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Project: Traditional Alutiiq Skin Sewing and Beading Education
Grantee: Native Village of Afognak
Written by: Nina Gronn
The Native Village of Afognak (NVA) was awarded A Journey To What Matters grant from the CIRI Foundation. NVA used the funding at our Dig Afognak Youth camps for two separate traditional Alutiiq art projects.
Our first project was completed at our Traditional Harvesting and Adventure Earth camp, where the youth created fur pouches that replicated the traditional Alutiiq pouches that our ancestors used.
The second project was completed at our Cauyaq Music/Language Camp, where the youth created Alutiiq head bands. The head bands were used as regalia for their Alutiiq dancing performance at the end of the 6-day long camp. Both projects were taught by both lecture and hands on learning from a master skin sewer.
Project: Haida Regalia Making
Grantee: Hydaburg City School District
Written by: Priscilla Goulding
Our project was making Haida regalia in the Hydaburg School (Hydaburg City School District) in grades K-12 as well as the Kasaan School, (part of Southeast Island School District). Years ago, seniors would make regalia to wear at their graduation ceremonies in Hydaburg, and at a parent meeting some expressed the desire to rekindle this activity. This provided the spark for the grant proposal. The project was not limited to button blankets, the signature piece of regalia for the Haida people, but included headbands, tunics and deer skin aprons for the younger children.
At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, one parent remarked that it was terrific to have the school procure this grant to purchase all the materials. Many families in Hydaburg would not be able to afford the materials needed to make the traditional regalia.
Intergenerational bonds were strengthened both in Hydaburg and in Kasaan. In Hydaburg, the culmination of the project was Haida Day, where the students wore their regalia and performed traditional Haida dances and songs. There was an excellent community turnout for this event and this year-long activity affirmed the community’s support for similar projects at the school.
The following photos show a few of the projects from Hydaburg School. There were two artist/teachers for the grant, Gerry Peele and Yvette Adams. Students did the sewing with the help of their parents and school paraprofessionals.
Project: Wrangell’s Journey to Revive the Culture
Grantee: Alaska Native Sisterhood
Written by: Tis Peterman
ANSA was the recipient of A Journey to What Matters in 2015. Cultural classes were rarely held in Wrangell and the base of this grant was to provide more classes to our local people to increase their skill levels in skin sewing, beading, weaving and Tlingit form line drawing. ANSA partnered with Sealaska Corporation to hold a week long cedar basket weaving class. The local teacher Faye Kohrt and 18 students worked diligently to complete their projects. Thanks to this grant other classes were held as well. Gunal’cheesh!!!
Here are some photos that captured a bit of what was accomplished. Once again, thank you for the opportunity! We are continuing on with a Raven’s tail class this fall as well as making bentwood boxes. This has give our group a new perspective on how we want to shape our future!
Project: Material Traditions: Gut, Ivory, and Cedar
Grantee: Anchorage Museum Association
Written by: Mary Johns and Jerome Saclamana
My name is Mary Johns, I am Ahtna, Athabascan and I am of the Water Clan. This residency brought new light to my understanding of Alaska Native art. I know a lot of my own peoples’ art and the process, however not much about ivory carving and the process behind it and the amount of thought and symbolism that goes into it. This definitely made me think about expanding my knowledge about Alaska Native art, so in other words, I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and all that it had to offer.
The main portion that I cherished the most was the ivory carving, of course, but the main portion that was truly life changing was the fact that the Anchorage Museum curators allowed the artists to see and touch the ivory archives that they had at the museum. It allowed the artists to voice their opinions on pieces and brought their knowledge into the limelight along with merging, quite possibly, their own ancestors spirits with them today.
Tsin’aen (Thank you) to the Anchorage Museum and everyone that had a hand in bringing this workshop into being.
I am grateful in being a small part of Sculpting Ivory Workshops, thank you.
The workshops were a great success in demonstrating the art of ivory carving to the public, especially the younger attendees.
In this modern age, one does not get an opportunity to observe and ask questions about ivory carving. Hopefully, it has sparked some into pursuing a hobby in the arts.
Through grants, even volunteering, I truly hope to have future opportunities to demonstrate my skills as an artist. If I can be of any help in the advancement of the arts, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you once again,
Project: Material Traditions: Gut, Ivory, and Cedar
Grantee: Anchorage Museum Association
Organized by the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum and held at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel
Photos Shared by: Tatiana Berryman
Written by: Hillary Vild, participant
No, I am not performing surgeries at the hospital and stitching up guts. I am embracing this wonderful place I am living and experiencing some of their traditional crafts.
