Spring 2018 scholarship application deadline coming up November 15

 

Doyon Foundation will soon roll out a new streamlined, user-friendly online scholarship application process. Students will use the new application system starting with the spring 2018 application deadline; scholarship applications are due Wednesday, November 15 for basic scholarships for the spring 2018 semester.

Scholarship applications are not currently being accepted as the Foundation transitions from the previous system to the new one. The previous scholarship portal on the Foundation website is no longer accessible as the Foundation transfers scholarship data to the new system.

While the exact launch date is unknown, the new portal is expected to be available in the next few weeks. Students will be contacted directly with details on accessing and using the new system.

Applicants will find the new system to offer a more streamlined, user-friendly experience. For example, through the new system, students will receive automatic reminders of upcoming deadlines and items needed to complete their applications. Letters of recommendation can also be uploaded directly to the scholarship portal. The new system will also offer better scholarship reporting and management for Foundation staff.

“We chose this new system because it has a simple, intuitive design and is easy to understand and navigate,” said Doris Miller, the Foundation executive director. “Our hope is that it will make applying for scholarships even easier for our students.”

For more information, watch the Foundation website and Facebook page, or contact foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

Complete survey by early bird deadline on September 29 for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card!

Doyon Foundation’s mission is “to provide educational, career and cultural opportunities to enhance the identity and quality of life for Doyon shareholders.” In support of this mission, we are conducting an education survey to better understand the needs of our students as they work toward their educational goals and prepare for their future careers. Take the survey here.

Microsoft Surface Pro 1 Tablet

Survey respondents will be entered to win prizes including this Microsoft Surface Pro 1 Tablet!

This survey is open to past and current scholarship recipients, as well as all individuals who are eligible for a Foundation scholarship, which includes original Doyon, Limited shareholders and children of original shareholders. You can find Doyon Foundation’s scholarship eligibility criteria here.

Complete the survey by the early bird deadline on Friday, September 29 for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! Early bird respondents will also be entered in the random drawing to win prizes after the survey deadline on Friday, October 13.

Everyone who completes the survey by the Friday, October 13 deadline will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win:

  • A used Microsoft Surface Pro 1 Tablet generously donated by student Jordan Craddick
  • A People of the Water Pendleton Woolen Mills blanket from our Athabaskan Heritage Collection™ Spirit Keeper Series™
  • One $100 Visa gift card
  • One of four $50 Visa gift cards

Thank you for helping us better understand the needs of our students, and how we can better serve you!

Take the survey here.

 

Doyon Foundation will host our 2017 Scholarship Award Ceremony on Friday, September 8 at 2 p.m. The event, which celebrates our 302 fall scholarship recipients, will take place in the Doyon Facilities classroom, located at 701 Bidwell Ave. in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Nursing student in photo booth

The scholarship award ceremony will feature our always popular photo booth!

This fall, the Foundation will award a total of $395,300 in scholarships. The fall 2017 awards include 37 competitive scholarships, 73 basic part-time scholarships, and 192 basic full-time scholarships. Congratulations to all of this fall’s recipients!

In addition to presenting the scholarship recipients, the ceremony will also feature an opening prayer by Allan Hayton, our language revitalization program director; a welcome from Doris Miller, our executive director; and words from our alumni speaker and student speaker! The event will culminate with light refreshments and our always-popular photo booth.

Tanya - alumni speakerWe are excited to announce this year’s alumni speaker is Tanya Kaquatosh of Hughes, Alaska. Tanya is the daughter of Barbara Beatus and the late Norman Beatus of Hughes.  Her maternal grandparents are Johnson Moses and the late Bertha Moses of Allakaket and her paternal grandparents are Henry and Sophie Beatus of Hughes. Tanya holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford and a MBA from Arizona State University.  She has also completed the Doyon Leadership Training in 2014. Tanya has worked as the director of regulatory affairs at Doyon Utilities since 2015; previous to that she was a financial specialist in the finance department for 3 years. Tanya was also the executive assistant to the president/CEO of Doyon, Limited for over 4 years. Tanya resides in Fairbanks with her husband, Steve, and their daughters, Skye and Kaytona.

