Active Grants in Social and Economic Development Strategies – Alaska

Active Grants in Social and Economic Development Strategies – Alaska

Fiscal Year 2020 Funding

Social and Economic Development Strategies for Alaska

Organized Village of Kake (AK) - $200,000

Project Description: Organized Village of Kake will increase the self-sufficiency and well-being of the Tribe and community members of Kake, Alaska by creating a member-owned and tribally managed sea otter harvesting, tanning, and sewing co-op. There are only a few opportunities for community members to engage in sustainable locally owned businesses, due to a shortage of locally available training, marketing knowledge, start-up capital, and access to markets. In partnership with the local school district, the Kake Tribe will offer students a Hide Tanning and Sewing course in the school and establish co-op operation plans, business plans and website development for eligible tribal members. A minimum of eight (8) local Kake entrepreneurs will also develop eight (8) sustainable businesses through training and technical assistance in marketing, branding internet sales and fundraising. This project will ultimately strengthen the local economy by promoting sustainable, community-based businesses that are rooted in Lingit culture, values, and the customary and traditional use of resources.

Native Village of Unalakleet (AK) – $200,000

Project Description: The Native Village of Unalakleet (NVU) will implement a two-year Community Living Project develop a full Assisted Living Facility (ALF)  management and operational capacity. NVU recently completed ALF facility construction and furnishing after a 10 year effort  to “Keep Tribal Elders Close to Home.” Assisted Living (AL) services are currently unavailable within Unalakleet or the larger Norton Sound Region. The closest AL facility is 450 air miles away in the city of Anchorage. Approximately 15% of the residents are over the age of 60; an additional 105 are between the ages of 50 and 59 years. This project will complete the license and certification requirements for the ALF to serve tribal elder; the ALF will be staffed by 6 community-based employees for the provision of Medicaid reimbursable assisted living services to Tribal elders; and 7 elders  will reside at the ALF by the end of the project.  . As a result of the project, NVU will be able to benefit the entire community by keeping their elders close to home, which will ensure cultural preservation and transmission of traditional values; the ALF will create local employment opportunities; and tribal Elder will have an improved quality of life.

AK Asa'carsarmiut (AK) - $98,951

Project Description: The Asa’carsarmiut Tribe will increase the capacity of the Tribe to recruit and retain competent, professional staff who can effectively and professionally manage the tribal government and its related programs and projects. The Tribe is currently experiencing high staff turnover and workforce challenges due to the impact of economic hardship caused by environmental changes. More than one-third of residents are living below the poverty level and the state has reduced services due to the declining oil industry. Only 56.7% of the population is in the labor force and school enrollment has dropped by 10%. This project will enhance tribal employment practices, policies, and procedures by completing a workforce analysis and a compensation analysis that together lead to the development of: (1) job-related guidance materials (including updated job descriptions, newly created employee handbooks, and an up-to-date Policies & Procedures (P&P) manual); (2) a comprehensive professional development plan for all tribal staff positions; and (3) a comprehensive staff recruitment and retention plan. Through these processes, the Tribe hopes to retain experienced employees and achieve the capacity to ensure community sustainability.

Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council (AK) - $198,902

Project Description: The Orutsararmuit Native Council (ONC) aims to increase their organizational capacity within the ONC Housing Department in order to develop the most energy-efficient housing for their Tribal members. At present, there is a lack of housing and 23% of the community is overcrowded. Compounding this issue, Bethel, Alaska has the highest energy costs in the nation and only one ONC staff member is trained in key techniques. This project will increase their internal capacity providing trainings to 14 ONC Housing Department staff in cold climate construction techniques, blower door testing, and combustion safety. In addition, the First People’s Design Team will provide blueprints for the construction of culturally relevant, energy-efficient, affordable multifamily housing for this region. These energy-efficient techniques will create sustainable housing while assisting in the lowering of annual energy costs, which is averaged at $10,000 per household. As a result, the project hopes to decrease expenses that will assist families’ ability to achieve economic stability.