The Doyon Foundation 2017 Graduate Yearbook is now available on the Foundation website!

2017 grad yearbook collagePacked with photos and profiles, the yearbook celebrates our 2017 graduates including:

  • 1 pre-school
  • 36 high school
  • 3 certificates
  • 22 associate’s degrees
  • 19 bachelor’s degrees
  • 5 master’s degrees
  • And 3 doctorate degrees!

Download your copy of the 2017 Graduate Yearbook now!

Have an addition or correction? Please send them to foundation@doyon.com or call 907.459.2048.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) is offering three Native Languages for fall 2017, Dena’ina, Ahtna and Yup’ik. All three courses are distance and face to face, so students can join the class if you are not located in Kenai. All three courses are 4 credit GER classes and are offered in the evenings.

Also, please note that Kenai Peninsula College is offering a scholarship sponsored by Alyeska Pipeline. This scholarship is for students enrolled in: Process Technology, Industrial Process Instrumentation, Welding and who are Alaska Native Students. The flyer will direct students to the department where you can find the application and deadlines.

You can register for class online at


and login or if you are a Non-degree seeking student you can login into "Just want to take a class" at

https://uaonline.alaska.edu/banprod/owa/twbkwbis.P_GenMenu?name=bmenu.P_TakeAClass .

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 907-262-0213 or the student services office for assistance in registering at 907-262-0330.



May 23, 2017 (Anchorage, Alaska) – First Alaskans Institute (FAI) is pleased to announce the opening of registration and call for proposals for our 34th annual statewide First Alaskans Institute Elders & Youth Conference taking place October 16th – 18th, 2017 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Each year, we strive to deepen our understanding of the issues and challenges of our time, promote tremendous pride in our cultural identities, and create shared understanding around our responsibility to contribute to our cultures and communities through the transference of knowledge between our precious Elders and our youth.

Our 2017 Conference theme “Part Land, Part Water – Always Native.” speaks to how our identity as indigenous peoples is informed by our deep connection to our lands and waters, no matter where we live, and recognizes that Alaska always has been – and always will be – a Native place. Our theme was crafted using the thoughtful contributions and ideas of our 2017 Statewide Elders & Youth Council, FAI staff, and other members of the community.

Our conference will be preceded by a special “Warming of the Hands Gathering” on Sunday, October 15th from 12:00pm-5:00pm, featuring Men’s and Women’s Houses and regional breakout sessions – a favorite offering of many past participants. We are excited to again host “Chin’an: A Night of Cultural Celebration” on Monday evening, featuring the incredible talents of those in our community who step up to share their gifts with the world!

We are accepting presentations/workshops and arts/cultural offerings proposals through July 21st, 2017. Proposals should be clearly tied to the theme and purposes of the Conference and be grounded in the celebration of who we are as Alaska Native peoples. We prioritize proposals that encourage active participation, and seek presenters that are open to collaboration as we work to craft an indigenized, thoughtful, and exciting conference agenda. You can find more information and forms attached, on our ellatonuchuk or (907) 677-1700 for more information.

Discounted Early Bird Registration is now open online through October 2nd with full price registration available afterward through the conference dates. In response to past E&Y and AFN Conference resolutions, and recognizing the rich learning that occurs during our conference, many school districts offer excused absences to students attending. Please help us spread the word by sharing our Facebook and Twitterposts – we can’t wait to see you in October!

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At First Alaskans Institute, we know we are responsible for carrying more than 10,000 years of ancestral knowledge into the future with rigor, humor, resilience, vigilance, and love. To learn more about us and what we do, please visit our website at www.firstalaskans.org, contact us at
907-677-1700 or info to learn more.

2017 Elders and Youth News Release – FINAL.pdf

2017 EY Call for Proposals.pdf

Alaska Native Language Speakers Native Artists and Culture Bearers 2017.pdf


See below for our July Native word of the month in Gwich’in!

Vits’ihnyaa = I help (him or her)
Shitsuu łuk tr’it’ii haa vits’ihnyaa geenjit shats’a’ shoo nilii. = My grandmother is happy I am helping her cut fish.

Listen to an audio recording.

JulyHai’ (thank you) to Allan Hayton for providing this month’s translation.

Have a translation in another language? Share it with us on Facebook!

Each month, a new Native word or phrase and definition will be shared on our website, as well as on our blog and Facebook page, along with an audio recording of the pronunciation.

