January 2021


Doyon Foundation is hiring a new Executive Director to lead our organization. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, March 5, 2021. We are proud of our commitment to provide educational, career, and cultural opportunities to enhance the identity and quality of life for Doyon shareholders. We seek to broaden our reach and services to Doyon Foundation’s shareholders and communities, which span 34 villages across Interior Alaska and includes over 20,000 shareholders from both rural and urban areas. In line with the Foundation’s and Doyon Limited’s mission, we are excited to find the right person to grow and shape our organization into its next chapter.

The successful candidate will promote Doyon Foundation’s values and effectively communicate its vision while building capacity to achieve and support it. The ideal candidate will be visible and accessible as they drive opportunities to provide scholarships to Doyon shareholders, establish new and cultivate existing partnerships with organizations across Alaska, and support career and educational/workforce development for shareholders in a variety of creative ways.

While the incoming Executive Director is expected to bring strong leadership, staff development, financial management, and communication skills to the role, “growing our own” is a cornerstone of Doyon Foundation’s mission. As such, we are excited to consider a variety of candidates, including those new to Foundation administration.

This position is based in Fairbanks, Alaska.

About Doyon Foundation

Doyon Foundation was founded by Doyon, Limited, the Alaska Native regional corporation for Interior Alaska, in 1989.

Our mission: To provide educational, career, and cultural opportunities to enhance the identity and quality of life for Doyon shareholders.

Our vision:

  • Financial Sustainability
  • Effective and Collaborative Strategic Partnerships
  • Organizational Excellence
  • Every Shareholders’ Dream is Realized
  • Strong Demonstration of Indigenous Language, Culture and Values

The Executive Director with Doyon Foundation brings the following:

  • Knowledge of Alaska Native cultures and languages within the Doyon region.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate as a leader.
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, portfolio manager performance review, fund development, decision making and reporting, as well as grants and contract management.
  • Ability to work with organizations and communities in and outside the region to help perpetuate Doyon region languages and culture.
  • Ability to lead, manage, and cultivate relationships with a diverse group of people.
  • Solid organizational leadership abilities, including strategic planning, change management, staff management, networking, and program development.
  • Ability to fundraise through a variety of methods.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. Position responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Executive Leadership in engaging and participating in the strategic planning process, business development efforts, general business review and problem solving, and policy development
  • Corporate Administration to plan, develop, organize, direct, and evaluate all aspects of day-to-day office administration to ensure professional and efficient corporate operations and performance
  • Financial Management in providing leadership throughout areas of responsibility on matters regarding budgetary performance, financial manager and portfolio oversight and cost control
  • Supervision, providing direction, vision, and oversight to all departments and supervising multiple positions.

See the job description at http://bit.ly/2NK4kG8 for the full listing of responsibilities.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Two years of senior management level (CEO, CFO, COO, VP) experience in a for-profit or nonprofit organization, or three years of mid-management experience in a supervisory role.
  • Three years of experience directly managing a budget.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).

Preference statement: Doyon Foundation grants preference to qualified Doyon shareholders first, and second to qualified shareholders of other Alaska Native corporations that grant a similar preference in all phases of employment and training, which include, but are not limited to hiring, promotion, layoff, transfer, and training.

View the full job announcement and job description, and apply online at http://bit.ly/2NK4kG8.  

Do you have an idea for a language revitalization project focusing on the languages in the Doyon region? Apply for an Our Language grant from Doyon Foundation!

In a continuing effort to revitalize the endangered Native languages of the Doyon region, Doyon Foundation will award grants of up to $5,000 to support language revitalization efforts. Applications for the 2021 Our Language grants are due Friday, February 26, at 5 p.m. AKST.

Online applications are preferred; interested applicants may apply at www.doyonfoundation.com. Hard copy applications are available upon request; contact haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.

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 for an Our Language grant.

Grant proposals must include a project description and timeline; plan for language documentation; project budget; completed community language survey; letter of support from village council or tribal office; and community language plan (optional). Each awardee must submit a final report at the end of their project and before the deadline of Thursday, September 30, 2021.

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

Doyon, Limited established the language grant program in 2012, and the Doyon Foundation language revitalization program now manages the grant program. Last year, the Foundation awarded eight grants totaling $50,000 to support a wide variety of community-based language revitalization projects.