The Yup’ik museum holds some classes to teach crafts and continue traditions. This weekend, they held a gut skin sewing class. Usually it is with seal gut, but due to the federal Marine Mammal Act, only Alaska Natives can handle seal gut intestines. For us non-natives, we used hog intestines.
First: You tie one end and blow up the intestines like a balloon and tie the other end. Then, the intestines have to be stretched out straight and allowed to dry over night.
Second: Once completely dry, you identify the top and cut along the crease to open up the intestine and make it into a flat sheet.
Here you can see the opened up intestines. They are very thin and feel like tissue paper. They have a very distinct smell too. Kinda smells like a wet dog that rolled in something smelly outside.
Before I could even start to sew the gut, I had to prepare the thread. The thread had to be waxed with bees wax to make it waterproof and then towards the end, pieces of the thread had to be separated and taken out to make a thinner/tapered end. This made it easier/thinner to thread through the needle.
The intestine ends were lightly dampened to make it more pliable and re-enforced with strands of straw/grass.
Here it is! I can make it into a window ornament or wall hanging by adding decorative trim. Seal gut was traditionally used to make waterproof parkas, doll clothing, windows in houses, earrings, and many other things.
“My name is Tammy Tuttle Ashley, daughter to Terry and Delores Tuttle. I am an original CIRI shareholder born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. My Grandmother Alma (Foster) McCormick and Mother were born on Unga Island in the Shumagin Islands on the Aleutian Chain and my Grandfather Roy Ashenfelter was born in Council and lived his life in White Mountain. My husband Charles and I celebrate almost 25 years together and we have one daughter Tiare.
In 2007, I began my academic journey with one class, going to school while working full-time at Southcentral Foundation. I was able to juggle school and work around raising my daughter and taking care of my family. I completed an Associate of Arts at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009. I transferred to Alaska Pacific University and completed an associate degree in Human Services in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services in 2012. In 2015 I completed at master’s degree in Business Administration, with a certificate of completion in the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program.
Throughout this career journey, I was able to achieve success with the support from my family, The CIRI Foundation, Southcentral Foundation, and Cook Inlet Tribal Council. Many people have been behind me every step of the way, encouraging me as well as financially supporting my academic aspirations. I am so thankful for all those who provided encouragement and support, allowing me to further my professional career in the Native Community. I want to encourage others to learn and grow as well as find a healthy balance within our Native Community.”
– Tammy Ashley
“The end of my junior year at UAS was beginning to approach. Weather in Juneau, while as rainy as ever, was starting to reach toward summertime warmth. Sunshine glowed on the ocean, classes finished one by one, I closed the covers of my heavy elementary education textbooks with a satisfying thump and I began to think about summer employment.
That’s where The CIRI Foundation comes in. I returned home from the long road trip up the ALCAN Highway from Alaska’s capital and fell asleep immediately in the familiar comfort of my own house in the Matsu Valley. The very next morning, I drove into TCF’s office in Anchorage, took a deep breath, and plunged into my very first job interview. The next day, I arrived for my first day of work as TCF’s 2016 summer intern.
I had a very vague idea of what to expect. As a college student and TCF scholarship recipient, I knew personally how impactful and enabling a scholarship could be along the arduous road of college education, but I didn’t know the little world that buzzed on diligently behind the scenes. While working at TCF, my eyes were opened to the intricate processes and procedures that allow us to award scholarships. It was exhilarating to learn so much, both about professional office life and about the details of scholarship and grant processing. I enjoyed learning the series of steps to maneuver through, and then practicing them until I could carry them out quickly and confidently.
I have three favorite experiences from working at The CIRI Foundation. The first was the period of time that culminated in the June 1st deadline, when there was always so much to do and I could clearly perceive how many students we were able to help. The second was the visits we would receive from students dropping by the office to upload documents or ask questions, because I love interacting with the people we are supporting, connecting faces and personalities to the names that I had seen on files, documents, and applications, and seeing the hope and enthusiasm shining in students’ eyes as they described their education dreams. Lastly, I loved the working environment of the TCF office. My wonderful coworkers each brought their senses of humor, genuineness, and kindness to the TCF atmosphere, and they made it such a pleasant place to spend my summer days.
Overall, my experience as the TCF summer intern was a resoundingly positive one. I have a new appreciation of the minute organizational structure that underlies the scholarship application process, I have learned so much about the professional setting, and I am delighted to have been a part of connecting Alaska Native students like myself with the funds that can contribute to letting their dreams soar.
