FY 2019 Awards


Cook Inlet Tribal Council (S356A190013) (AK) $791,512

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. proposes Innovation Station in response to the limited capacity of Alaska’s public schools to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) content to elementary school students in a culturally informed manner. As an early intervention program that recognizes and addresses the unique educational needs of Alaska Native students, Innovation Station will introduce culturally-based STEM enrichment curricula and 21st-century technology into urban and rural elementary school classrooms throughout Alaska. The program will benefit Alaska Native people by developing and implementing an effective supplemental educational program directly serving Alaska Native students, in tandem with delivery of ongoing professional development for teachers. Innovation Station will include activities that (i) are designed to prepare Alaska Native students to excel in STEM subjects; (ii) provide appropriate support services to enable such students to benefit from the programs; and (iii) include activities that recognize and support the unique cultural and educational needs of Alaska Native children and incorporate appropriately qualified Alaska Native tradition bearers. Participants will include 222 Alaska Native elementary students and 30 elementary school teachers.

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. (S356A190023) (AK) $876,649

Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) proposes The Schoolyard, an afterschool program serving Alaska Native youth ages 12-19 in the Anchorage School District (ASD). The proposed project will supplement individualized academic support with advocacy services, STEM-enrichment, and opportunities for cultural expression. The Schoolyard is grounded in local data, as well as insight provided through education research and CITC educator experience, which points to the need for comprehensive and continuous afterschool engagement programming for Alaska Native middle school students, and afterschool academic intervention programming for Alaska Native high school students. Over 36 months, The Schoolyard will provide enrollments to 205 Alaska Native youth ages 12-19 in afterschool and school break programs. The program will provide 3,500 hours of Fab Lab activities, 6,000 hours of after-school academic support, and 70 after-school cultural activities over 36 months. Additionally, the program will provide supplementary educational support inclusive of case management and screening/referrals for supportive services to 100% of enrolled youth and assist 100% of enrolled youth to develop individual academic plans. Key anticipated outcomes are increases in 1) the number of Alaska Native students receiving program interventions who meet or exceed proficiency standards in reading, mathematics, and science on the Alaska State assessments and 2) the number of Alaska Native students served by the program who graduate with a high school diploma in four years.

Galena City School District (S356A190015) (AK) $570,497

The Galena City School District proposes to improve student literacy through intensive teacher training and district capacity building; building cultural connections for student success by greater presence in the classroom of the Koyukon Athabascan culture through Elder and Cultural Knowledge Bearer talks and demonstrations and the inclusion of Athabascan art and artifacts into the district’s Alaska Native Arts program; and increasing student understanding of the importance of Literacy in the workplace by using written industry materials in high school assignments and classes and having students conduct worksite literacy assessments. Proposed project outcomes include having 100% of instructional staff trained in effective practices for literacy skills improvement; four trained administrators coaching teachers in their classrooms on best practices in building student literacy; 100% of new teachers and administrators receiving information about Alaska Native culture; integrating 30-plus new Alaska Native cultural resources into the curriculum; a 30% gain in numbers of cultural demonstrations and exchanges in school; 100% of Jr.-Sr. High students completing Career Portfolios; and 55 students taking part in workplace literacy-related events annually.

Calista Education and Culture, Inc. (S356A190011) (AK) $1,499,437

The Calista Education and Culture, Inc. proposes to improve future outcomes for native high school students. Calista Education and Culture, Inc. aims to: foster Yuuyaraq values and teachings to develop intrinsic motivation in students in grades 9-12 to graduate from high school; teach students the skills necessary to navigate post-secondary opportunities and choices; and mentor students through the process of developing resilience and self-determination strategies to overcome challenges. The proposed project outcomes are increased high school graduation rates in the Calista region; Yup’ik adolescents who exhibit signs of positive self-esteem and other mental/behavioral health factors as a result of enculturation activities; more students in the Calista region who develop and articulate goals for education and learning beyond high school; school staff who have increased skills for working with Yup’ik youth; youth who value mentoring as part of their life; students who develop skills to overcome historic trauma and other challenges; and all three project districts formally adopting the Yuuyaraq curriculum for use with all students. Participants will include 570 students in grades 9-12 from 14 schools in western Alaska.

Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A190010) (AK) $1,556,319

The Sealaska Heritage Institute proposes to improve outcomes for native middle schoolers. Sealaska Heritage Institute aims to create 16 heritage language certified educators doubling the percentage of Alaska Native students in Southeast Alaska who had access to an educator who taught their native language (from 10.6% to 23.2%). Heritage language scholars will complete four classroom and community internships; increase access to culturally relevant curriculum through nine new classroom language resources; build language resources by recording 20 First-language speakers; promote heritage language career pathways; and provide strategic planning to create five new programs or classes to close the gaps detailed in the Culture-Based Indigenous Language Use Rubric. Participants will include 335 Alaska Native students currently enrolled in language classes, 675 students in five years, and 640 students through both classroom and community internships.

Klawock City School District (S356A190012) (AK) $638,229

The Klawock City School District proposes to improve future outcomes for Alaska Native students; improve Alaska Native student learning through culturally responsive instruction strategies; improve the instructional process through job PD that is tailored to individual teachers and meets each student’s intervention needs; increase Alaska Natives students’ interest in graduating from high school by providing services to connect with, engage, and motivate them; foster classrooms that are more culturally and socially/emotionally responsive; train students how to identify healthy, caring adult connections (Anchors); and train and coach students how to select and develop Anchors. Lessons and Academies will provide students a better relational understanding and will provide practice in the seven-positive metrics of the Integrative Youth Development (IYD). Participants will include 195 students in three school districts.

Maniilaq Association (S356A190024) (AK) $459,084

The goal of the Anuqsru∤iq Project is to increase student achievement and graduation rates in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD) through interventions with newly hired teachers related to community wellness and teacher retention. Project objectives include (1) newly hired teachers in NWABSD will participate in a comprehensive cultural and contextual induction; (2) newly hired teachers who are part of the project to receive pedagogical training as well as regular mentoring and coaching from district-selected site mentors; (3) all newly hired teachers will become integrated into community wellness activities that strengthen the community and outcomes for students; and (4) the project activities will result in higher teacher retention and increased cultural competency among newly hired teachers and better outcomes for students in NWABSD. The activities and treatments of the Anuqsru∤iq Project are intended to drive district-wide achievement, as measured by the PEAKS assessment and graduation rates. The project is designed to increase teacher retention, improve school climate and connectedness, and address community wellness through school/community partnerships. Each of these factors is positively correlated with student academic performance. The project will reach 48 teachers at eleven sites in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. The interventions to improve school climate and connectedness and community wellness will reach all students in the district (approximately 1,850 students).

Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula (S356A190031) (AK) $745,901

Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula (PGKP) proposes the POWER Project, Promoting Opportunity and Wisdom for Education and Resilience, designed to (1) increase the percentage of Alaska Native (AN) students who meet or exceed proficiency standards in reading, math, and science; and (2) increase the percentage of AN students who graduate with a high school diploma in four years. POWER will utilize established community-based partnerships to address the unique needs of 250 students, 30 teachers, community members, and school staff in Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Port Graham, and Tyonek (Tebughna School), four of the most remote and isolated schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The proposed POWER project will provide new pathways for challenges facing educators to improve the system which currently leaves many AN students behind — cultural disconnection between school and community, high incidences of trauma and ACEs in the population, limited access to professional development for teachers working in isolated villages, and few enrichment and adult connection opportunities for students. Beginning in kindergarten, POWER will assist AN students in connecting with caring adults that recognize and cultivate their strengths and leadership skills, while improving academics. Student Support Coaches and a Social Counselor will integrate services to build critical foundations upon which K-12 students can thrive academically and socially. Students will gain a greater understanding of the importance of education and graduation, identify their aspirations and goals after high school, and access career and/or post-secondary programs.

Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A190032) AK $2,078,643

The Sealaska Heritage Institute’s goal is to expand its educational Northwest Coast (NWC) Arts programming in Juneau for 770 Alaska Native K-12 students, Native college students and artists, and 3,200 Sealaska tribal members – while simultaneously creating accessible NWC Arts programming for the region’s 1,160 Native high school students and 11,100 Sealaska tribal members living throughout Alaska. The goals of the project are to: 1) by Month 12 of Year 2, construct the 8,100 square foot Heritage Arts Campus, and its outdoor programming areas for hosting Native Artist Markets and Monumental Art projects, within the project timelines and its $11 million budget and 2) by Month 12 of Year 2, create and field test three, 15-week (45 hour/each) NWC Arts eLearning Courses that provide options to learn: a) high school credits; b) college credits; c) dual credits (high school and college credits); and d) no credits

Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A190029) (AK) $1,389,613

The Sealaska Heritage Institute proposes the third generation of Thru the Cultural Lens. The overarching goal of the third generation of Thru the Cultural Lens is to increase the number of educators and school district staff in Southeast, Alaska, with cultural competency by 25% within three years. Providing cultural competency training, creating place-based culturally relevant resources, and building on the cohort of culturally knowledgeable educators will improve academic success and graduation rates for Alaska Native youth. The project goals are to: 1) provide cultural orientation to 120 educators and school staff through 50 hours of cultural orientation based in Juneau and Ketchikan.; 2) educators and school staff create 120 placed based culturally relevant classroom resources and highlighting 15 of the most comprehensive and informative modules at the Cultural Connectedness Conference; and 3) build on the community of practice through three conferences, 30 mentors, 18 workshops, and 26 videos housed in the education video library online.

Dena’ Neana’ Henash dba Tana Chiefs (S356A190006) (AK) $1,355,646

Dena’ Nena’ Henash dba Tana Chiefs proposes to improve outcomes for Alaska Native students. To reach its goals, TCC GO! will: 1) provide face-to-face, targeted academic advising to Alaska Native students that concurrently encourages health career exploration and provides support and encouragement in meeting basic academic requirements for high school graduation; 2) provide structured job shadowing opportunities where students experience a variety of health careers in a real-world setting; 3) provide a paid internship program for students wishing to explore health careers on a deeper level; and 4) offer two-week long educational intensives focused on a variety of health career topics and trainings. Specific and measurable objectives include: 1) by year 3 of the project 40 Alaska Native students from the TCC region will participate in a job shadowing experience annually, seven will participate in a paid internship opportunity annually, and 30 will complete one or more educational intensive programs annually; 2) by the end of year 3 of the project all high school students in the TCC region will receive information about TCC GO! and the available pathways to explore health careers; and 3) all students participating in TCC GO! receive ongoing academic advising include encouragement in academic proficiency, and information about health career development opportunities and applying to college and scholarship opportunities. An estimated 60 students in total annually are expected to participate in one or more of the three experiential components of TCC GO! by year 3 of the project (40 students job shadows, seven student internships, and 30 students participating in one or more educational intensives).

Yukon Koyukuk School District (S356A190019) (AK) $740,699

The Yukon Koyukuk School District, under a sanction from the Nulato Tribal Council, proposes to: improve grades 6-12 student higher-level math performance; implement a grades 6-12 Computer Science (CS) Program by engaging with CS education experts such as Code.org to design courses, obtain materials and equipment and train teachers in CS content; and build cultural connections for student success in Math and Computer Science by the creation and use of place-based and culturally relevant lesson plans in those areas of study. The goals of the project are 100% of grades 6-12 Math teachers can identify higher levels of math concepts, construct math lessons on those levels, and effectively and routinely incorporate higher-level math instruction in the classroom; students’ show significant gains in higher level math achievement; 30 mathematics lesson plans that include place-based activities that are culturally relevant are created and used; a secondary (6-12) Computer Science program that teaches the core concepts of Computing Systems (Networks and the Internet, Data and Analysis, Algorithms and Programming) is planned and implemented; and, students and teachers participating in the Project MACSA Abstract ii YKSD Computer.

