Doyon Foundation welcomes Katie Sommer, our new administrative assistant. Katie, of Fairbanks, is the daughter of Joyce and Earl Sommer, and the granddaughter of Jean and George Jenkins, and Dorothy and Fred Sommer. She is the sister of Kristie Sommer, Terrance Sommer and Earl N. Sommer, and mother of Kaylynn O’Brien. Katie Sommer

Katie, a Doyon, Limited shareholder, is a 2008 graduate of Nenana City Public School. She completed one year of her electrical apprenticeship through AVTEC, and is a level 1 and 2 certified pipefitter through NIT.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Katie worked as a sales associate with Prospector Outfitters, and was an electrician apprentice with IRHA.

“I thought (joining Doyon Foundation) would be a great work experience,” Katie said about her new role. “I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about the company and being able to be a part of helping students get a higher education.”

Doyon Foundation celebrated our fall 2014 recipients at a scholarship award ceremony held in Fairbanks on September 5. More than $214,000 in competitive and basic scholarships were awarded to 239 students this fall.DF Award Ceremony

The ceremony also provided the opportunity to recognize the donors whose support make our scholarships possible. Donors are listed on the Doyon Foundation website at

Approximately 50 Foundation staff, board members, students and supporters were in attendance, including Geri Simon, senior vice president of administration at Doyon, Limited; Chris Simon, rural education coordinator and Doyon, Limited board member; Wally Carlo, Doyon, Limited board member; Joshua Peter, Foundation board member; Evon Peter, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) vice chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education; and Annette Frieberger, UAF Rural Student Services director.

Diloola Erikson, our 2014 natural resources competitive scholarship recipient, gave the keynote address, speaking about her experiences as a student at UAF, where she is pursuing her bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering.

Scholarship recipients in attendance had the opportunity to introduce themselves during the ceremony, which concluded with mingling and refreshments.

Doyon Foundation continues to seek candidates for three open seats on our board of directors. The open positions are for three-year terms expiring in 2017. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 20 by 5 p.m. A PDF of the application is available on our website, or candidates may apply online here.

If you love to build relationships, share your enthusiasm for a cause, and impact the resources available to a nonprofit, this board seat may be right for you! To be eligible, candidates must be:

  • A Doyon shareholder.
  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Knowledgeable about private foundation management and higher education.
  • Familiar with the Foundation’s strategic plan, long-term vision and goals, and mission and purpose.
  • Committed to spending up to 200 volunteer hours a year carrying out the duties of a board member.

We are specifically interested in candidates experienced in nonprofit boards, fundraising, financial management, endowment fund investing, culture and language revitalization, and Alaska Native education.

More details on candidate qualifications and board member responsibilities are available on our website. Candidates are encouraged to complete the application online, here. You can also download, complete and return the application, available on our website. A reminder that the application deadline is Monday, October 20 at 5 p.m.

For more information, please visit or contact Doris Miller, Doyon Foundation executive director, at 907.459.2048 or

Are you interested in learning or teaching Native languages? Join us for one of three upcoming language trainings using the Where Are Your Keys (WAYK) method, an accelerated language learning and teaching system. The trainings, facilitated by WAYK developer Evan Gardner, will be held:WAYK application FINAL JPEG

  • Tanana: October 27 – 31
  • Tok: November 3 – 5
  • Fairbanks: November 14 – 16 APPLY NOW!

The training and travel assistance application for the Fairbanks training is now available. Apply online here or click here to download the application. The deadline to apply for the Fairbanks training is Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

To learn more about the Tanana and Tok trainings, view our event flyer!

Read more about the WAYK trainings in our previous blog post. For more information:

  • On Tanana training, contact Shannon Erhart, Tanana Tribal Council, or 907.366.7160
  • On Tok training, contact Crystal Wilson, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Tok Center, or 1.800.478.2773
  • On Fairbanks training, contact Malinda Chase, Doyon Foundation, or 1.888.478.4755 or 907.459.2162

Sunday, August 31 is the end of this year’s Pick. Click. Give. cycle, which means there is still time to dedicate a portion of your PFD to support Doyon Foundation scholarships and help hard-working students achieve their goals. It’s easy to add or change a Pick. Click. Give. contribution – just visit the PFD website. PCG Donors

A big thank you to the 92 Alaskans who already supported the Foundation, giving a total of $5,600 in Pick. Click. Give. contributions this year. Last year, we raised $5,900 through Pick. Click. Give. Please consider donating this year, and help us set a new Pick. Click. Give. Foundation record!