Julian - student speakerJoining Tanya is our student speaker, Julian Thibedeau. Julian is a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is in the Rural Human Services Program.

Students, family, friends, teachers, donors and other supporters are invited and encouraged to attend. We hope to see you there!

As of the 2017 PFD application deadline, 61 donors pledged $3,850 to support Doyon Foundation scholarships. While we are very grateful for those donations, we are left far short of our $5,000 Pick. Click. Give. goal.

2017 grad yearbook collage

Your Pick. Click. Give. support allows us to help students like these – our Class of 2017 – reach their education, career and life goals. 

Luckily there is still time to get there! You can add or change a Pick. Click. Give. contribution through Thursday, August 31! Simply visit pfd.alaska.gov and click the “add or change a Pick. Click. Give. donation” link.

 

With your help, we are able to provide scholarships and offer cultural opportunities to Alaska Native students pursuing their educational, career and life goals. Last year, we awarded a total of 578 scholarships totaling $684,633.

 

These scholarships go to support the educational efforts of students like Aubrielle Champagne, who overcame incredible health challenges to achieve her dreams. And Melody Hoffman, a mother and nursing student who encourages other parents that “it is possible to raise our kids and get a degree.” And Noah Lovell, who takes time out from his studies to share about his culture, community and choosing a major.

 

Remember – you have until August 31 to help us reach our $5,000 Pick. Click. Give. goal! Thank you for your support!

 

Doyon Foundation is currently seeking candidates for three open seats on its board of directors. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 16 at 5 p.m. The open positions are for three-year terms expiring in 2020. 

Qualifications

Candidates seeking election to the Doyon Foundation board must be:

  • A Doyon shareholder
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Knowledgeable about private foundation management and higher education
  • Familiar with the Foundation’s vision, goals, mission and purpose
  • Committed to carrying out the duties of a board member, which include:
    • Attending quarterly board meetings
    • Serving on two board committees
    • Completing work outside of meetings
    • Representing the Foundation at various events
    • Speaking on behalf of the Foundation at events, if asked

Doyon Foundation is specifically interested in candidates with experience with nonprofit boards, fundraising, financial management, endowment fund investing, culture and language revitalization, and Alaska Native education.

Important Notice

Please note that, under federal laws governing private foundations, family members of Doyon Foundation board members are NOT eligible to receive a Doyon Foundation basic or competitive scholarship during their term on the board. Family members are defined as the board members’ spouse, ancestors, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the spouses of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Current Doyon Foundation scholarship recipients are also not eligible to serve on the board.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The duties of a Doyon Foundation board member include:

  • Contribute skills that help the Foundation make progress on planning.
  • Consistently work toward and produce results related to the Foundation’s strategic focus areas, which include providing consistent measurable results, diversifying and growing revenue streams, increasing shareholder educational opportunities, enhancing operations, and revitalizing languages and traditional Native values.
  • Define and oversee the mission of the Foundation and keep it relevant to the needs of Doyon shareholders and their descendants.
  • Approve programs/services and monitor their effectiveness.
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Foundation and its executive director.
  • Ensure financial solvency and help raise resources.
  • Select, support and evaluate the executive director.
  • Ensure continuous board improvement.
  • Attend quarterly meetings in Fairbanks, Alaska, as well as any special meetings called.
  • Serve on two board committees and possibly chair one committee, which include finance/investment, development/fundraising, language revitalization/culture, and governance.
  • Participate in at least one board training event each year.
  • Demonstrate willingness to take on other duties and assignments, as needed.
  • Represent and, if asked, speak on behalf of Doyon Foundation at various events.

Application Instructions/Deadline

Applications are accepted using this online form. The form does not take long to fill out and candidates are able to upload resumes and/or other materials.

Candidates may also download and print the 2017 board candidate application to complete and mail to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Avenue, Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701. Mailing instructions are provided on the form.

Please note that candidates are required to submit an updated resume along with their completed application.