To apply, complete the online application accessible at www.doyonfoundation.com. Or help us spread the word by sharing our grant flyer.

For additional information, contact Doyon Foundation’s language revitalization program at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.

We have to start”

– Verna Hagen, Language Champion

Verna Hagen is a daughter of the late Walter Sanford and Laura Isaac Sanford of Chistochina and Tanacross, respectively. Her maternal grandparents are the late Titus and Annie Isaac of Lake Mansfield and Tanacross, respectively. Her maternal uncle, Chief Andrew Isaac, is remembered for his role in successfully arguing for land rights of Alaska Native people.

A lifelong resident of Tanacross and Tok, Verna is a 21-year employee of Tanana Chiefs Conference as an alternate resource coordinator. Her Alaska Native language is Tanacross, an ancestral language of people in the upper Tanana River region. Verna lives in Tok.

At 67 and looking forward to retirement, Verna Hagen is considering the past as she plans for a future that includes seeing the Native language of Tanacross return to everyday use. It’s a goal that follows in the efforts of her mother, Laura Isaac Sanford, a fluent Tanacross speaker who passed away in 2010.

“I learned a lot from her,” Verna said. “She was my mentor.”

A respected Elder and gifted storyteller in Tanacross and English, Laura Sanford’s contributions include helping to document the Tanacross language in texts such as the Tanacross Learners’ Dictionary and Tanacross Phrase and Conversation Lessons. Laura also worked on an in-progress collection of stories.

Verna is inspired by her mother’s commitment to the language, which ranged from taking part in University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) classes and workshops to sitting with friends in her kitchen to practice speaking Tanacross. Born in Dihthâad (Mansfield) and raised in traditions of the Mansfield-Ketchumstuck bands, Laura was revered for her knowledge of the old ways, stemming from a childhood spent on the land.

A recipient of Doyon Foundation scholarships, Verna completed online language courses through UAF and enrolled in Tanacross language classes held in Tok through UAF. Her instructor, Irene Arnold, is among authors of the Learners’ Dictionary, a community-based project with English entry words and nearly 4,500 Tanacross words, including example sentences and clickable links. Among Verna’s goals is to see the Learners’ Dictionary available in Tok-area classrooms.

Tasks in her language courses included making recordings of Elders as they spoke in Tanacross and contributing those recordings to the Alaska Native Language Archive at UAF. Verna sat with her mother, gathering audio and video in 2002 as Laura Sanford spoke Tanacross and told ancestral stories.

Verna’s plans include honoring those efforts, especially as she considers next steps to encourage her community to put the Tanacross language to use in everyday life. “We have to start doing that,” she said.

Verna makes time to speak Tanacross with her aunt, Isabelle John of Tanacross; her sister, Elizabeth Webb of Tok; and a cousin, Rose Benson of Tanacross and Chicago. Several Tanacross and Tok speakers are fluent, Verna said, and she’s eager to resume recordings to expand the pool of Elders whose Tanacross speaking and storytelling are preserved.

“Our Elders are leaving us and we need to preserve the language,” Verna said. “The language is what we’re all about. That’s why we need to get it to the children.” Helping teach the language to schoolchildren is among her retirement goals.

She credits language-learning workshops organized in Tok by Doyon Foundation with attracting good attendance, including people from neighboring communities. “I would love to see more language classes here in Tok and more Doyon workshops,” she said.

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. 

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.

James and his daughter, Jamie, enjoy being out on the water together.

James Quinto is the son of Marcelo and Nancy Quinto of Juneau, and is the biological son of Delma James of Fort Yukon. James is a police officer who lives in Juneau.

James Quinto has a three-part strategy for success.

“Always have goals,” he said, “and pursue those goals and don’t stop until you complete them.”

It’s a life lesson that helped him earn a criminal justice degree with help from a Doyon Foundation scholarship. James graduated from Portland State University in 1997 and joined the Juneau Police Department, where he’s employed today.

“Doyon Foundation scholarships made things a lot easier, knowing I didn’t have to worry about loans when I was done with college,” he said. Retaining the scholarships also helped motivate him to continue earning good grades.