Read more about the Foundation and Pick. Click. Give. on our website.

Elias Saylor recently joined Doyon Foundation as a summer intern with the Language Revitalization Program. Elias was placed at the Foundation through the First Alaskans Institute summer internship program.

Elias Saylor

Elias Saylor

Originally from Healy Lake and Tanana, Elias has been living in Fairbanks since 2005. He is the son of Ben Saylor of Healy Lake and Maureen Walsh of Tanana, and was also raised by his stepmother Karen Saylor of Stevens Village.

“As someone who grew up with a strong cultural upbringing, I encourage Alaska Native people to learn their culture, especially their language, and also am a strong believer in First Alaskans Institute’s (FAI) mission of advancing Alaska Natives and doing so through placing young Native leaders with partner organizations to help complete that mission within their communities. Being accepted into the FAI summer internship program, as well as being placed with Doyon Foundation in the Language Revitalization Program, is a great honor to me and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Elias said.

Elias attends the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is a senior in the Rural Development Program, with a focus on indigenous knowledge.

While interning with Doyon Foundation working in the Language Revitalization Program, I’m hoping to learn new ways to encourage and spark peoples’ interest in learning their Native language so I may take what I’ve learned and apply it to my own family and community as well.  For me, this will be a great addition to my rapporteur of leadership skills. Also I’m hoping to gain more work experience and increase my network in the professional workplace,” he said.

The objective of FAI’s summer internship program is to help develop Alaska Native leaders. This year marked the 11th year of the program for Alaska Native undergraduate/graduate students. Since inception, the 10-week summer session has placed well over 200 interns with more than 100 employer hosts, including Doyon Foundation. More information is available at

Starting a career in law enforcement has never been easier, with the Law Enforcement Academy scholarship from Doyon Foundation. The $6,800 scholarships, generously funded by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Alaska Native Program, cover the cost of attending the Law Enforcement Academy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. All Alaska Natives are eligible to apply, and there are three scholarships available.Law Enforcement Academy scholarship flyer

The scholarship application deadline is Friday, July 11, 2014. The scholarship application packet is available on the Doyon Foundation website. The next academy takes place August 18 – November 14.

To provide additional incentives to interested applicants, Doyon Universal Services (DUS) is offering to pay the fees for items required in the application, including criminal history, drug test, driving record history and fingerprints. Applicants can take advantage of this offer by contacting Rick Harwell, DUS human resources director, at 907.522.1300 or

The 13-week Law Enforcement Academy will prepare graduates for careers in law enforcement and security. According to Scott Jones, director of investigations and training at DUS, there are always law enforcement and security positions available in Alaska, especially if the applicant is willing to relocate. “Within Doyon Universal Services, we endeavor to place all successful Alaska Native graduates,” he said.

The career field offers competitive pay and benefits. At DUS, for example, starting pay begins at $15 – $22 per hour, depending on the position and applicant experience. The company also offers optional medical insurance and 401k plans.

“The Law Enforcement Academy was one of the best choices I’ve made. It challenges you both mentally and physically. It opens up a lot of job opportunities within the field,” said Audrey George, who completed the academy in 2011, and has been working in the DUS Security Division since graduating. “I highly recommend the Law Enforcement Academy at UAF to anyone that wants to challenge themselves and open a door to great opportunities.”

George is one of many Law Enforcement Academy graduates who have gone on to have successful and rewarding careers. Read more graduate stories on the Foundation website.

For more information on the academy, visit To apply for a scholarship, visit the Foundation website to download the application. For more information, contact Doyon Foundation at 907.459.2048, 1.800.478.4755 or