We had such a great time at the Doyon, Limited annual meeting this year. It was wonderful to meet and visit with so many of you who stopped by our table, and we appreciated the opportunity to present to you during the annual meeting. We took lots of photos – check them out on Facebook and be sure to tag yourself!

During our presentation, our executive director, Doris Miller, and language revitalization program director, Allan Hayton, shared about the two primary focus areas here at the Foundation – scholarships and language revitalization.

We were excited to announce that we distributed almost $1 million dollars in scholarships last year alone! And so far this year, we have awarded nearly 300 scholarships totaling more than $377,000.

We also reminded everyone planning to attend school this fall to mark their calendar for our fall scholarship application deadline coming up on May 15. This is the deadline to apply for competitive scholarships for the 2018 – 2019 academic year and basic scholarships for the fall semester. Applicants will apply using our brand new online scholarship application system, which offers a more streamlined, user-friendly experience for both our students and staff.

A reminder that our scholarships are not just for students pursuing traditional four-year degrees at a college or university. Funding is also available for Doyon shareholders who want to pursue vocational training. Vocational students are eligible for basic and competitive scholarships, as well as our short-term vocational scholarship, which pays the cost of the course or training, up to $1,000.

We also highlighted two brand new scholarships at the Foundation … the Marissa Flannery and Aaron Schutt Legal Scholarship Fund, and the Mary Jane and Hugh Fate, Jr. Leadership Fund. Doyon President and CEO Aaron Schutt and his wife, Marissa Flannery, partnered with Doyon, Limited last year to establish the endowment for a new competitive scholarship for aspiring young lawyers. Jennifer Fate, a member of the Foundation board of directors, established the Mary Jane and Hugh Fate, Jr. Leadership Fund to honor her parents’ accomplishments for the betterment of the Doyon people.

Since so many shareholders gather at the annual meeting, we took the opportunity to invite our alumni – which includes any previous Foundation scholarship recipients – to connect with us. We’d love to hear where you are and what you are doing, and continue to stay in touch with you. Foundation alumni can contact us at 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com.

Allan then shared about all the exciting activities taking place in the area of language revitalization, including Doyon Languages Online, which is an online language-learning platform for Doyon region languages. We are currently working on creating lessons for nine of the 10 Doyon region languages. Access to the lessons will be free and available to all interested learners.

Interested language learners can soon get a preview of Doyon Languages Online, as we are getting ready to launch a series of Hän language lessons by the late Isaac Juneby. Keep an eye on our website, blog, email and Facebook for updates on these lessons.

Allan reminded interested organizations to get their applications in for the Our Language grants, which provide funding to communities or organizations that wish to undertake a project to revitalize their Native language. Last year, eight proposals were funded up to $5,000. This year, we will award grants of up to $8,000. The deadline to submit a proposal was March 26, and we will be announcing this year’s recipients early this summer.

With a program growing as quickly as the language revitalization program, it is important to have a plan for the future. Allan updated everyone at the annual meeting on a recent strategic planning session that explored developing long-term strategies, identifying concrete steps for language revitalization, and inspiring new grassroots efforts for our region.

Doris closed the presentation with “thank yous” in each of the Doyon region languages, showing appreciation to our many supporters, including Doyon, Limited, the Foundation staff, board and volunteers, Nee Ts’ee Neyh and Pick. Click. Give. donors, Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic golfers and sponsors, and all of our language teachers, learners and supporters.

In addition to our presentation, we staffed a table at the annual meeting, where we had a video showing Doyon Languages Online activities, a language-learning demonstration, a language map, and nametags that read “Hello, my name is …” in each of the Doyon region languages.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by! We look forward to seeing you all again next year, and hope you will stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

Visiting our website

Subscribing to our blog

Signing up to receive emails

Following us on Facebook

Apr2

Here is your April Native Word of the Month in Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)! Hai’ (thank you) to our translator, Allan Hayton.

April = Ch’ikee Zhrii

Shih = Food

Deetrya’ shih eenjit ch’oodiikwat. Khan, shih lat vach’ąh’aa. = Raven is begging for food. Hurry, feed him a little food.

Listen to an audio recording of the translation:

Want to know more about Doyon Languages Online – what it is, why we’re doing it, and how you can get involved? Check out these Doyon Languages Online FAQs to learn more!

DF_DoyonLanguageMap_Feb2018

What is the Doyon Languages Online project?