I’m excited to see all of the change and positivity that TCF will continue to unfurl as we move into the future. Immense change can (and usually does!) start by small steps forward, and each footprint behind us takes us one step closer to our dreams. If mountains rise up in front of us, let’s leave our footprints on the summit. If oceans seem to separate us from our goals, let’s build a boat and cross them. If winter snow obscures our vision from the destination, let’s have faith and battle through the storms. I truly believe that, with the support that surrounds us, there is no obstacle too formidable to prevent us from reaching our dreams and making a difference in our world. I’m proud of organizations like The CIRI Foundation that offer their strength to us, and thankful that I was able to be a part of the story this summer.”
United States President Barack Obama with Raina Thiele, Associate Director of
Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.
I was born and raised in various parts of the great state of Alaska. My mom (Dena’ina Athabascan) is from Lake Iliamna and my dad (Yup’ik and German) is from Alexander Creek near Mt. Susitna. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to get an education that would enable me to pursue my passions. However, as a first generation college student, I had to feel my way through the college application and financing process as though I were fumbling through an obstacle course in the dark.
At that early stage of my life, I could never have imagined that 15 years later I’d have earned credentials from Yale and Harvard, and worked for President Obama at the White House.
One of the keys to making my success a possibility was the help of the CIRI Foundation’s scholarship program. Those scholarships enabled me to attend Yale College for four years, attend the Harvard Kennedy School for a 2-year Master in Public Policy program, and ultimately prepared me to take on the momentous task of working at the White House. Over the years, the folks at the CIRI Foundation have offered me advice, support and friendship, even after my educational goals had been reached.
My advice to all of those who seek to achieve their most lofty aspirations is to take full advantage of the resources that are available to you. If you are eligible for a CIRI Foundation Scholarship or one of the other myriad sources of financial aid available, go for it! I guarantee that you won’t regret the work that goes into attaining a quality higher education. Believe in yourself and your ability to realize your dreams. As I’ve learned, anything is within grasp.
Project: Alaska Native Art Classes
Grantee: Qutekcak Native Tribe
Written by: Mariah Johnson, Program Coordinator, Qutekcak Native Tribe
The Qutekcak Native Tribe received funds from The CIRI Foundation through a “Journey To What Matters” project grant. The tribe used the funds to hold weekly traditional art classes attended by tribal and community members of all ages. Students carved war paddles from spruce, made authentic shrimp pots from willow branches, sewed traditional Alaskan kuspuks and made Ulu knives from gathered wood and shale. These classes were taught by Alaska Native Artists and have been a huge asset to the tribe and the community. We owe their success to the generous support of organizations like The CIRI Foundation.
Project: Alaska Yuut Arts and Crafts E-Commerce Project
Grantee: Association of Village Council Presidents (ACVP)
Written by: Eva Malvich, Director/Curator Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
For many generations, little Yup’ik girls were provided with ‘cloth’ dolls – entire families consisting of dad, mom, big brother, big sister and baby, a traditional teaching method targeted at young girls in order for the females to learn how to raise a family. Most recently, with the advent of western lifestyles and the cash economy, those same little girls grew up making bigger, more elaborate dolls to sell for cash.
When you think of it, Yup’ik dolls (and any home-made doll for that matter) are a great way to use up precious scraps of fur and cloth, hide and trim. Most often, the same doll maker, is also adept at making fur parkas, mukluks or qaspeks, and has a nice tidy supply of scraps at hand.
That is the case for the recent doll making class with Chevak-based Neva Mathias. Neva lives in the region and sells her work in arts and crafts events. Her dolls are well known for their beautifully made clothing and expressive faces. Thanks to the CIRI Foundation Journey to What Matters grant, the Association of Village Council Presidents provided a series of Artist Workshops highlighting regional artists, including the Doll Making Class with Ms. Mathias.
The class was booked as soon as the registration period opened up. Grandmas brought grandchildren along, a welcome sight for the group. A pregnant daughter-in-law sat next to her mother-in-law, both familiar faces in our previous classes. The group was made up of friends and neighbors, established artists and new students, locals and visitors.
The class was set up intently to feel like a visit to a friend’s house – with the radio softly playing in the background, hot coffee and tasty snacks on the side. The class was set up with everyone sitting around a large circle, facing each other, the sound of people quietly conversing with each other and an occasional shared laugh.
