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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Programming to support the unique needs of Alaska Native students received a $35 million boost this month from the U.S. Department of Education. 

The funds have been awarded through the Alaska Native Education (ANE) program to Alaska Native organizations and entities in Alaska that are governed predominantly by Alaska Natives.

The award is spread among 28 new three-year grant projects funding 20 entities that generate critical activities to address the educational needs of Alaska Native students. Eligible activities include training and professional development for educators, early childhood and parent outreach, enrichment programs, and developing and operating student programs in math and science.  

Grantees receiving the most funding in this round included Sealaska Heritage Institute, $6.9 million over four awards; Knik Tribe Inc., $5.9 million over four awards; Caslisa Education and Culture Inc., $2.3 million; and Yukon Koyukuk School District, $2.2 million.

“These funds address many needs throughout Alaska, including academic and postsecondary success, language preservation, culturally relevant curriculum development, and teacher professional development in ways that maximize Native ways of knowing and learning,” U.S. Rep. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement. “Alaska’s Native educators and leaders have a proven track record of providing culturally relevant supportive services that enable Alaska Native youth and adults to succeed academically, professionally, and personally.”

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, Alaska Native organizations and entities received $85 million to support innovative projects targeting the unique needs of Alaska Native children and adults. 

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Education conducted tribal consultations and listening sessions to ensure the projects were appropriate and supported. Sessions asked for input on how the program office can meaningfully improve reporting procedures, technical assistance, and peer reviewer recruitment.

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