Doyon Languages Online is an online language-learning platform for Doyon region languages. We are currently working on creating lessons for nine of the 10 Doyon region languages. The project is intended to revitalize the languages of the Doyon region, which are all severely to critically endangered, and are not being passed on to younger generations quickly enough to ensure their survival.

How is it being funded?

The first five language courses are funded by a three-year, $900,000 Administration for Native Americans grant. These courses will cover Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa.

The next four language courses are funded by a three-year, $977,423 U.S. Department of Education – Alaska Native Educational Program Grant. These courses will cover Denak’i, Dihthâad Xt’een lin aanděeg’, Née’aaneegn’, and Deg Xinag.

Is it going to be free?

Yes, access to the lessons will be free and available to all interested learners.

How will a user access Doyon Languages Online?

Users will access the platform through a link on the Doyon Foundation website.

When will this be available?

The first five language courses will be published before the end of 2018. An additional four language courses will follow in the coming three years.

Will my language be online?

The first five courses will be introductory lessons in Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa, Benhti Kenaga’, Holikachuk, Hän, and Denaakk’e. These will be available by the end of 2018. See a map of the Doyon region languages on the Foundation website.

Demo lessons for these courses are available on the Doyon Languages Online webpage.

Who is developing these courses?

Doyon Foundation is working with language community members, curriculum experts, and our software partner to develop these courses.

How are the communities being involved?

Doyon Foundation supports members of the language communities to become “content creators” – these are people who generate learning content and author lessons. For each language course, we try to have a team of at least two content creators. Materials are then reviewed for accuracy by speakers from the community, as well as by linguists or professional educators who ensure the lessons stay true to the Doyon Languages Online curriculum.

Who should I contact with comments or questions?

Please direct all questions to either Nathaniel Feemster, the Doyon Languages Online project manager, at 907.459.2107 or feemstern@doyon.com, or Allan Hayton, Doyon Foundation’s language revitalization director, at 907.459.2162 or haytona@doyon.com.

 

 

Born in Fairbanks and raised in Hughes, Tanya Kaquatosh is the daughter of Barbara and the late Norman Bifelt Beatus of Hughes. Tanya’s maternal grandparents are Johnson and the late Bertha Moses of Allakaket, and her paternal grandparents are Sophie and Henry Beatus of Hughes.Tanya K headshot

A graduate of Stanford University and Arizona State University, Tanya Kaquatosh was named regulatory affairs director for Doyon Utilities in 2015, a position she accepted after joining the Fairbanks-based company in 2012. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford in 2003 and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State in 2013.

Tanya received Doyon Foundation’s basic scholarship as well as the Morris Thompson scholarship, a competitive award honoring the late Alaska Native leader and former chief executive of Doyon, Limited. Tanya credits the Foundation for help throughout her college career.

“The staff was always supportive and accommodating,” she recalls. “Doyon Foundation helped me advance my education not only with financial support but with encouragement. My affiliation with Doyon has allowed me to grow my educational and professional network.”

Tanya’s professional life is a lesson in steady advances. After earning her undergraduate degree, she went to work at Stanford in the financial aid office, where students seek help to fund their college education. She also worked as a barista in the Bay Area before moving to Fairbanks where she was employed from 2006 to 2008 as the cultural program coordinator at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. Tanya developed the vision for Alaska Native cultural programming at the center, which opened in Fairbanks in 2008. The center upholds Morris Thompson’s legacy by promoting improved understanding between Alaska Native and non-Native communities.

In 2008, Tanya was named executive assistant to the president of Doyon, Limited – a job she held until joining Doyon Utilities in 2012 as a financial specialist. Her promotion in 2015 to regulatory affairs director involves her in utility rate filings, revenue requirements and other tariff matters.

Her undergraduate years taught her the value of asking for help.

“Oftentimes we don’t ask even though there are many good people who are willing and able to assist with tutoring, mentoring, encouragement, or informal and formal counseling,” Tanya says.

Her top tip for students is to take care of their mental and physical well-being. For instance, while earning her master’s degree Tanya worked full time and attended to life as a wife and mother. But she says that period seemed more balanced than her undergraduate days: “The stresses of schoolwork were much more manageable because I took better care of myself.”

Her focus today includes family life with her husband, Steve Kaquatosh, and children, 10-year-old Skye and stepdaughter Kaytona, 15. Tanya enjoys reading, exercise, travel and volunteering in school-based civic projects, such as We The People and Kids Voting. “I love supporting our youth and education,” says Tanya. She also has volunteered with the Alaska Native Education Parent Advisory Committee, a group within the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

In addition to pursuing her career with Doyon Utilities, Tanya’s goals include learning to speak Denaakk’e (Koyukon). Tanya, who is both Koyukon Athabascan and Inupiaq Eskimo, was named Aluqsi after her great-great grandmother, Ida Beatus, who was Koyukon.