Have an idea for a Native Word of the Month? Please email your idea to haytona@doyon.com.

Annie Sanford’s parents are Lena Blair Sanford and Dewayne Sanford, both from Tok. Her maternal grandparents are Mary Tom Tom Blair and William Blair of Snag, Yukon, Canada; her paternal grandparents are Laura Isaac Sanford of Tanacross and Walter Sanford of Chistochina. Annie’s hometown is Tok.

“Normally I don’t volunteer myself to give speeches, but I felt it was important to express how important of a role Doyon Foundation has played in my higher education,” Annie shares as she takes the stage as the student speaker at Doyon Foundation’s Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic Calcutta reception in June. The annual golf classic raises money for the Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of the late Morris Thompson and awards scholarships to students exhibiting leadership, integrity and a commitment to excellence.

“There is a lot to take into account when it comes to higher education, and Doyon Foundation has helped take the financial burden off of my shoulders,” Annie explains. “I feel like Doyon Foundation is a third proud parent in my pursuit of a higher education. They stay involved, they provide encouragement, and they are genuinely happy to witness my educational journey.”

“I want to thank Doyon Foundation and their sponsors for supporting not only me but students across Alaska pursuing our educational dreams,” Annie concludes. See the full video of her speech on the Foundation YouTube channel.

Annie is a University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) student who plans to complete her associate’s degree and join the university’s radiologic technology program in 2018. It’s a competitive process; only a half-dozen or so of the top students are selected to enroll each year. “I’m improving every aspect of my application to be among the top six or seven,” she says.

Her goals including graduating from the radiologic technology program in 2020 and pursuing her career in Fairbanks. “I want to work to give back to the community that has given me so much,” says Annie, who hopes to work at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Clinic or Fairbanks Memorial Hospital before continuing her studies to become an ultrasound technologist.

“Early on, in high school, I knew I wanted to help people medically and not just from your typical office cubicle,” Annie recalls. After high school, while she was trying to figure out what to do, it was a coworker who inspired Annie to go into radiology.

“Due to radiology not being commonly talked about, I wish to mentor future students who want to pursue radiology because I know I would have liked to have someone to talk to who already went through the process and could answer my questions,” she says.

For now, Annie advises other students to stay organized and keep motivated. “Using a planner and whiteboard are essential,” she says. “I highly recommend them.”

Kaylen’s mother is Shari Rempp, whose parents are Glenn and Marjorie Buss. Kaylen’s father is Chris Demientieff, whose parents are Rudy and Alice Demientieff. Kaylen’s hometown is Anchorage.

Kaylen“The greatest challenge I had in going back to school was supporting myself financially,” Kaylen says. A member of the 2017 graduating class of Colorado Mesa University, Kaylen met financial challenges by competing for scholarships, including the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship through Doyon Foundation.

“Doyon Foundation helped me to graduate,” she says. Foundation support helped with tuition as well as day-to-day expenses like rent. Because of the Foundation, she says, “I’m one step closer to becoming debt free.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Kaylen who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, starting tomorrow, is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

“I devoted my time to working hard and studying,” says Kaylen, who held a job while going to school. She studied radiologic technology and plans to work toward mammography certification. Her goals include becoming a traveling mammography technologist. She graduated in May.

“College can be overwhelming, especially if you must work outside of school. I spent my free time hiking and sewing. It’s important to stay focused and work hard, but remember to have fun!”


Jessica’s parents are the late Catherine Maki and the late Gordon Ruck; her grandparents are Nancy (Senungetuk) Felton, of Wales and Nome, and the late Willard Felton. Jessica’s hometown is Anchorage.

Jessica“Without Doyon Foundation’s support, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Jessica, a doctoral student in social welfare at the University of Washington. Doyon Foundation scholarships, including the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship, helped her pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my educational successes,” she says. In addition to completing research, writing and exams that will precede her dissertation, Jessica reviews journal articles in her field and advocates for social welfare policy. She volunteers in her children’s school, offers guest lectures at UW and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and plans to resume a role with the Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity. She also serves as a co-president of the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars.

“The stress of multiple demands can become overwhelming,” she acknowledges. “I’ve had to learn to limit what I take on.” Her advice to other students: Remember that persevering to Graduation Day takes more than going to class and cranking out papers.

“Do what brings you internal happiness and satisfaction, help others, always tend to your relationships. Stay connected to who you are and where you come from. Forgive. And always do the best you can.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Jessica who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.


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