Class started. The instructor thanked everyone for attending. She quietly spoke about her background and the upcoming three-day class. She then asked the students to get familiar with the class kit set aside for each student; everything was provided for starting a hand-made doll. In addition to needles, thimbles, waxed dental floss (for sewing animal hide), etc., we were surprised to learn that the doll form was to be made out of old mismatched children’s socks for stuffing, and yellow electric wire (the kind used in homes) for shaping the arms and legs, as well as bits of cloth and strips of fur for the garment.
As the class progressed over the 3 day session, the doll forms were completed. Faces emerged, showing expressive faces. More exciting were the outfits made by each person. Some opted to make qaspeks and mukluks, beautifully designed dolls with clothing made to be removed just like the real thing.
As students prepared to leave with his/her doll and sewing kit, the instructor got busy making cardboard patterns for her students. With only three days with the instructor, we knew that some people would need more time to complete his/her piece. The students were instructed on the next steps, encouraging the student to continue working on the project at home. That was the intent behind this class: to teach future artists and to keep the art of doll making alive for future generations.
Quyana (thank you) to The CIRI Foundation for funding the Association of Village Council Presidents Artist Workshop series. In addition to this class, we also provided a seal gut-intestine class with Mary Tunuchuk of Chefornak. We are scheduled to hold a grass-basket class in the fall, followed by a Yup’ik mask making class in November.
“My name is Cynthia Baldwin the daughter of Nicholas and Patricia Baldwin. My great grandmother, Lucy Whitley, is the original CIRI Shareholder that I descend from on my mother’s side.
I guess you can say I grew up in the Education and Training field. My mother was an Employment and Training Advisor, after school I would sit in the common area of her office, waiting until it was time to go home. I would listen to her talk to prospective students, do assessments to find out where their interests lay, research schools to attend and help the apply for funding. In the evenings she took college classes over teleconference and would be listening to the class discussions while getting dinner on the table. I am the youngest of 5, through her own perseverance she graduated with her Bachelor degree the year before I graduated high school.
I received my Bachelor of Art in Art May 2005. In 2009 I began work as a Financial Aid Advisor at UAF, and took advantage of my tuition waiver, starting the MBA program in January 2010. I got a headache on the left side of my head, that I attributed to stress, but the headache did not go away, it was constant. After 3 months I went to the doctor and after 6 weeks of tests they found out I had an aneurysm on my left ophthalmic artery. After the findings the neurology office in Anchorage called me the next Monday morning and told me that I would be flying to Anchorage the next day. I told them it’s finals week, and I can’t do that (partly because I was testing the seriousness of the situation, and partly because I didn’t want to throw a semester away). They asked when my last final is, and I told them Thursday night, they said I would fly out on Friday morning then. Over the series of weeks I was transferred to Seattle, where they scheduled a craniotomy and clipping of the aneurysm. I thought that I would be back to work in a few weeks, and starting new classes in the fall. I did not realize that it would take a year to recover. I notified CIRI, who was helping to fund my education, and UAF that I would be on a year Leave of Absence.
Through the years I continued my education toward my Masters of Business, and notifying the CIRI Foundation of bumps along the way. When I had custody of my nephews in 2013-14, I called them, and they said I was allowed to reduce my credit load, and they would continue to fund me for the costs of my tuition and fees. There were many times when I would bring the kids to practice and sit on the bleachers with my lap top and textbooks, hoping that the ball would not hit me and break my laptop. I kept my opinions to myself as a “friend” shared her opinion that it is so sad that I would do homework, and not watch or support the children’s games. I decided that it was more important for the kids to see me work for my education, and echoed this as I told the kids that my standards are higher than the schools, and I would pull them out of practice for low grades, even if the school allows an F, I do not.
In November 2015 my father passed away after a long battle with cancer, and a myriad of other health problems. After his passing I moved to Anchorage. I completed my last course for the MBA as a distance student and did not plan to return to Fairbanks to walk or announce my graduation. The staff at the CIRI Foundation, my sister Evelyn and my mother encouraged me to travel to Fairbanks, and work past the pain of going back to my father’s house, to announce graduation, walk, and celebrate with my family. I will drive to Fairbanks with my son, and walk on May 8, 2016.
I would like to thank The CIRI Foundation for their support, not only monetarily, but for encouraging me, throughout my program, and to celebrate the achievement. I could not have accomplished this without them.”