“She was given the name Aluqsi by the Inupiaq people,” Tanya recalls. In English the name translates as “warm person.”

DF_18_Pick.Click.Give. Reminder Promotion_blog

The PFD deadline is coming up this Saturday, March 31, and we’re asking Doyon Foundation supporters to help us finish strong!

Last year, 57 donors contributed $3,975 to support Foundation scholarships. So far this year, we have $3,325 in pledges from 35 donors. Will you help us match last year’s total by Pick. Click. Giving this week?

It’s easy to make a pledge when you fill out your PFD application at www.pfd.alaska.gov. Already applied for your PFD? Not a problem. Simply log back into www.pfd.alaska.gov and click “add a Pick. Click. Give. pledge.”

If you’ve already pledged, THANK YOU! You can still help by spreading the word – send an email, tell a friend, or share this post on social media (please tag us @DoyonFoundation).

The dollars you share with the Foundation go directly to our scholarship program, which help our students make their dreams a reality.

Want to learn more about the Foundation and our scholarships? Visit us at www.doyonfoundation.com! Thank you for your support!

DF_22_Fall Scholarship Reminder Promotion_blog2

If you or someone you know is planning to attend school this fall, then be sure to mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 15. This is the deadline to apply for competitive and basic scholarships for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. We’ll be awarding:

  • Competitive scholarships up to $9,000
  • $1,200 basic scholarships for full-time students
  • $800 basic scholarships for part-time students

What’s the difference between the scholarships? Competitive scholarships are awarded through a competitive review process, while basic scholarships are awarded to all students who meet the eligibility guidelines and submit a completed application by the appropriate deadline. (Also, our basic scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to get your application in early!)

Wondering if you are eligible? Applicants 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

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to review our scholarship policies and guidelines for all the details on scholarship eligibility and application requirements.

Ready to apply? Please note that scholarship applications are only accepted online using our new scholarship application. If you applied using the previous scholarship portal, you can log in using the same email address and password. If you are a new applicant, you will need to create a new account. Questions? See our step-by-step account creation instructions.

Once you are logged in and you select “apply,” the system will ask for an access code. If you do not already have an access code, please call 907.459.2049 or email us at foundation@doyon.com to obtain one.

If you are in the Fairbanks area and need computer access to complete the online application, you are welcome to come to the Foundation office at the Doyon Industrial Facility, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101 in Fairbanks.

Questions? We’re here to help! See the step-by-step application instructions on our website, or contact Maurine McGinty, scholarship program manager, at mcgintym@doyon.com or 907.459.2049.

 

Sierra Evans is the daughter of Glenn and Tami Evans of Manley Hot Springs and Nenana; her grandparents are Thomas and Gwen Evans of Rampart, and Wayne and Marion Taylor of Nenana. Her hometown is Palmer.

SierraSierra earned Doyon Foundation scholarships for four straight years before graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Arizona. She’s employed today in Los Angeles as an analyst with the global financial company Willis Tower Watson, and credits the Foundation for scholarship help so that she could go to school in Arizona.

“It isn’t easy to stay motivated to make your dreams a reality when you’re far from home,” she says. “My family was extremely supportive. Doyon Foundation scholarships helped immensely.”

Returning home to Alaska helped too. To earn money to stay in school, Sierra worked three summers in a row at Kantishna Roadhouse, the Denali National Park backcountry lodge operated by Doyon Tourism, a subsidiary of Doyon, Limited.

Her goals include continuing her finance career and enrolling in a master’s program in psychology at GCU. She plans to eventually earn a doctorate and pursue a psychology career.

Sierra says that volunteer and community work are important stepping-stones to rewarding work after college graduation. A four-year member of her university’s business club, she served as president for two years when the GCU club was the largest of its kind in Arizona. Competitions in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., expanded her network, as did working for the chair of the business department at her university.

When she learned that Arizona has among the highest rates of high school dropouts, Sierra presented a talk on the importance of earning a high school diploma and planning for college. Volunteer work also helped distinguish her resume; Sierra earned several awards, including being named among the top 10 future business executives in a nationwide competition.

Job interviews found her ready to answer questions based on real-world experience as a student worker and business club president. “Getting involved in volunteer work and work for GCU was the best decision I made,” she says. “The more involved you are, the more opportunities you have.”