Kenaitze Indian Tribe (S356A190033) (AK) $1,166,313

Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s Ch’naqał’in (“One that Stands Above”) ANE Project proposes to support established long-term goals that enhance the health, social and economic well-being, cultural heritage, and governmental concerns of its people, and serves over 4,410 Alaska Native, American Indian, and other people who reside in the central and upper Kenai Peninsula, including approximately 1,670 enrolled Tribal Members who are Dena’ina Athabascan. The mission of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe is “to assure Kahtnuht’ana Dena’ina thrive forever.” In order to accomplish this mission, the 2025 strategic vision includes the establishment of an education system that is aligned with the needs, values, and guiding principles of Kenaitze learners. Program goals include 1) improve the effective teaching skills and formal education levels of the ANE instructional staff through in-house training and formal Associate Degree Programming in a cohort model; 2) through Dena’ina values, maximize preschool waitlist children’s potential and prepare them for successful entry into Kindergarten, providing age-appropriate, culturally relevant educational programs and language skills development through 24 hours of service per week for 44 weeks; and 3) through Dena’ina values, maximize K-6th grade children’s potential for success by providing age-appropriate, culturally relevant educational programs and language speaking skills through a minimum of 15 hours of service per week for 32 weeks of the school year and ten weeks of Culture Summer Camps.

Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A190028) (AK) $1,190,628

Opening Doors for Alaska Native (AK) Students proposes innovative and comprehensive strategies of evaluating and measuring the effectiveness of culturally responsive instruction and culturally responsive leadership practices and identify inequitable policies and practices as a solution to reducing the achievement and equity gap for AK Native students. The project goals are: (1) educator knowledge and use of culturally responsive pedagogy and application of cultural proficiency in relationships will significantly increase; (2) academic achievement and school engagement for AK Native students will significantly increase; and (3) school leaders’ culturally responsive leadership practices will increase school-wide opportunities for engagement in learning for AK Native students. The projected outcomes are AK Native students will have increased access to learning and inclusion through 1) more culturally responsive pedagogy in the classroom; 2) more respectful, accepting, and culturally proficient relationships between and among all leaders, staff, students, and families; and 3) school policies and practices ensure equitable access for all students. Opening Doors will serve 151 teachers, 12 administrators, and 1,795 students in grades K-12.

Arctic Slope Community Foundation, Inc. (S356A190038) (AK) $757,851

The Arctic Slope Community Foundation, Alaska Humanities Forum, North Slope Borough School District (NSBSD), and Iḷisaġvik College propose the Aullaaġvik Program, with a goal to increase teacher retention in Alaska’s North Slope Borough through cultural preparation and inclusion activities, professional support, and community connections. The proposed cultural immersion camp program, called Aullaaġvik, meaning a place to camp, will reach its stated goal by meeting the following objectives. (1.1) Annually, 30 recently hired teachers of the NSBSD (RHTPs) will complete a cultural immersion camp program to increase cultural competency. RHTPs can attend one of two camps near remote communities of the North Slope Borough, which will include curriculum specific to nearby communities such as outdoor subsistence activities, group meals, and language lessons. Two cohorts of 30 RHTPs each (60) will report higher cultural competency as measured by pre and post-Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventories (CCAI). (1.2) RHTPs will complete Iḷisaġvik College multi-cultural studies course during the fall semester following their camp experience. This multicultural studies education course will align with lessons learned at camp in an academic setting. At least 80% of the RHTPs (48) will complete the course with a grade of C or better. (1.3) Support RHTPs community integration by providing ongoing mentorship with Mapkuq Mentors of NSBSD. RHTPs will make connections with elders of the region and local community members during camp. Following the camp, they will receive local professional support. by Mapkuq Mentors of NSBSD – teachers training/supporting teachers in providing a culturally rich educational environment. 100% of RHTPs (60) will participate in planned Mapkuq Mentor activities and meet with their mentor monthly.

Clare Swan Early Learning Center (S356A190026) (AK) $496,645

Clare Swan Early Learning Center (CSELC) proposes Tsilqu to establish a trauma-informed infant and toddler service delivery system at a Region XI Early Head Start serving Alaska Native infants and toddlers in Anchorage, Alaska. The proposed project leverages CSELC’s culturally informed learning and teacher-training environment to pilot primary, secondary, and tertiary Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) interventions based on both current brain research and traditional ways of knowing. The project will address a gap in early childhood development and learning services available to Alaska Native families in the Municipality of Anchorage that contributes to persistent and acute disparity between the school-readiness rates of Alaska Native children and those of other children in the Anchorage School District. Over 36 months, the proposed project will provide trauma awareness training to 40 staff at CSELC as well as to parents of children enrolled at CSELC. Additionally, Tsilqu will retain the services of an Infant Mental Health Specialist to support non-clinical staff efforts to increase protective factors of any children who exhibit symptoms of ACE exposure. The project will increase the number of Alaska Native children enrolled at CSELC who consistently demonstrate school readiness in language & literacy, as well as Social and Emotional measures of school readiness. The program will additionally increase community capacity for ACEs intervention by training six community members as Trauma Informed Paraprofessionals.

Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A190004) (AK) $1,360,708

The Sealaska Heritage Institute proposes to improve outcomes for native middle schoolers. The project has seven Project Objectives, summarized as follows: create a STEAM-Making Community of Practice (CoP); three teacher-mentors develop STEAM-E-Math lessons, teach at STEAM-Making Academies, and earn 15-credit graduate certificates; the 12-member CoP completes 150 training hours and designs 36 STEAM-Maker Recipes; a total of 360 Alaska Native middle school students in Juneau and Sitka complete a semester of STEAM-E-Math; a total of 120 Southeast Alaska Native youth attend annual STEAM-Making Academies; and seven schools with a combined annual Alaska Native student enrollment of 390 host a total of 56 STEAM-Maker Days in six communities. Project Activities include: advertise, hire, and train project staff; Commence monthly meetings of the Leadership Team; enter into a service agreement with an Evaluator; Form Community of Practice (CoP) and host monthly Skypes; provide a 4-day project orientation; order/configure STEAM-Maker Carts; provide annual four-day professional development (PD) for 12-member CoP; teach CoP to use STEAM-Maker carts; provide annual 2.5-day school-based PD for CoP; and plan/host annual STEAM-Making Academies for 40 Alaska Native youth. Participants will include 1,260 Alaska Native Students in Years 1-3 and 12 adult teachers and Alaska Native Elders in the project’s Community of Practice in Years 1-3.

Alaska Native Justice Center (S356A190027) (AK) $608,715

The Alaska Native Justice Center (ANJC), in partnership with Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. (CITC) proposes Anikatiga in response to the need to foster resilience among Alaska Native youth in Alaska’s three largest communities; the Anchorage Metropolitan Area (inclusive of the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska Susitna Valley), Fairbanks, and Juneau. The proposed project will provide youth, ages 6-18, with opportunities for cultural and community connection, in conjunction with case-managed access to social services, and a targeted mentoring program designed to provide academic and social-emotional support. As well as providing direct student services, the project will pursue strategic collaborations and alliances with organizations that have the potential to increase protective factors among Alaska Native youth. Weak performance on standardized tests can be correlated with poor school engagement among Alaska Native students, as measured by attendance data and School Climate and Connectedness survey data. A trend strongly associated with school disengagement is the disproportionate involvement of Alaska Native youth with disciplinary action. Data regarding school-based disciplinary involvement points to inadequately met restorative justice needs linked to barriers to educational attainment. Additionally, out of school barriers – including high rates of trauma, mental health and substance use disorders, foster care placement, incarceration, and justice system involvement within the Alaska Native community – compound in-school challenges faced by Alaska Native youth. Therefore, over 36 months, ANJC will offer case management, social service referrals and cultural connection to at least 45 Alaska Native youth, as well as contracting with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska to provide one-on-one mentoring to 113 Alaska Native youth in the Anchorage Metropolitan Area, Juneau, and Fairbanks.

Chugachmiut (S356A190035) (AK) $1,297,289

Chugachmuit proposes the project Llargaklluku Llucillerpet Cummi: Becoming Aware. The rationale of Llangarlluku: Becoming Aware is providing culturally sensitive instruction in schools and teaching the indigenous language, history, and heritage will develop a climate in which students are more engaged in the education process. This project was developed as a means of affording AN/AI students the advantages of a rekindled awareness of tribal heritage to enhance their American Citizenship. The project goals are to: 1) offer Chugach Native people maximum opportunity to provide input into heritage education programs produced for use in the Region’s schools and communities; 2) improve educational outcomes in the Region by teaching a heritage language; and 3) the educational environment for all students will be enriched through the continued development of materials and programs to document and celebrate traditional Chugach cultures.