I began my college career torn between pursuing law or medicine. I quickly realized neither one was for me. On a whim, I had taken a Computer Science course. It was love at first byte. I made the scary choice to switch majors and switch schools. It was pretty much starting from scratch but I haven’t regretted it for a moment. I landed an excellent internship as a software engineer that turned into a full time position that I love. I am so grateful for the funding and resources CIRI provided me. I don’t know if I would have been able to finish without them. It was a long road to graduate and CIRI made that road a far less frightening to travel. Thank you!
“Hi my name is Vivian Pomeroy, I am Inupiaq and Tsimshian from Anchorage, Alaska. I am one of the few Alaska Native students attending Haskell Indian Nations University. This May, I will be graduating with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. It has been a wonderful experience here, teaching about my culture. I have been involved with many activities such as Miss Haskell 2nd Runner up 2015-2016, Alaska Club student representative, and 2 years on the Haskell Student Senate Executive Board. I will be continuing here for my Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Tribal Management. I encourage all past, present, and future students to pursue a greater education to better our future. Thank you to all who have provided the advice and experience to get me to where I am today.”
This page contains a list of all previously featured TCF Recipients in the news.
The links are to the original sources.
“I am from the island of Shishmaref [Alaska]. I am Inupiaq Eskimo. My dad is from Brevig [Alaska] and my mom is from…
Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency.
For colleges and universities, you can see if your school is accredited by going to The U.S. Department of Education: www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ or you can also look for schools in your area that are accredited.
The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Department of Education provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally-recognized accrediting agencies. The Department holds accrediting agencies accountable by ensuring that they enforce their accreditation standards effectively. Also, as a part of the Department’s oversight roles, the Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. The U.S. Secretary of Education also recognizes State agencies for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education and nurse education.
If you have questions about whether or not your vocational training program is accredited and are having trouble finding out, please give us a call and we will help you figure it out.
Click Here for TCF’s guidelines and a how-to guide for completing your online application!
Eligibility of original enrollees is verified by The CIRI Foundation through CIRI using information on your application. No additional documents are required.
Eligibility of direct lineal descendants is verified through birth certificate(s) which should connect applicants to the original enrollee of CIRI. More than one birth certificate may be necessary. Additional documentation such as marriage certificates, may be required to document lineage and/or legal name changes.
For CITC Tribal Higher Education Scholarship (paper application) applicants, CIRI shareholder status is verified by The CIRI Foundation through CIRI using information on your application. For CIRI shareholder lineal descendants, your CIRI Descendant Card or documents connecting you to the shareholder (birth and/or marriage certificates) are used to verify eligibility.
For RAVEN Fund applicants, eligibility is verified by The CIRI Foundation through CIRI when you request an application.
- Alaska Native students who are eligible for The CIRI Foundation Scholarship and Grant programs are either original enrollees of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) or direct lineal descendants of an original enrollee of CIRI.
- CIRI Shareholders may be eligible for the RAVEN Fund if they are not direct lineal descendants of an original enrollee.
- Original enrollees are Alaska Natives who originally enrolled to an ANCSA regional or village corporation in 1971.
- Direct Lineal descendants are the natural or legally adopted children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. of an original enrollee who enrolled to an ANCSA regional or village corporation in 1971. Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, or cousins are not direct lineal descendants.
CIRI shareholders who are also original enrollees or direct lineal descendants of an original enrollee are eligible to use TCF’s online application for Scholarship and Grant Programs.
Inherited or gifted shares do not qualify as original enrollment, but there is a trial program, the RAVEN Fund, designed to support CIRI Shareholders that are not original enrollees or their direct lineal descendants.
If you are unsure about your CIRI shareholder status, contact the CIRI Shareholder Relations Department at (800) 764-2474.
Does TCF require CIRI Shareholder Stock Certificates or shareholder/descendant ID cards to prove eligibility?
No. The CIRI Foundation does not require your CIRI Shareholder documents or ID Cards. We will, however, require documents linking you to your Original Enrollee* such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, adoption records, etc. to show a direct line from your Original Enrollee to you.
A CIRI Descendant ID card is helpful to have and can be used to prove your eligibility for CITC’s Tribal Higher Education Scholarship administered by The CIRI Foundation.
*Original Enrollee is an individual whom acquired shares from Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) during the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. If you are unsure about your CIRI shareholder status, contact the CIRI Shareholder Relations Department at (800) 764-2474.
No, The CIRI Foundation does not require a CIB/CDIB to prove your eligibility. TCF requires documents which link you to your Original Enrollee*, such as birth certificates, marriage licences, adoption records, death records, etc. showing that you are directly descended from an Original Enrollee of CIRI.
