Doyon Foundation, with the support of the golfers, sponsors, planning committee, staff and volunteers, held another successful Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic June 22 – 23 in Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition to raising money for the Foundation’s Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund, the popular annual event also honored the memory of the late Morris Thompson.

“Morris was an enthusiastic and tireless supporter of education, and we are honored to hold this event in his memory,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director. “The Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund was established to provide scholarships to students who exhibit the qualities we admired most in Morris – vision, dedication to excellence, exemplary leadership and integrity.”

The 17th annual event kicked off Thursday, June 22 with a skills tournament warm-up at Chena Bend Golf Course on Fort Wainwright, followed by a reception and Calcutta at Wedgewood Resort. See the skills tournament results on the Foundation website.

AS MF

Aaron Schutt and Marissa Flannery announce the new competitive scholarship for law students at the Calcutta reception.

The reception featured two very special moments. The first was when Doyon, Limited President and CEO Aaron Schutt took the stage with his wife, Marissa Flannery, to announce the establishment of an endowment for a new competitive scholarship for aspiring young lawyers.

Both graduates of Stanford Law School, the couple partnered with the Doyon, Limited board to help establish the new scholarship fund, making a five-year commitment to getting the scholarship in place.

“I know very well the cost and benefits a legal degree can have for Native students,” said Flannery, who said she and her husband each graduated with more than $100,000 in student loan debts. “We’ve never regretted our choice, and we hope that other students will make that choice.”

Annie

Student speaker Annie Sanford addresses reception guests.

Student speaker Annie Sanford of Tok, Alaska, then shared her story, giving the audience a real-life example of how their support makes a difference in the lives of students.

“Let’s see if I learned anything from my communications class I took last semester,” Sanford quipped at the start of her speech, drawing encouraging laughter from the filled room.

“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,” continued Sanford, who is pursuing an associate’s degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and hopes to join the university’s very competitive radiologic technology program in 2018. Her post-graduate plans include staying in Fairbanks to give back to the community that has given her so much.

“I feel like Doyon Foundation is a third proud parent in my pursuit of a higher education,” Sanford said. “I want to thank Doyon Foundation and their sponsors for supporting not only me but students across Alaska pursuing our educational dreams.” Read more about Sanford on the Foundation’s blog and see a video of her speech on the Foundation YouTube channel.

The evening concluded with a spirited Calcutta, where teams and members of the audience bid on the teams they thought would win the golf tournament the next day. Always a popular event, the Calcutta brought in more than $50,000, which was split between the winning bidders and the Foundation scholarship fund.

The festivities continued on Friday, June 23 with the golf tournament, which drew 33 teams of four players each. By early afternoon, the teams had finished the 18 holes at Chena Bend and were celebrating at the golf banquet.

2017 winning team

First-place team at the 2017 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic.

Congratulations to the first-place team comprised of Rick Boyles, Dan Clark, Rob Graves and Scott Jepsen. See the full list of winners on the Foundation website.

“Thank you to the golfers, sponsors and volunteers for bringing your great energy and fun to the tournament this year,” Miller said. “We couldn’t have asked for better conditions and fundraising results. Thanks for your continued support and generosity.”

This year marked the 17th year of the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic. Since inception, the event has enabled the Foundation to award 173 students with Morris Thompson scholarships totaling $370,180.

For more information on Doyon Foundation or the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, visit www.doyonfoundation.com.

Language revitalization in the Doyon region took a giant leap forward this week when the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) announced that Doyon Foundation has been selected to receive a Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance grant totaling $900,000 over a three-year period.Doyon_Language_Map

The 10 ancestral languages of the Doyon region, including nine Athabascan languages plus Inupiaq, represent half of the 20 Native languages in the state of Alaska. All of the Doyon region languages are severely to critically endangered, and will be lost within the span of a few generations if no action is taken. Doyon Foundation, with support from Doyon, Limited, established its language revitalization program in 2009 to support the revitalization of Interior Alaska’s Native languages.

“We are humbled and grateful to have been awarded in a highly competitive selection process. This news is very exciting, and this project will be a huge assist to those wanting to teach and learn their ancestral language,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

The grant will help fund the Doyon Languages Online project, a partnership with 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning partially through software donated by Transparent Language. The Foundation first partnered with 7000 Languages in 2014 to create and provide learning content for the languages of the Doyon region in an accessible, engaging and proven online environment.

