Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A $1.9 million federal grant will support University of Alaska Fairbanks programs that focus on Indigenous food and energy system development and sustainability at the institution’s five rural campuses.
The UAF College of Rural and Community Development’s project, “Place-Based Solutions for Alaska Native Food and Energy Sovereignty,” is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The main goals of the project are to promote equal access to education in rural Alaska and provide sustainable food and energy solutions for Alaska Native communities.
The funding will support academic programs, including ethnobotany at the Kuskokwim Campus, food security and sovereignty at the Chukchi Campus, high-latitude range management at the Northwest Campus, tribal governance and stewardship at the Interior Alaska Campus and sustainable energy at the Bristol Bay.
The programs use place-based, culturally relevant and experiential learning models. They plan for the content of each program to emphasize the relationships between Alaska Native peoples and the natural world, Indigenous knowledge and Alaska Native languages.
“Northwest Campus looks forward to growing our high-latitude range management program and our partnership with the Sami Education Institute,” said Barbara QasuGlana Amarok, the campus director in Nome. “This grant will extend the accessibility of food sovereignty programs focused on Indigenous lifeways, wellness, decision-making power and management to students in our region and throughout the state.”
The continued support of this grant will promote collaboration between UAF’s campuses to enhance local food sovereignty and energy sustainability initiatives while improving student recruitment and retention in food, agriculture and natural resource sciences.