However, the CITC Tribal Higher Education Scholarship, administered by The CIRI Foundation (paper application) does require your CIB/CDIB.
*Original Enrollee is an individual whom acquired shares from Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) during the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. If you are unsure about your CIRI shareholder status, contact the CIRI Shareholder Relations Department at (800) 764-2474.
This answer depends on the term you were awarded- check your award letter!
Many applicants choose to apply at the June 1 Deadline for the full academic year — if awarded for the full year, you do not need to reapply at the December 1 Deadline, but you do need to turn in mid-year documents to remain in good standing.
Some applicants apply at June 1 for only the Fall term — you do need to reapply at the December 1 Deadline to be considered for additional funding for the Winter and/or Spring term(s).
Vocational training grants are capped per calendar year, if your training starts in one calendar year and ends in another, you would need to re-apply to be considered for additional funding.
Still have questions? Please give us a call! We’re happy to speak with you and can give you a more personalized answer to help you figure out the best plan for when to apply. (907) 793 3575 or (800) 764 3382.
How many awards has TCF distributed to Original Enrollees of CIRI and their direct lineal descendants for post-secondary education?
Since 1983, TCF has approved more than 14,079 individual awards totaling $25 million. The TCF Education and Heritage Project Grant Program has awarded more than $2.75 million since 1987 for 275 project grants.
- General Scholarship Awards are for students enrolled full-time or part-time in a degree program at an accredited school or university.
- Vocational Training Grants are for students enrolled in an accredited vocational technical skills program for which a certificate of completion or professional licence is issued.
- Fellowships are a type of grant for professional or individual cultural development. These may apply toward conferences, non-credit courses, or licensing fees.
The CIRI Foundation provides funding for post-secondary education, including vocational training. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be eligible for funding. However, we are happy to connect you with resources to earn your high school diploma or GED.
If you need assistance earning your GED for free, you are encouraged to contact Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s GED Instructor Forrest Williams at (907) 793-3676 by calling (907) 793-3300 and asking for GED assisstance. Alaska Native and American Indian people living in/near Anchorage are eligible.
You can learn more about CITC’s GED program at www.citci.org/employment-training/ged-preparation/.
No, The CIRI Foundation is not chartered to provide financial or technical assistance for starting a business.
Assistance may be available through:
- UAA Small Business Development Center www.aksbdc.org (907) 786-7201
- Alaska Growth Capital www.alaskagrowth.com (800) 315-4904
- Bureau of Indian Affairs www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/IEED/index.htm
- The Small Business Administration www.sba.gov (800) 659-2955; Anchorage District Office (907) 271-4022; Regional Office (260) 553-5231
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a business loan program, workshops and free counseling on how to start a small business, and you may qualify for federal programs that steer a portion of government contracts to businesses owned by minorities, such as the SBA’s “8(a) Program.”
- Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/
- Anchorage Economic Development Corporation offers free resources for start-up businesses at every stage of development. http://aedcweb.com/where-to-startup/
- SCORE is a free business mentoring organization www.score.org
- The YMCA of Alaska has an Economic Empowerment Center www.ywcaak.org/womens-economic-empowerment-center/
Additionally, many universities and community schools also provide reference libraries, workshops, and technical assistance on starting a small business, developing business plans, and preparing commercial loan proposals. Connect with the university or college nearest you to learn more.
Yes and No— Your signed application must be received by The CIRI Foundation prior to the deadline to be considered for funding. There are no exceptions. Necessary documentation may be submitted after the deadline in support of a signed application as long as you meet the conditional deadline.
Your signed application must be received by The CIRI Foundation prior to the deadline to be considered for funding.
- For online applications, the signature is electronic. You must hit “Finish” to transmit an application to The CIRI Foundation. You will know this worked when an automatically generated confirmation email is sent to the account associated with your online profile.
- For paper applications, you must complete and sign your application and fax, mail, email, or deliver the signed application to The CIRI Foundation. It is your responsibility to ensure the application is received by The CIRI Foundation prior to the deadline.
Once an application is received, it is reviewed and you receive an acknowledgement email noting if the application is complete or incomplete. The acknowledgement email contains a list of any additional documents necessary to complete the application. You may submit additional necessary documentation after the deadline as long as your signed application was received on time.
While additional time to submit all requested information is granted, applicants are encouraged to submit all requested information in a timely manner. If you are granted a conditional deadline for requested information and/or necessary documents, the conditional deadline is when all information must be received by The CIRI Foundation to avoid cancellation of an award.
Apply for academic year funding at the June 1 Deadline!