Now with retirement from the police department just a couple of years away, James is achieving a new goal, with help once again from a Doyon Foundation scholarship: He was scheduled to complete training in December 2020 to earn a 100 Ton Marine Captain License through the Marine Transportation Program at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Licensure qualifies him to captain a tour boat offering whale watching and sightseeing. It’s a plan that recalls James’ growing-up years on the waters around Juneau, fishing with his father and appreciating the natural world.

“After 25 years of police service, I would like to captain a charter boat in Southeast Alaska with my daughter, Jamie,” James said. “It’s fun to see the excitement in the eyes of people who’ve never been on the water or seen the wildlife that I’ve grown up around.”

The prospect of working alongside his daughter is a bonus. “She’s always enjoyed being on the water with me and doing a lot of the same things,” he said.

The 100 Ton Marine Captain License is a U.S. Coast Guard license to captain a commercial boat carrying more than six passengers. The license is issued for operation of inspected vessels on most U.S. waterways.

The amount of sea service and the size of vessels an applicant has experience on are among factors in obtaining the credential. Police work, with its emphasis on safety and adhering to policy, has been a valuable foundation for his new line of work, James said: “I’ve definitely learned to do things on time and to follow through.”

Each month, Doyon Foundation profiles a different student or alumni If you are interested in being highlighted in a student profile, please click here to complete a short questionnaire. To complete the alumnus profile questionnaire, please click here.

The Doyon Foundation summer 2021 scholarship application is now open and the deadline to apply is Monday, March 15, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. AKDT. Please note that it is the students’ responsibility to know and understand the Doyon Foundation scholarship policies; everything you need to know is included in our scholarship resource handbook.

We always get some questions about what is required from returning students vs. new students. The first thing to understand is the definition of “returning” and “new” student: 

  • Returning students are students who received a Doyon Foundation scholarship the prior scholarship period (in this case, spring 2021) and already submitted official transcripts for the current academic year. (Hint: Our current academic year began in August 2020 and ends in July 2021).
  • New students are students who were not awarded a Doyon Foundation scholarship the prior period (spring 2021) and this is the first time they are applying in the current academic year (which began August 2020 and ends July 2021).

Are you a new student? If so, here is a list of items you will need to submit by the deadline of Monday, March 15, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. AKDT:

  • ONLINE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION: Students must submit an application for each semester they wish to receive funding. Due March 15.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: A transcript is a comprehensive record of a student’s academic progress, including transfer courses, credit earned by exam, and earned degrees. The student’s name appears on his/her transcript as it appears on his/her university record. An official transcript is received directly from the issuing institution. It can be a hard-copy paper document that is still in the official envelope, or it can be a certified electronic transcript sent directly to scholarships@doyon.com. It must be properly signed/authenticated: Official transcripts include the university seal and the signature of the registrar. When an official transcript is required, copies are not accepted. Due March 15.
  • PROOF OF ACADEMIC ENROLLMENT: Proof may include a copy of letter of acceptance, enrollment verification letter, or National Student Clearinghouse enrollment verification. Due March 15.
  • CLASS SCHEDULE: In addition to the proof of academic enrollment, students must submit a class schedule for the semester he/she is applying for. Due March 15.

If the above documents are not submitted by March 15, the student will be ineligible for summer funding.

Are you a returning student? The documents and deadlines are a little different for you, so please read the below list of application requirements closely:

  • ONLINE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION: Students must submit an application for each semester they wish to receive funding. DUE BY THE MARCH 15 DEADLINE. There will be no late exceptions. 
  • UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS: An unofficial transcript is the student’s academic record without signature, seal, date or sealed envelope. There is usually no fee. Due Monday, May 10, 2021, by 5 p.m. AKDT.
  • CLASS SCHEDULE: For semester applying for. Due Monday, May 10, 2021, by 5 p.m. AKDT.

Why do returning students have more time to submit supporting materials? We understand that oftentimes grades/transcripts are not available until after the scholarship application deadline. In this case, returning students should submit their supporting application materials immediately after grades have been finalized for the spring semester. 

Need help completing your online application? View our step-by-step application instructions on our website.