“As Native people, our languages are part of our identity and are very precious to us. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren deserve to have the opportunity to learn their language,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director. “We are honored to be able to assist in creating this learning and teaching software to further language revitalization in the Doyon region.”

During the three-year grant project, a total of 280 introductory online lessons will be created for five of the Doyon languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. Ultimately, the Foundation aims to create online courses for all of the Doyon region languages.

The lessons will be made widely available to language teachers and learners in Alaska and throughout the United States. Language teachers will also receive training in using the lessons in local educational settings, from schools to homes to community events.

“We’re thrilled that, after years of hard work, our partners at Doyon Foundation are finally getting the funding they deserve to revitalize their languages. We can’t wait to get started on this project,” said Alexa Little, executive director of 7000 Languages.

“We greatly enjoy supporting 7000 Languages, and I’m especially excited to see the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership using the Transparent Language technology platform for such a wonderful purpose,” said Michael Quinlan, CEO of Transparent Language, Inc.

ANA, which is an office of the Administration for Children and Families, promotes self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community-based projects, and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and Native organizations.

For more information on ANA and its grant programs, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/ana/grants. For information on Transparent Language and 7000 Languages, visit www.transparent.com/about/7000-languages.html.

For more information on Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Doris Miller, executive director, at millerd@doyon.com or 907.459.2050.

More than 50 family, friends and other supporters gathered to celebrate the class of 2016 at the Doyon Foundation Graduate Reception, held May 6 in Fairbanks. The event recognized the 80 Doyon Foundation students who graduated from high school or college this spring. See more photos on Facebook!

Join us in saying “congratulations” to the class of 2016 in one of our Native languages!

  • Hǫǫsǫǫ dįįdį’ = You did great (Née’aaneegn’ – Upper Tanana)
  • Neeshoo tr’inlii = We’re happy for you. (Gwich’in)
  • Ngoxo dinaxoneł = We’re happy for you. (Deg Xinag)
  • Yeho sodegets’eeyh = I am happy for you. (Denaakk’e)

Our 2016 Graduate Reception included a welcome from Doris Miller, Foundation executive director, Lanien Livingston, Foundation board president, and Doyon, Limited President and CEO Aaron M. Schutt, as well as an address from alumna speaker Melissa McGinty and graduate speaker Jason Paskvan. The graduates in attendance also had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience.

Our graduate speaker, Melissa McGinty, holds a bachelor’s of business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Alaska Southeast. She shared her reflections on getting to where she is today – a journey that included an accounting internship at Doyon, Limited and several years working at Doyon Foundation. “Education is absolutely needed but experience with that is key,” she said.

She also spoke about her dream to get her master’s degree and how she found a way to accomplish that without going into debt. “The moral of that story is to plan and to set your goals and it’ll happen,” Melissa said. See Melissa’s full speech on YouTube.

Graduate speaker Jason Paskvan began his speech with an introduction in his Native language. Jason, who graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks last month with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, spoke about the three critical steps to overcoming obstacles – perception, action and will. He also encouraged his fellow graduates to “remember the good times and good experiences we had in school.”

Jason closed with a quote from Bruce Lee, who said, “Always be yourself. Express yourself. Have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” Jason added, “If we work to be ourselves and be the best we can be, we’ll make a difference.” See Jason’s full speech on YouTube.

Learn more about the class of 2016 in our electronic graduate yearbook! We’ll be publishing the yearbook, featuring photos and short bios of all 2016 graduates, this month. To receive the yearbook, simply join the Foundation’s e-newsletter list at www.doyonfoundation.com.

Congratulations to the Doyon Foundation class of 2016!

  • Alicia Ambrosio, Business Management, Master’s of Business Administration

  • Tracey Arnold, Addiction Studies, Master’s Certificate

  • Angelica Baalam, Nursing, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Geoffrey Bacon, Industrial and Labor Relations, Master’s of Arts

  • Amanda Bailey, Transfer Degree, Associate’s of Arts

  • Aloysia Ballard, Medical Assistant, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Carrie Bazilwich, Psychology, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Dennis Blackburn, Teaching and Learning, Master’s of Arts

  • Charlotte Brinkman, Tribal Management, Certificate

  • Leslie Brooks, Mathematics, Chemistry, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Matthew Calhoun, Civil Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy

  • Melvin Captain, High School Diploma

  • Jada Carroll, High School Diploma

  • Peter Charlie, Human Services/Psychology, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Courtney Cradock, History in Secondary Education, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Gabriella Chase, High School Diploma

  • Brenna Cruger, High School Diploma

  • Johnny David, Jr., Information Technology, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Leah David, Accounting Technician, Certificate

  • Taylor Davis, Kinesiology, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Hillary Demit, High School Diploma

  • Emily Dobson, General Studies, Bachelor’s of Business Administration

  • Matthew Driskill, Accounting, Doctor of Philosophy

  • Sonya Edwards, Elementary Education, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Stanley Edwin, Atmospheric Science, Master’s of Science

  • Kailey Erickson, Exercise Science, Master’s of Science

  • Eve Esmailka-Blake, Tribal Governance and Business Management, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Kaden Girard, High School Diploma

  • Joseph Gregory, Computer Technician, Certificate

  • Jacob Gustafson, Film, Associate’s of Arts

  • Monica Gustafson, Alaska Native Studies, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Gary Hawkins, Diesel Mechanic, Associate’s of Arts

  • Brittany Henry, High School Diploma

  • Thomas Henry, High School Diploma

  • Sarah Henzie, High School Diploma

  • Lethearen Jimmie, High School Diploma

  • Jenny Johnson, Health, Associate’s of Arts

  • Raymond Kangas, Mechanical Engineering, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Tiana Kraus, Social Work, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Patricia Kriska, Nurse Aide, Certificate

  • Patrick Lovell, Engineering, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Deanna Mayo, Applied Business, Associate’s of Arts

  • Jolene McGinty, School of Education-Counseling, Master’s of Arts

  • Sharon Menzo, Business/Finance, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Codi Miller, Biology, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Beattus Moses, High School Diploma

  • Kaylee Nelson, High School Diploma

  • Vincent Nusunginya, General, Associate’s of Arts

  • Adam Paskvan, Chemistry, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Jason Paskvan, Mechanical Engineering, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Dalarie Peters, Public Administration, Master’s of Arts

  • Ruby Peters, High School Diploma

  • Tristan Richardson, High School Diploma

  • Karena Rounsaville, Medicine, Medical Doctor

  • Corina Sam, High School Diploma

  • Dustina Sam, High School Diploma

  • Shirley Sam, Tribal Management, Associate’s of Arts

  • Annie Sanford, High School Diploma

  • Alisia Serrano, Nutrition/Dietetics, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Natalya Shellikoff, High School Diploma

  • Edna Silva, Business Management, Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration

  • Crystal Smith, Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Alyssa Sommer, Power Technology: Diesel Emphasis, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Sonja Sommer, General Business, Bachelor’s of Business Administration

  • Brian Stanley, English, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Anastasia Starr, Bookkeeping, Associate’s of Arts

  • Adele Stickman, Accounting, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Brand Strom, Radiology, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Tiana Teter, Human Services, Associate’s of Arts

  • Tamara Thomas, Health Information Management, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Charlissa Titus, High School Diploma

  • Allison Turner, Occupational Safety and Health, Associate’s of Applied Science

  • Sarah Walker, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy, Master’s of Arts

  • Lisa Weimer, Business, Associate’s of Arts

  • Darren Whitworth, Chaplain Ministry, Master’s of Divinity

  • Ashley Williams, Supply Chain Management, Bachelor’s of Arts and Sciences

  • Lorelei Winkelman, Medical Administration, Associate’s of Arts

  • Mikel Winkelman, Dietetics, Bachelor’s of Science

  • Kyle Demientieff-Worl, Anthropology and Alaska Native Studies, Bachelor’s of Arts

  • Natasha Yates, Applied Science, Associate’s of Arts

  • Malari Zarate, Liberal Studies, Bachelor’s of Arts

 

Congratulations to Doyon Foundation student Neal Charlie, of Minto, who graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks this spring. Charlie gave the student remarks at the graduation ceremony held May 14 in Fairbanks.

Neal Charlie graduating from the Law Enforcement Academy in May.

Neal Charlie graduating from the Law Enforcement Academy in May.

Charlie, the son of the late Neal and Geraldine Charlie, was a recipient of a $6,800 Doyon Foundation Law Enforcement Academy scholarship, generously funded by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Alaska Native Program. Charlie also received support from Doyon Universal Services (DUS), which paid the fees for items required in the Law Enforcement Academy application, including criminal history, drug test, driving record history and fingerprints.

