The federally funded Alaska Native Education Program has awarded three grants; the first for about $2 million over two years, dedicated to construction of the Soboleff facility.
The heritage institute has already signed an agreement with the school district and UAS for educational programs. SHI president Rosita Worl says the program for teachers’ began informally this fall.
“It (the grant) will also allow us to develop culturally relevant resources,” Worl says. “We know that teachers are extraordinarily busy and we know they have definite requirements they have to teach to, so providing supplemental materials that speak to our culture, I think, will also help them.”
A third grant over three years is for $1.37 million for math summer camps for Southeast Alaska middle school students. Worl calls the proposed classes math “boot camp.”
“We have partnered with the University of Alaska in the teacher-training program and we see where our students are coming into the university not prepared in math — in general. I mean we do have students who are doing well in math, but in general,” she says. “So we decided that we were going to go after programs where we could help our students in math.”
Such programs will be part of the Walter Soboleff Center when it is completed. It will have classrooms and event spaces as well as ethnographic collections and a research facility. Worl says about half the funds have been raised for the center, estimated at $20 million.
Alaska Native organizations, school districts and universities are eligible to compete for funds from the Alaska Native Education Program. It was created by the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens for Alaska Native education programs, because Alaska does not have benefit of educational funding through Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, unlike other states.
- “Part of this funding is set aside to address the needs that the president saw firsthand when he visited coastal communities in Alaska that are seeing their homelands eroding into the ocean at a rapid pace," said Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor.
- Gastineau Humane Society called the dog aggressive and not a viable candidate for adoption. The Juneau couple wishes they’d been notified before the dog was put down.
- Dan Henry, also operator of the Skagway Fish Co., said he would make a decision about his future with the Skagway Borough Assembly after he returns home.
- Musher Seth Barnes said early Monday that the last 100 miles of trail coming north to Circle "literally was perfect ... definitely the best trail I’ve been on all year.” His dogs had trained on gravel most of the winter.