78_Student Dinner Promotion_blog

This Thursday, February 21 in Fairbanks

 

Join Doyon Foundation for our spring student dinner in Fairbanks this Thursday, February 21! The event takes place from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Doyon Industrial Facility, 615 Bidwell Ave., in the first floor classroom. If you please to attend, please RSVP here.

Gift Baskets

Join us for delicious food and door prizes!

We’ll have delicious food as well as door prizes, networking and words from our alumni speakers: Selina Sam, as well as our very own language revitalization program director, Allan Hayton!

All Doyon Foundation students, alumni, family, friends and other supporters are welcome to attend this free event. RSVP here.

Are you a Foundation alumni? If so, please consider bringing a door prize donation or a dish to share. Let us know what you can bring when you RSVP.

We look forward to seeing you!

89_Summer Scholarship Promotion_blog

It may feel like winter will never end, but summer is on its way! If you or someone you know is planning to attend school this summer, be sure to mark your calendar for Doyon Foundation’s summer basic scholarship deadline. Applications must be received by Friday, March 15 at 5 p.m.

Part-time students are eligible to receive an $800 basic scholarship and full-time students can receive a $1,200 basic scholarship. To be considered part-time, students must be enrolled in 3 to 11 credits (or 2 to 8 credits for graduate students). Full-time students are those enrolled in 12 or more credits (9 or more credits for graduate students).

Remember that our basic scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your application in early!

To be eligible for a Doyon Foundation scholarship, you 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

Students should apply through our online scholarship portal, available on our website. First time using the new system? See our step-by-step instructions on how to create a new account. Questions on the application process? Check out our tutorial on how to apply for a scholarship.

To apply for a summer basic scholarship, you will need to submit:

  • Basic scholarship online application
  • Proof of academic enrollment (Summer class schedule, plus document showing current degree program and field of study
  • Transcripts (keep reading – more on this below!)

DF_90_Summer Transcripts Infographic_v2We always get a lot of questions about transcripts: Do I need to submit them? Do they need to be official or unofficial? What is the deadline? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Official transcripts only need to be submitted once per academic year (which runs August through July).
  • If you’re a “new” student (in other words, you didn’t receive a fall 2018 or spring 2019 scholarship), then you need to submit official transcripts by the March 15 deadline.
  • If you’re a “returning” student (meaning you received a fall 2018 or spring 2019 scholarship), you can submit unofficial transcripts. We know you won’t have transcripts for the spring semester by March 15, so the deadline for you to submit them is May 10, 2019.

It is very important to log in to your student account before the scholarship application deadline to check that you have submitted all the required materials. (Put a reminder on your calendar now!)

We also encourage you to review our scholarship resource handbook for all the details on transcripts, eligibility and application requirements. You are also welcome to give us a call or send us an email anytime – we are here to help!

Remember – the deadline to apply for a summer 2019 basic scholarship is Friday, March 15! If you have questions, contact us at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

“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.

85_our language grants promotion_blog

DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday, February 15, 2019

 

In a continuing effort to revitalize the endangered Native languages of the Doyon region, Doyon Foundation will award grants of up to $5,000 to support language revitalization efforts. The application deadline for the 2019 Our Language grants has been extended to Friday, February 15, 2019, at 5 p.m. 

Download the 2019 Our Language grant application

Download and share grant informational flyer

Doyon region tribal governments/tribal councils/communities; nonprofit Alaska Native organizations, societies and community groups; and Alaska Native cultural, educational and recreational organizations/centers are eligible to apply for an Our Language grant.

Grant proposals must include a project description and timeline; plan for language documentation; project budget; completed community language survey; letter of support from village council or tribal office; and community language plan (optional).

The 10 ancestral languages of the Doyon region are all severely to critically endangered, and will be lost within the span of a few generations if no action is taken. These endangered languages include Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana), Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Deg Xinag, Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga (Lower Tanana), Holikachuk, and Inupiaq.

Doyon, Limited established the language grant program in 2012, and the Doyon Foundation language revitalization program now manages the grant program. Last year, the Foundation awarded nine grants totaling $64,000 to support projects including professional development, radio broadcasts, teacher training, audio and video lesson development, language immersion activities, culture camps, and lesson plan development. Read more about the 2018 grant recipients on the Foundation blog.

“The goal of the Our Language grant program is to support efforts to revitalize the endangered languages of the Doyon region. We are honored to support awardees as they bring their language projects to life,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

An application packet, with complete details and instructions, is available here. For additional information, contact Jennifer Mayo-Shannon at 907.459.2074 or mayo-shannonj@doyon.com.

We are pleased to present our January 2019 Native words of the month. Thank you to our translators Irene Solomon Arnold (Tanacross), Avis Sam (Upper Tanana) and George Holly, Jr. (Deg Xinag).

Tanacross 

Xey January

Photo by Allan Hayton

Naxaxaldíik = They tell stories.

Xey ta naxaxaldíik. = In the winter they tell stories.

Listen to an audio recording:

Upper Tanana 

January

Photo by Allan Hayton

Nahiholnek = They tell stories.

Xay tah nahiholnek. = In the winter they tell stories.

Listen to an audio recording:

Deg Xinag

songsGilekiye = Songs

Sraqay oxo q’oded gilekiye iłtse. = He is making new songs for the kids.

Listen to an audio recording:

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

DF_41_OpenPosition Promotion_blog

Doyon Foundation continues to seek applicants for our scholarship program manager position. If you have strong organizational skills, love working with people, and want to play a hands-on role in helping students achieve their dreams, this could be the perfect fit for you. View the job description for details, and share with anyone you know who may be qualified and interested!

This very important position is responsible for the development and management of our scholarship programs and other selected projects. The scholarship program manager also assists with outreach and Alaska Native education issues supported by the Foundation’s mission.

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

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in education, business, organizational or nonprofit management or other appropriate area of study, or four years of work-related experience.

Please view the job description for more information on essential functions, requirements, qualifications, working environment, physical demands, and preference statement.

Interested applicants should create a Talent Bank profile and complete the online job application on the Doyon, Limited website.

GT STACKED_0There’s Black Friday. There’s Cyber Monday. Then there’s #GivingTuesday … the kick-off of giving season (our favorite time of year!). 
#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement, and we encourage you to get involved! EVERYONE has something to give, whether it be time or expertise, donations large or small, simple acts of kindness, food or clothing.
If students and language revitalization are close to your heart, we welcome your gift to Doyon Foundation. Thank you and happy giving!