We have created our scholarship resource handbook as a comprehensive document detailing all of our scholarship policies, requirements and processes. Please review it closely – and of course, let us know if you have any questions or need assistance! Contact us at scholarships@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

Candidates sought for competitive scholarship review committee

There are two seats available on the Doyon Foundation competitive scholarship review committee. One reviewer must be from a rural community in the Doyon region. Individuals interested in giving back and helping students achieve their full potential are encouraged to consider serving on this important committee, which reviews, evaluates and scores student competitive scholarship applications. Applications are due by Friday, May 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. Apply online here.

To qualify for this position, candidates must:

  • Submit a current resume.
  • Be a Doyon shareholder.
  • Be age 18 or older.
  • Value and support higher education.
  • Be committed to serve a three-year term.
  • Have an internet-accessible computer with recent version of web browser installed (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera).
  • Attend an orientation in June via teleconference.
  • Spend 30 – 40 hours reviewing, evaluating and scoring all competitive scholarship applications online via the Doyon Foundation website.
  • Attend a one-day teleconference meeting in July/August to award the scholarships.
  • Meet with Doyon Foundation administration to review and recommend competitive scholarship policy changes.

Please note that per IRS regulations, committee members cannot be employees of the Doyon Family of Companies or Doyon Foundation. Board members are also not eligible to serve on the committee. Also note that service on the scholarship review committee is on a voluntary basis.

Interested candidates should complete and submit the online candidate application, as well as a current resume, by Friday, May 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. The Doyon Foundation board of directors will select the new committee members at their next regularly scheduled meeting.

Help us spread the word about this opportunity by posting and sharing our flyer!

For more information, please contact the Doyon Foundation at 907.459.2048 or scholarships@doyon.com.

Photo courtesy of https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/03/08/23/17/alaska-1245029_960_720.jpg

Xisigidasidhut, thank you, to our speaker Elizabeth Keating for sharing our January 2021 Native Word of the Month in Holikachuk.

Xiyh xoolanh. = It’s winter now.

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!

Congratulations to the 320 students who are receiving a total of $752,400 in scholarships for the spring 2021 semester!

We are pleased to award 176 full-time basic scholarships, 100 part-time basic scholarships and 44 competitive scholarships.

Students, your scholarship is on its way! Log in to your student account if you have questions about your scholarship application status.

Also, mark your calendar for our next scholarship application deadline: Monday, March 15 at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline to apply for scholarships for the summer 2021 semester.

Learn more about our scholarships in our scholarship brochure, vocational scholarship brochure and scholarship resource handbook, or read about some of our past and current recipients on our blog!

The total amount awarded is significantly higher than last spring, as Doyon Foundation recently increased our scholarship amounts. The increase allows us to better serve our students as they pursue their educational goals in the face of continually rising costs of higher education.

A special thank you to our generous donors who continue to support the scholarship and language revitalization programs at Doyon Foundation. View a list of our donors or make a gift on our website.

For more information or assistance, contact our scholarship program manager at 907.459.2048 or scholarships@doyon.com.

First come, first served – apply by March 15

The application period for our summer 2021 basic scholarships is now open! Applications must be received by Monday, March 15 at 11:59 p.m. Students planning to attend classes this summer are encouraged to apply early as our basic scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Scholarship applications must be completed online at www.doyonfoundation.com.

The Doyon Foundation board of directors recently voted to increase scholarship award amounts. Part-time students are now eligible to receive a $1,600 basic scholarship and full-time students can receive a $2,400 basic scholarship. Students can be studying a wide range of fields, including vocational areas of study.

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

View our scholarship resource handbook for full eligibility details.

To apply for a summer basic scholarship, you will need to submit:

Remember, official transcripts only need to be submitted once per academic year (which runs August through July). That means:

  • If you didn’t receive a spring 2021 scholarship, then you need to submit official transcripts by the March 15 deadline.
  • If you’re a “returning” student (meaning you received a fall 2020 and spring 2021 scholarship), you can submit unofficial transcripts. We know you won’t have transcripts for the spring semester by March 15, so the deadline for you to submit them is Monday, May 10, 2021.

Be sure to log in to your student account before the scholarship application deadline to check that you have submitted all the required materials.

Check out our scholarship resource handbook for all the details on transcripts, eligibility and application requirements. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact us at scholarships@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.