Anchorage, Alaska, January 22, 2014 – Entering its third year, the Alaska Native Fund distributed $173,484 to Alaska Native organizations and individuals supporting indigenous projects protecting lands, waters and ways of life. In 2014, the Alaska Native Fund is providing grants to 13 Alaska Native organizations and 3 Alaska Native individuals.
The Alaska Native Fund is an innovative grant program that supports projects integrating indigenous knowledge into issues of food security, sustainable economic development, alternative energy solutions, environmental health, and climate change. In a partnership with the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the all-indigenous Alaska Native Fund Steering Committee has awarded over $415,000 from requests totaling more than $1 million since its inception.
With support from the Alaska Native Fund, the Organized Village of Kasaan has been able to successfully establish the Prince of Wales Tribal Sea Otter Commission. The four federally recognized Tribes on Prince of Wales Island have been utilizing the Marine Mammal Protection Act to assure a healthy sea otter stock, ecosystem sustainability, and to address Alaska Native hunter and artisan rights regarding the Northern Sea Otter.
Thanks in part to three years of support from the Alaska Native Fund, the Tribal Sea Otter Commission is now poised to negotiate agreements with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “Without the Alaska Native Fund, we wouldn’t have been able to begin this project that is enabling us to bring our cultural ways back and providing income opportunities for families,” said Dennis Nickerson, Environmental Planner for the Organized Village of Kasaan.
“It’s exciting to see the innovations that Alaska Natives are putting forward. As we prepare our younger leaders and support their work, it is crucial that it aligns with our values and the responsibilities we collectively have to our homelands and one another,” said Elizabeth Medicine Crow (Haida/Tlingit), originally from Kake and serving as an Alaska Native Fund Steering Committee member.
For a complete list of 2014 ANF Grant Awards, read here.