“Doyon Foundation was there for me through the whole process of getting accepted into training,” Charlie said. “All I had to do was study after classes started. I’m very grateful to the staff. Special thanks to Doris Miller and Maurine McGinty for the effort in getting me into the training, and Doyon Security and Alyeska for the scholarship and sponsorship.”

The 13-week Law Enforcement Academy prepares 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.

Since graduating, Charlie said he plans to continue his role as a prevention officer with the State of Alaska. He also expects to pursue a position with Doyon Security, a division of DUS, in the near future.

To learn more about Doyon Foundation scholarship opportunities, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Maurine McGinty, scholarship program manager, at mcgintym@doyon.com or 907.459.2049.

Transparent Language, Inc. and the Doyon Foundation today announced the launch of the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership. The goal of the partnership is to create leading-edge software for the teaching and learning of the Athabascan languages of Alaska’s Doyon region, which encompasses approximately 12.5 million acres in Interior Alaska.

The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is the latest initiative of Transparent Language’s 7000 Languages Project. With approximately 7,100 living languages in the world today, the goal of the 7000 Languages Project is to create world-class web- and mobile-delivered learning materials for the 7,000 languages beyond the top 100 or so that attract significant commercial support.

The technology for the 7000 Languages Project is donated by Transparent Language, but the passion and expertise for each project is brought together by regionally-focused 7000 Partnerships, of which the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is the latest.

The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership is an initiative of the Doyon Foundation, a private, Alaska-based nonprofit working to strengthen language and culture within the Doyon region. “Providing cultural opportunities and a strong demonstration of Native traditional language and culture is at the core of Doyon Foundation’s mission and vision,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director. “This partnership will enable us to make significant strides toward the revitalization of our Native languages, which is critical for their survival.”

The 7000 Partnership also responds to a directive from the people and entities of the Doyon region to develop computer-assisted language-learning tools that support the preservation and revitalization of the region’s languages.

Transparent Language develops transformational language-learning and teaching software for serious language schools and programs in the US government and elsewhere. “We do deep work in less-common languages because our customers need to respond quickly and effectively to humanitarian crises or conflicts anywhere in the world,” says Michael Quinlan, CEO of Transparent Language. “The same technology is perfect for creating powerful learning software for the world’s under-resourced languages, so we created the pro bono 7000 Languages Project to meet that need.”

There are nine Athabascan languages in the Doyon region: Benhti Kenaga’ (Tanana), Deg Xinag, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Denak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Han, Holikachuk, Tanacross, and Née’ aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership will initially focus on one or two of those and later extend to the remaining languages. Potentially the partnership could evolve to include additional Alaska Native languages.

More information at http://www.doyonfoundation.com.

A total of 92 Alaskans donated to Doyon Foundation through the Pick. Click. Give. program in 2014, giving $5,600 of their PFDs to benefit student scholarships. Last year, 73 Alaskans donated a total of $5,900 to Doyon Foundation through Pick. Click. Give.Image

“We are so grateful to the donors who are supporting our students by sharing a portion of their 2014 PFDs,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director.

Although the 2014 PFD application deadline has passed, Alaskans still have the opportunity to add or change a Pick. Click. Give. donation. Simply visit the PFD website and click on the “Add or Change Your Pick. Click. Give Donation” button on the right-hand side of the page.

According to Pick. Click. Give., more Alaskans than ever donated a record amount to Alaska’s nonprofits. A total of $2.77 million was donated (a 13 percent growth over 2013), with an average of $104 per donor (up from $94 in 2013. There were a total of 26,773 donors this year, equaling a 4.8 percent participation rate.

Join us to celebrate the Doyon Foundation class of 2014! The Doyon Foundation 2014 Graduation Reception will be held this Friday, May 9 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Doyon Industrial Facility at 615 Bidwell Ave. in Fairbanks. Graduates, their family and friends, as well as Doyon Foundation supporters are encouraged to attend.

The reception will feature alumna speaker Laverne Demientieff, the clinical assistant professor in the Social Work Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), as well as graduate speaker Lessa Peter, who will be graduating from UAF this spring and currently works in the communications department at Doyon, Limited.

Graduates in attendance will have the opportunity to introduce themselves, and light refreshments will also be provided.

For more information, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com, or contact Sheila Vent at 907.459.2048 or vents@doyon.com.