One of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW is providing $3.9 million in funding for fellowships and grants to 250 outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2018–19 academic year. Due to the longstanding, generous contributions of AAUW members, a broader community of women continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities — breaking through barriers so that all women have a fair chance.

Fellowship and grant recipients perform research in a wide range of disciplines and work to improve their schools and communities. Their intellect, dedication, imagination, and effort promise to forge new paths in scholarship, improve the quality of life for all, and tackle the educational and social barriers facing women worldwide. AAUW seeks a diverse applicant pool.

Click HERE to learn more.

 

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. These students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. SHPEP, formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), expanded in 2016 to include a broader array of health professions.

Creating a Culture of Health

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is part of an effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that works to build a Culture of Health. As the nation’s largest philanthropy focused on improving health and health care, RWJF is striving to build a national Culture of Health (visit http://www.cultureofhealth.org) that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. Aspiring health professionals are poised to be tomorrow’s change leaders in helping build a Culture of Health in their communities and the nation. And to bring about meaningful change, health professionals must know how to learn and work together across disciplines. SHPEP exposes students to a range of health professions to help realize this vision.

All students who meet the Summer Health Professions Education Program eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a high school graduate and currently enrolled as a freshman or sophomore in college.
  • Have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Must not have previously participated in the program.

Other factors for consideration include that a student:

  • Identifies with a group that is racially/ethnically underrepresented in the health professions;
  • Comes from an economically or educationally disadvantaged background; and/or
  • Has demonstrated an interest in issues affecting underserved populations.
  • Submits a compelling personal statement and a strong letter of recommendation.

Click HERE for more information or to apply.

We are pleased to present our February 2019 Native words of the month. Thank you to our translators Avis Sam (Upper Tanana) and Irene Solomon Arnold (Tanacross)

Tanacross

February - Beads

Photo by Allan Hayton

Nat-tl’êdz = Beads

Natl’êdz éł ch’enih’ées. = I’m sewing with beads.

Listen to an audio recording:

Upper Tanana

February2

Photo by Allan Hayton

Naatl’ädn = Beads

Naatl’ädn eh nach’inihkąą’. = I’m sewing with beads.

Listen to an audio recording:

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

“Native languages are important to all Alaskans”

Beth LeonardBeth Leonard is a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage where she directs the Alaska Native Studies Program. She holds a doctorate in cross-cultural and Alaska Native studies in addition to degrees in linguistics and language and literacy. In 2014, she traveled to New Zealand as a Fulbright scholar.

Her parents are James Dementi of Nenana/Shageluk and the late Jean Dementi, originally from Ventura, California. Her maternal grandparents are Charles and Ruth Aubrey of Ventura, California; her paternal grandparents are Charlie Dementi of Dishkaket and Lena Phillips Dementi of Shageluk.  

Immediate family members include her husband, Michael Leonard; daughter, Samantha Jean Quinn, and son-in-law, Richard Quinn; and Jeanette Dementi, her father’s second wife, originally from Michigan.  

“I didn’t learn Deg Xinag growing up, so I didn’t understand and appreciate my culture as much as I could have,” Beth says. “Language helps connect me with my immediate and extended family. It strengthens my identity as a Deg Xit’an person.”

Beth was in her early 30s when she began learning the language from her father, James Dementi. “He was very patient,” she recalls. The two recently worked together to contribute translations for a new Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation building in Bethel. Elders who taught community-based language and cultural activities, sometimes including audioconferenced university courses, were also instrumental to her learning. These Elders included Raymond Dutchman, Hannah Maillelle, Katherine Hamilton, Louise Winkelman, Edna Deacon and Lucy Hamilton. Beth also learned from audio recordings of Belle Deacon of Grayling, Grace John of Shageluk, and others who were recorded during the 1970s Alaska Native Oral Literature Project.

“Because Alaska Native languages are so different from English, they’re often considered hard to learn,” Beth says. Learning to speak authentically can be a challenge; everyday activities may be expressed in several ways, so that some variations are more suited to certain situations or seasons than others.

“Fear of making mistakes has been among my biggest challenges,” Beth says.

She’s grateful for chances to learn with other language students and Elders: “I wish I’d learned more of the language as a younger person. Immersion programs, like those in Anchorage and Fairbanks, among other sites, are signs that young people are eager to learn Native languages.”

“I’m thankful for Elders and young people who take on this work,” she says. While administrative duties have limited her teaching lately, she’s eager to help guide efforts for Native language learning at the university level and beyond, including language revitalization work undertaken by some members of the Alaska Native Studies Council.