It is highly recommended that candidates familiarize themselves with the Foundation and its work by reviewing the Foundation’s website, blog and Facebook page prior to submitting an application.

The deadline to apply is Monday, October 16 at 5 p.m.

For more information, please visit doyonfoundation.com or contact Doris Miller, Doyon Foundation executive director, at 907.459.2048 or millerd@doyon.com.

Doyon Foundation is seeking applicants for our open administrative assistant position. If you are interested in being part of a small, dedicated team working to support students and revitalize Native language, this could be the job for you!

Our administrative assistant works closely with the Foundation executive director, handles administrative duties and provides board support that enables our office to operate efficiently. This position also works with the Foundation team to support our language revitalization program, scholarship programs, community relations and fund development.

This is a full-time position based at the Foundation office in Fairbanks.

If you or someone you know are interested in this position, please visit the Doyon, Limited employment webpage to learn more. To apply, create a Talent Bank profile on the Doyon website and then complete the online application. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, August 23.

A conversation with Irene Solomon Arnold and Allan Hayton

IMAG2016This language champion profile features an interview with Irene Solomon Arnold (IA) and Doyon Foundation’s Language Revitalization Program Director Allan Hayton (AH).

Irene was born and raised in Tanacross, Alaska. Her mother’s side of the family is from Diihthaad. Her name was Stella Luke Solomon. Her father’s side of the family was from Saages Cheeg” (Ketchumstock). His name was Silas Solomon. Her maternal grandparents were Harry and Jennie Luke. Her paternal grandparents were Peter and Annie Solomon.

In 1992 Irene began teaching the Tanacross language in Tok, Alaska, for the Alaska Gateway School District. She completed an Associate of Applied Science in Native Language Education with the Yukon Native Language Centre at Yukon College in Whitehorse, in conjunction with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has been a lifelong advocate for language and cultural education for younger generations.

Tanacross is the ancestral language of the Mansfield-Ketchumstuk and Healy Lake-Joseph Village bands of Athabascan people, whose homelands extend from the Goodpaster River to the west, the Alaska Range to the south, the Fortymile and Tok Rivers to the east, and the Yukon Uplands to the north. The language is spoken in the villages of Tanacross, Dot Lake and Healy Lake and is one of nine endangered Athabascan Dene languages in the Doyon region. Efforts are underway to continue speaking, teaching and learning the language.

AH: Thank you for agreeing to be a part of Foundation’s Language Champion series. This series highlights people across Doyon region and their work in language revitalization. Doyon region has 10 languages. We are one of the only ANCSA corporations with this many languages, but I think it’s a blessing. Really, they are like riches right?

IA: Right.

AH: Riches of the land, and of the people.

IA: And we are fortunate enough to have a fluent speaker or speakers in each of these languages. That is so good to see because when I got started in the 80s, we had no idea it was going to come to this.

AH: I feel the same. When I was growing up, I didn’t expect in my own lifetime that the Gwich’in language might not continue.

IA: When I began I didn’t think I was going into the language field. When the boarding schools made me quit speaking our language, I just eradicated it from my mind.

I came back in ’66, and I really began to take interest. I wanted to know what all the grandmas and grandpas were saying. My grandmother and all of them were speaking this rapid language. I would just be blown away. I realized they’re telling interesting stories. I didn’t expect to learn it. I just wanted to hear the stories.

So there began my teaching and I didn’t know it. Grandma would say words and she would look at me, and I know then I am supposed to repeat it. I had a southern accent, a really deep Georgia accent, so that’s what made them laugh more. Except for my dad and uncle Andrew Isaac, and grandma. They didn’t laugh. They probably did, but they wouldn’t let me see it.

It went on for years. I’d ask grandma, “What they say? What they say?” And then one day, she said, I asked her, “What was that?” She said, “I can’t tell you, you have to learn it.”

In my mind I already knew how to say the words because subconsciously I was paying attention. When it was time for me to pronounce the words, it was already there. Then the more I worked at it, and listened to tapes from those old stories, and then languages and then the memory came back slowly, and the correct way to pronounce words, until finally I could sit and talk with grandma and them.

