Alaska News

Alaska Native Fund announces grant opportunities

Alaska Native Fund Announces 2013 Grant Opportunities

Entering third year, Fund anticipates $200,000 to support Alaska Native priorities for protecting lands, waters and way of life

The Alaska Native Fund, established in 2011 in a partnership between the Alaska Conservation Foundation (ACF) and an Alaska Native Steering Committee, is an innovative grant program that supports Alaska Native organizations and individuals in seeking solutions to the environmental issues facing their communities. The Fund supports projects that elevate Indigenous Knowledge to address food security, sustainable economic development, alternative energy solutions, environmental health, and climate change.

The Fund is entering its third year and has awarded $242,500 in grants since its inception. Funding requests have totaled more than $1 million during that time. "The overwhelming response to the Fund indicates that it is meeting a critical need in Alaska—to support Indigenous priorities and solutions for some of our most pressing issues. We are excited to see the Fund grow and support more Alaska Native communities as they develop strategies to protect their cultures and way of life," says Polly Carr, Program Officer for the Alaska Conservation Foundation.

"The Alaska Native Fund has assisted us as a grassroots Indigenous organization to do the outreach so crucial to us keeping our community informed and engaged when it comes to the policies that directly affect our ability to sustain our way of life," states Princess Lucaj, Executive Director for the Gwich'in Steering Committee, a current grant recipient.

Food security has emerged as a central theme in Alaska Native Fund grant applications and projects over the past two years—with a current trend of protecting salmon resources from a range of environmental impacts. For example, the Fund is supporting efforts to: include Indigenous Knowledge in determining bycatch caps in the Bering Sea region; document local knowledge and perspectives regarding the decline of salmon in western Alaska; address mining impacts on salmon streams in Bristol Bay; and advocate for international research by Arctic governments on salmon trends.

Alannah Hurley, a new Steering Committee for the Fund from Dillingham, recently conducted an evaluation with grant applicants and recipients to determine needs and impacts. She found that "There is a great need to support advocacy and leadership development, with regard to the policies and decisions that impact our Indigenous communities. We are eager to assist our Tribal governments and organizations working to protect our way of life and achieve their goals rooted in sustainability and self-determination of Alaska's Indigenous people."



Alaska Native Fund Steering Committee members include: Orville Huntington (Huslia), Rachel Edwardson (Barrow), Cherilyn Holter (Hydaburg), Jonella Larson White (Nome and Anchorage), Alannah Hurley (Dillingham) and Max Malavansky (St. George Island and Anchorage) Staff: Loren Peterson (Anchorage and Mountain Village)

Approximately $200,000 to be awarded in December 2013

Alaska Native individuals and nonprofit organizations may apply for funding

Letters of Inquiry will be due July 15, 2013. Full proposals will be invited September 1, 2013, and grant decisions made by December 2013

Grant range will be $10,000-$20,000 for Organizations, up to $10,000 for Individuals

Complete information and details found at

Alaska Conservation Foundation press release