Page 36 - NG_2019.indd
P. 36

Donlin is going to need people. Geologists, for example. They’re going to need engineers that know how to deal with dirt. They’re going to need people with knowledge of sand and gravel – which to use for a dam, which
might be more suitable for a road.
    34 NG
  the past, it largely helped with tuition, books, and school supplies. What was left over went to daycare assistance, which is especially important because I do have kids. My older daughter was just a couple of years old when I decided to go back to college, so having assistance not just to help out with books and tuition, but also with enough to give to the daycare – that meant I didn’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for everything.
It’s not just Western education that’s important, but customary and traditional education. In my lifetime, I’ve seen some of the things that we did, like the string stories, disappear. We no longer need to raise dogs to run dog teams because the mode of transportation has changed.
We have some brilliant young men and women. I think if efforts are made to channel that energy so that they will pursue education, both traditional and Western, opportunities exist. They could become teachers, lawyers, land and natural resource managers.
Some of us from Alaska got together and petitioned
to get Yup’ik taught at Stanford. It was a long process but it’s going to be a new class. One of the things that made it difficult to get through was finding enough interested students. They needed at least five students; we were able to get 12 to join. It was easy to find a teacher because my auntie teaches it at the University of Alaska Anchorage, so she’s going to teach the Stanford class online and I’m going to TA for it. Even though there’s a strong Alaska native presence at Stanford, none of our languages were being taught there. Nothing. I just wanted to grow that culture.
Nelson Angapak, Sr.
Donna Bach
Gage Hoffman
Danica Mike
A lot of the time, when people get higher education they leave the area, go elsewhere for better opportunities. I think that’s crippling our region. We need our youth; we need those who are educated to come back to the region and help us grow.
I’m majoring in psychology. I’m unsure what career path I want to take, but I am sure that I want to return to Bethel and give back to my community in some sort of way.
In my family education was highly, highly regarded.
It was looked at as a privilege, as something that everyone had to do. It wasn’t if you go to college,
it was when you go to college. But my own idea of college or an academic career has changed compared to the meaning and the beauty behind technical and vocational trades.
It was a couple of years ago that I received one of
the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program scholarships. They award them mostly to full-time students with good grades in the previous semester – based on how much available funds they have. For me, it was a privilege because I wasn’t expecting it. Like other scholarships and grants I’ve received in
 Top: Born and raised in Bethel, Gage Hoffman is majoring in psychology at Stanford University, where he’s not only active on the rugby club team, but also closely involved with the native community.
Middle: A traditional Yup’ik log cabin, recreated at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.
Bottom: Danica Mike grew up in Copper Center and is a senior electrical engineering student at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Danica performed compliance work as an environmental intern at Donlin Gold camp.

   34   35   36   37   38