A class in Athabascan linguistics taught by Professor James Kari at the University of Alaska Fairbanks inspired Beth’s interest in learning Deg Xinag. His course and others introduced her to the history of ways that indigenous languages had been suppressed and marginalized. She went on to work with Alice Taff, a professor from the University of Alaska Southeast, who’s since retired. Alice contributed to a grammar of Deg Xinag and, with the help of educator Donna MacAlpine and several Elders, developed a Deg Xinag online dictionary. More recently, Alice and Donna recorded stories by Hannah Maillelle, Ellen Savage and Edna Deacon, available through a University of Alaska Southeast website.

Instrumental work in Deg Xinag has been done by many community members and educators, including Malinda and Marilyn Chase of Fairbanks/Anvik, George Holly of Soldotna/Holy Cross, and Jeanette Dementi, who helped translate the Lord’s Prayer and developed language-learning games, songs and other materials. Jeanette also recorded Beth’s father’s story about butchering a moose.

Sonta Hamilton Roach from Shageluk and Dr. LaVerne Demientieff from Fairbanks/Holy Cross have been active most recently in Deg Xinag language teaching initiatives, including facilitating the “Where Are Your Keys” method. LaVerne also began hosting a telephone language learning group in fall 2018.

Immersion methods of language learning, along with listening to recorded stories and conversations, are useful strategies for Beth because she’s not distracted by writing. “I found that I became too dependent on the writing system when I should have been developing my listening skills,” she says. For language learning, active listening can help with memorizing and pronunciation.

“Native languages are important to all of us Alaskans, as they carry thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom,” Beth says, adding that the languages embody worldviews that contrast with Western ways.

Virtues such as respect and reciprocity and the importance of right relationships are a foundation for many indigenous peoples in the way they speak about – and with – other people, the land and waters, and other beings that share the world. “These values are carried through Alaska Native languages in complex, academic ways,” Beth says.

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.

The Truman D. Picard Scholarship Program is dedicated to the support of Native American students pursuing a higher education in Natural Resources. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 15, 2019, 5:00 p.m. PST. See flyer here for more information.

See more Natural Resources scholarship opportunities here.

Are you Alaska Native or American Indian and interested in health research? Are you a researcher or public health professional interested in Alaska Native health research? Are you at least 18 years old?

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and Alaska Pacific University (APU) invite you to attend up to three weeks of courses held at APU covering:

  • Indigenous and Western research methodologies
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Culturally responsive community engagement and communication
  • Health research ethics
  • Health research and historical trauma

Choose the week(s) that best fits your needs:

  • Week one | May 6-10
    Advanced research courses
  • Week two | May 13-17
    Intermediate research ethics courses
  • Week three | May 20-24
    Introductory research courses

In addition to the three weeks of courses, five-week internships are being offered!

Cost:

  • There is no cost for the three weeks of courses
  • Limited scholarships for travel (including airfare, room and board) are offered
  • Academic credit available and professional development

Registration opens in February!  Check back for registration updates and instructions!

For more information go to http://anthc.org/indigenous-research/ or contact Lauren Smayda at lcsmayda@anthc.org or (907) 729-4551.

NATIVE AMERICAN RESIDENCY FELLOWSHIPS AT THE VERMONT STUDIO CENTER

This Fellowship program was established in 2011 to support the development of visual artists and the potential for inter-cultural dialog. Each year, the Foundation awards two residency fellowships to Native American visual artists at the Vermont Studio Center. Each Fellow receives a one-month residency, which includes room and board, a private studio, and a $500 travel stipend.

Founded by artists in 1984, the Vermont Studio Center is the largest international artists’ and writers’ Residency Program in the United States, hosting 50 visual artists and writers each month from across the country and around the world. The Studio Center provides 4-12 week residencies on an historic 30 building campus along the Gihon River in Johnson, Vermont, a village in the heart of the northern Green Mountains.

TWO FELLOWSHIPS ARE AWARDED ANNUALLY TO NATIVE AMERICAN VISUAL ARTISTS WHO DEMONSTRATE:
  • Strong artistic ability
  • An evolving practice this is at a pivotal moment in its development
  • A practice that engages a dialogue between the artist’s indigenous world and
    the surrounding culture
APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINES

The annual application deadline is February 15. Artists must apply online. To find out more about this opportunity, please contact David Grozinsky at 802 635-2727 at the Vermont Studio Center or Susan Caraballo at Harpo Foundation.