Annual scholarships are only awarded at the June 1 deadline. You cannot apply specifically for the higher merit-based Annual Scholarship Awards, but all applicants meeting the criteria for the merit-based awards are automatically considered by The CIRI Foundation.
These annual awards are determined through a competitive process. Students are scored on the followed criteria:
- Timeliness of submission (application and materials submitted by deadline)
- Completeness of application (application and supplementary materials are complete)
- GPA (Grade Point Average)
- Rigor of coursework/degree program
- Grade level (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate)
- Degree program (2-yr, 4-yr, Graduate)
- Personal financial contribution
- Financial amount needed
- Employment preparation (does degree program directly relate to career goals?)
- Statement of Purpose (clarity of career goal, quality of English usage and style, how your educational goals relate to giving back to the Alaska Native community)
- Community service (extent of current involvement in volunteer/civic activities)
When reviewing applications for the competitive annual scholarship awards, the Statement of Purpose and level of community service/civic activities is many times the determining factor. Clearly articulated education and career goals are important, as well as how your educational goals relate to giving back to the Alaska Native community.
If I am awarded funding and cannot complete the courses/credits or maintain other eligibility requirements, what should I do?
Step 1- Don’t panic.
Step 2- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your updated information and situation, and then wait for an answer from the Program Officer.
Step 3- Call TCF and any other scholarship organizations you receive funding from if you have questions.
Per The CIRI Foundation Probation/Infraction Provision Policy, General Scholarship recipients who do not maintain both requirements (completion of funded coursework and a cumulative 2.5 GPA) during the academic term may be in a probation or infraction situation.
- The first time a student does not maintain the requirements for good standing, they are placed on Probation Status.
- Scholarship and grant recipients have one (1) opportunity for probation.
- Students on probation are eligible to receive one (1) term of scholarship funding.
- There are no financial penalties associated with this term.
- During the probationary term, a student will receive a letter with the terms of their probation- usually maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA for the term and completing all credits on the submitted schedule.
- The probationary term is an opportunity to improve cumulative GPA or otherwise refocus efforts to remain in good standing.
- Applicants on Probation Status must send their Official Transcripts after their probationary term.
- Students who do not maintain the requirements for a second (or third, etc.) time will be placed on an Infraction Status.
- Students on Infraction Status are ineligible to receive funding for one (1) application deadline, from the date of determination made by TCF.
- Sitting out for a deadline (or more) does not negate an Infraction Status — this means you must apply, even if you think you may be on Infraction Status, in order for TCF to make a determination.
- Students on Infraction Status will receive a letter containing the next deadline for which they are eligible to apply.
Send TCF written notification of any changes in enrollment immediately. You may be able to work with TCF and your school’s financial aid office to reduce the impacts of enrollment changes and maintain good standing for your scholarship.
The “personal expenses” portion of a TCF scholarship or grant award can be used toward any living expenses, like daycare, gas in your car, groceries, etc.
Awards from TCF are first applied toward direct education expenses — tuition, student fees, on-campus housing/meals, books, and required supplies. Personal expenses may be disbursed after all other education expenses are covered.
- Vocational Training Grant recipients can use up to $500 for personal expenses per award.
- Academic-year General Scholarship recipients can use up to $1,000 for personal expenses per award but unless otherwise arranged, this amount will be split across terms (semesters or quarters).
- June 1, Fall-only General Scholarship recipients can use up to $500 for personal expenses per award.
- December 1 General Scholarship recipients can use up to $500 for personal expenses per award.
Seeking additional funding to support your education? Check out TCF’s Education Resources Handbook (click on the image to download) for other scholarships and grants that you may be eligible for.
Also remember to ask your faculty and department if there are additional scholarship or grant programs specific to your field of study. Your school may have special aid for daycare or other living expenses too.
The CIRI Foundation (TCF) has implemented a Life-Time Award Limit Policy. This policy will help ensure that all CIRI original enrollees and their lineal descendants have an opportunity to benefit from the support of TCF.
The policy means TCF applicants will now have a Life-Time Limit Amount for each degree-level category noted below. Scholarships from other organizations that are administered by TCF do not count toward your Life-Time Limit. You can check your Life-Time Award Limit Amount in your Student Profile. Login to see how much funding you have used so far.
As with all of TCF’s policies, applicants must meet all of TCF’s funding requirements to be considered. All awards are subject to available funding. The policy’s effective date is January 1, 2014 and the March 31, 2014 deadline was the first deadline included in the new policy.
