July 2020

172_DLO Language Champion Promotion_KARMA_FB-INLearning the Hän language has been my passion since I was 15”

Karma Ulvi is chief of the village of Eagle, a community occupied for thousands of years by the Hän people on the south bank of the Yukon River near Canada. Karma is the daughter of Bertha Paul of Eagle and Dana Ulvi of Walnut Creek, California, and Eagle. Karma’s maternal grandparents are Susie Paul of Old Crow and Louise Paul of Eagle; her paternal grandparents are Milton and Patricia Ulvi of Walnut Creek, California.

As she pursues her commitment to the Hän language, Karma acknowledges the language revitalization efforts of her mother, Bertha, a member of the Eagle Village Council, and Ethel Beck and Ruth Ridley, who are Karma’s aunts. “I love them all very much,” Karma said.

A community health practitioner who serves as chief of the village of Eagle, Karma Ulvi believes that when Alaska Native people speak and read their language, ties to tradition and culture grow stronger. She’s eager to have Hän language conversations with her mother and aunts because, as her mother likes to say, things are just so much funnier in Hän.

“They’ll teach me things when we’re together,” Karma said, noting that Ruth Ridley, her aunt, can read and write Hän. “Learning my Hän language has been my passion since I was 15 years old.”

In her role as village chief, Karma was awarded a grant from Hungwitchin Corp. in Eagle to develop projects for Hän language learning. In addition to a stakeholder meeting planned for August, Karma is at work on a literacy class to underscore her commitment to helping people learn to read and write Hän.

“I would love to learn the literacy aspect,” Karma said. “I believe this is the tool needed to open the language.”

With her mother and aunts, Karma has done recordings in Hän for Doyon Language Online, a project of Doyon Foundation. The project is developing introductory online lessons for Holikachuk; Denaakk’e (Koyukon); Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana); Hän; Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in); Deg Xinag; Denak’i (Upper Kuskokwim); Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross); and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). Karma’s goals include working with Doyon Language Online to teach Hän.

She plans to combine time away from duties with the Eagle Village Council with leave from her work as a health aide to pursue grant writing to fund more outlets for people to speak, read and write Hän. And while grant writing and managing are a challenge, Karma wants to build on her ability to organize people and resources.

“I hope we can get everyone together and work together to save our language,” she said. “I’ve wanted to work with the language for so long. Now I’m finally in a place where I can.”

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 grants from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) and Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP).

About our Language Champion profile series

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 foundation@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.

Help your student get ahead by encouraging them to apply for ANSEP’s full-time Acceleration Academy. Students learn valuable life lessons and study skills that will put them on the path to success in their chosen career field. Find out all about the application process: https://bit.ly/319ijtV.

131_Student_Promotion_LillianBorroughs_FB-IN“Doyon Foundation scholarships allowed me to focus on becoming the best nurse I can

Lillian Mandregan-Burroughs is the daughter of Joanna and Robbin Hams of Nebraska. Her biological father is Macarius D. Mandregan, Sr. of St. Paul Island. Lillians maternal grandmother is Lillian Evans and her great-grandmother is Sally Woods Hudson of Rampart. Lillians maternal grandfather is the late Ronald Long of Colorado. Paternal grandparents are Ludmilla (Bourdukofsky) Mandregan and Tracy Mandregan of St. Paul Island. 

Lillian is a member of the Fairbanks cohort in the bachelors degree nursing program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Shes a member of the Class of 2021. Lillian is a certified nursing assistant who has worked the past 13 years at Denali Center, a short- and long-term care unit in Fairbanks. 

Doyon Foundation: You’ve said that enrolling in the UAA nursing required a leap of faith. How did that come about?

Lillian Mandregan-Burroughs: I originally started my college education in 2006. Life happened and I ended up enjoying my time as a nursing assistant, becoming a wife and mother, buying a home and becoming comfortable where I was. But it’s never too late to pursue your passion if you’re willing to work for it.

My parents and Elders at work continued to urge me to pursue nursing. I cut my hours at work, studied a lot and soon found myself in the UAA School of Nursing, Fairbanks cohort. The hard work and countless study hours helped me pursue my dream. I had not planned on a pandemic during nursing school!

DF: Surely that’s been among the biggest hurdles you’re facing on the way to Graduation Day.

LMB: Nursing school is very challenging — its high standards require much more studying than I’d ever done before. Add Covid-19 into the mix and I’ve become a teacher for my children and myself.

To continue achieving good grades and advance myself, I’ve studied harder than ever. I hope to complete summer and fall semesters without any hitches.

DF: How have Doyon Foundation scholarships helped?

LMB: Doyon Foundation helped lessen the financial burden of nursing school through basic scholarships. I was able to focus on becoming the best nurse I can, rather than worry how I’ll come up with tuition and money to pay bills. Doyon Foundation scholarships allowed me to avoid needing student loans, which would have deterred me from accepting a seat in the School of Nursing.

DF: Your work at Denali Center and in the community sound like valuable experience for nursing, where you’ll be called on to connect with all kinds of people.

LMB: Yes. I’ve been a member of Two Rivers K-8 Parent Teacher Association for three years, including the first two years spent as the PTA secretary. Being in PTA allowed me to be involved in planning events for my children’s school and the Two Rivers community.

I love learning from and working with Elders. And I enjoy spending time with family, gardening, sewing, and caring for critters on my hobby farm.

We are always looking for inspiring students to share their stories! If you would like to be featured in an upcoming student profile, please complete our student profile questionnaire. If you would like to nominate a student for a profile, please contact us at 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com.

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Backed by $2.5 million in new federal grant funding, Montana State University plans to offer full-ride scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students who enroll in its College of Nursing. 

See more at https://tinyurl.com/y43galce.

Tohono O’odham Community College is excited to announce that they will continue Free Tuition for all Native American students for the Fall 2020 semester. Students will be required to provide proof of tribal enrollment to be eligible for free tuition.

95% of courses will be delivered in an online format.

Non-Native Students can enroll at our low tuition rate of $34.25 per credit hour.

All Students will be responsible for the cost of books and fees.

Please visit their website, tocc.edu, to apply to be a student and register for classes.

For questions, please contact: Admissions@tocc.edu or 520-383-8401.

Non-Native Students can enroll at our low tuition rate of $34.25 per credit hour.

All Students will be responsible for the cost of books and fees.

Please visit their website, tocc.edu, to apply to be a student and register for classes.

For questions, please contact: Admissions@tocc.edu or 520-383-8401.

Our July 2020 Native word of the month features a fun video made by Deloole’aanh Erickson, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman (with daughter Telele Iŋmaġana), Kimberly Me’enh Nezoonh Nicholas, and Anna Nelaatoh Clock.

Baahaa Nek’edenledegee = Pencil


Click the image below to view our July Native word of the month video!


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!