If I said something wrong, my grandma would repeat it. She wouldn’t say, “Not that way,” she would simply repeat it. Without prior instruction, she knew how to teach language. 

Listen to audio clip of Irene’s response:

AH: That’s good that you had a teacher like that.

IA: Yes, she had patience.

AH: What was that experience like when the language started coming back to you?

IA: It was like a dream. I would listen to tapes of the old folks talking, and memories would come back of where I was when I heard that story. I started comparing the different ways people spoke the language. My grandmother would tell me old words, and she made me aware that there are different dialects.

I got interested in the meaning of different words. When we were doing the Tanacross Learners’ Dictionary (Dihthaad Xt’een Aandeg’  The Mansfield People’s Language, which Irene authored with Gary Holton and Richard Thoman), I would take other dictionaries like Gwich’in and I’d find the word. I would compare them and come up with the correct word for our language.

When I started, I was working as a youth counselor, and they asked me if I would teach our language. I told them, “I don’t know how to teach.” They said, “Yes you do, you know how to counsel and do talking circle, do it that way.” And so that’s where it started, my language work.

I went to Tok UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) campus, and asked if there were any courses that would teach me how to be a language teacher. Because I knew there had to be something else. My students could not advance after a certain point. Eventually I found the Native language teaching at Yukon College. Avis Northway, too, she is the first recipient of the Native language certificate from Yukon College. I would use Avis a lot in my language class. And she became almost fluent in Tanacross language, and me in her language.

Together we learned you need to have one room where you dedicate it to your language class, because you put all this on your wall. All different pictures of different seasons. Just basic stuff, just put it up there, let them see it every day.

We realized children are more visual learners. We would take them outdoors, even when it’s cold, we’d take them outdoors and show them what we’re talking about. So I stayed with Tok School for three years but there was no support.

AH: When you came back in 1966 and began to hear the language again, re-familiarizing your tongue and beginning to speak, do you feel like you began to understand the way of life and belief more?

IA: Yes. In the language, I feel more as an elder, I feel more grounded, more part of a unique system now that I can think in our language. That was a breakthrough, when you start thinking in your language. That opened up a whole new world.

AH: There is research that shows children benefit from having their language in terms of their wellbeing, and health. It’s a support for all learning, to have that grounding in the language.

IA: Especially nowadays the things they are learning on TV has nothing to do with village life. And yet our young people are so involved with that television and the technological world now. It’s so different from our way of life. No wonder they’re searching, and they don’t even know they’re searching.

I think our language really needs to be in the school. At this point in time it should be well established in our school, and it’s not. I don’t know what it is, or why it’s not, because we have all the material.

So that’s my dream for our language is to get it in the school, established in the local school. And if it’s taught like that on a daily basis, it will be a big success in our schools.

Listen to audio clip of Irene’s response:

AH: Do you have a chance in your daily life to talk in your language?

IA: No, Tanacross has, let’s see, they have, there’s Mildred, fluent speakers, Nellie Probert, Mildred Jonathan, probably Jerry Isaac, probably half dozen people who can speak fluently. But there’s others too who speak and understand but they’re not fluent.

AH: It’s that way for Gwich’in too. There are younger people that can understand it, but they respond in English.

IA: You have more speakers than any language, it seems like. Because everywhere you see, you meet a Gwich’in, they speak to each other in their language.

AH: It is changing. I’m 48 now, and not getting younger.

IA: My goodness, I knew you when you were just that tall, and your mom. She used to do so much with you guys, and took you to a lot of places.

AH: Yeah, I miss her all the time.

IA: She always spoke your language with you.

AH: When I was starting to teach at the university, I would call her and ask “Amaa, jii nats’a’ts’a’ deegwiheenjyaa?”, “How do we say this?” I think about our departed loved ones, now they’re gone but I think they’re somewhere sharing stories again and reunited.

IA: Sitting by a river somewhere.

For a complete audio or written transcript of this interview, please contact the Foundation at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we are noticing a group of people who are committed and dedicating their own time 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.