The policy will be implemented as follows:
|Degree-Level Category||Degree Programs||Maximum Award Amount Included||Life-Time Award Limit Amount|
|Undergraduate Degree and
|Includes: Fellowships, Vocational Training Grants, and Scholarships for 2-or 4-year degree programs.||
|Masters Degree||Includes all master level programs, graduate certificates, and post-baccalaureate programs.||
|Doctorate Degree||Includes all Ph.D. programs, terminal professional degree programs, and all doctorate level degrees.||
|TOTAL LIFE-TIME AWARD LIMIT||$70,000|
Have more questions?
The information included in the following packet is to guide you through the Life-Time Award Limit Policy.
Click Here to download the Life-Time Limits Handout
Under provisions of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, any portion of a scholarship or grant that you receive from The CIRI Foundation that is applied toward room and board or other personal expenses is taxable. It is the student’s responsibility to determine what part, if any, of the award is taxable and to report such amounts on your personal income tax return.
As long as you are degree seeking at an accredited institution, the portion of your scholarship or grant award applied toward qualified education expenses (tuition, registration fees, books, supplies, and other fees related to the course(s) of study) continues to be excluded from federal taxable income.
For more information, visit the IRS website.
The Federal ID or Employer Identification Number for TCF is 92-0087914.
TCF is a private foundation registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
A cumulative GPA is the average GPA of *all* coursework you have attempted.
Your GPA, both term and cumulative, may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.
Grade points may vary by institution, but generally follow:
A= 4.0, B= 3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0, and F/withdraw=0.0
A grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted.
To calculate the grade points for a class multiply the number of credit hours by the grade earned—for example, earning an A (4.0) in a 3 credit course results in 12 grade points. Since this is a single class, finding the average by dividing by credit hours (3), just brings you back to a 4.0 for the GPA.
Repeat this process for each class you took in a term and then add up the total grade points earned and divide by the total credits attempted. This is your term GPA.
For example, if your grades were A, B, C, B and all were 3 credit courses, your GPA calculation looks like this:
- Figure out the grade points for each class
- Starting with an A (4.0) in a 3 credit course results in 12 grade points (3 x 4.0= 12.0)
- The B (3.0) results in 9 grade points (3 x 3.0= 9.0)
- The C (2.0) is worth 6 grade points (3 x 2.0= 6.0)
- Another B means 9 more grade points
- Adding these up (12 + 9 + 6 + 9) means you earned 36 grade points for the term
- Divide this by the total of attempted credits (12) for the term… 36/12 = 3.0 GPA
To find your cumulative GPA, you can add all the grade points you have earned and divide by the total number of credits you have attempted. You can also look on your transcripts for the “Cum. GPA” (usually at the bottom) to find your cumulative grade point average.
Information will not be released to another party, including parents or family members, without a specific written consent from the applicant.
Almost everyone at some point in time will be asked to provide a Reference Letter, whether it’s for employment, educational scholarships, or other opportunities that may further your success. This sample letter is a suggestion that may be helpful when you find an individual to write a reference letter for you.
See also: The Scholarship Letter of Recommendation from Scholarships.com, for more valuable information on letters of reference.
No, TCF Policies and Procedures do not permit applications received after the deadline to be considered.
Your Statement of Purpose can be entered in the space provided in your application or uploaded to your documents in the Manage Files section of the online application. Here are some tips for writing your Statement of Purpose:
▪ New Applicants (500 words or more) – Describe your education and career goals. How does your degree program fit with your education and career plans? How are you currently or plan to, contribute to a positive Alaska Native community? You may attach your personal history and a summary of accomplishments.
▪ Repeat Applicants (300 words or more) – Update your education and career goals. To what extent are you moving toward your goals? What changes might have occurred since your last application and why? What new information do you have about your career and education goals? How are you currently, or plan to, contribute to a positive Alaska Native Community? You may attach your a summary of recent accomplishments.
If you are associated with any other Regional Corporations, please visit their website or give them a call to see if you are eligible for additional funding.
See the AEC Contact List for information on all 12 Regional Corporation Foundations.
Turn your smart phone into a document scanner! CamScanner is a free app that allows you to digitize paper documents using the camera on your smart phone. Simply take a picture of any paper documents and CamScanner can auto-crop the image, enhance the image quality and create an industry standard PDF file. There are some limitations so please read about it before downloading the app. This app is a good alternative if you need a document scanned to us, have a smart phone, and do not have access to a scanner.
Click here for more information (links to external site)