reno, a seven-day Holland America cruise, a Houston Astros super fan experience, and a Callway golf package.

The Friday golf tournament, which featured 32 teams of four players, was once again sold out, with a waiting list of interested players. Congratulations to this year’s winning team, Rick Boyles, John McAbee, Scott Jepsen and Rick Schok, Jr., who took first place with their score of 114. See more tournament results on the Foundation website.

The golf classic, which raises money for the Morris Thompson competitive scholarship fund, relies on the support of both sponsors and volunteers, both of which increased this year. The Foundation was pleased to welcome Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Inc. as a new $15,000 doctorate-level sponsor, and is thankful for the more than 60 volunteers who gave of their time at the event this year. See a list of 2019 sponsors on the Foundation website.

A special thank you to Explore Fairbanks and MAC Federal Credit Union, sponsors of the new dice roll game, which replaced the hole-in-one contest at the 2019 event. Congratulations to Stuart Thompson, who won the top prize of $5,000.

The 2020 event is tentatively scheduled for June 11 and 12; watch for additional announcements on the Foundation website.