The Sealaska Heritage Institute is once again offering scholarships to students attending college, graduate school or vocational-technical programs.
Only Sealaska shareholders and their lineal descendents are eligible.
Institute President Rosita Worl says up to 400 scholarships are awarded each year.
“A major consideration is the hopes that our educated young people will come back home and help us in developing strong, healthy communities,” Worl says.
The application deadline is March 1st. Students submitting paperwork by February 1st get an extra $50 tacked onto their scholarships, if they qualify.
Worl says the program has broadened its focus since it began.
“At first we thought we’d just concentrate just on education required to work in Sealaska. But then we found out that we need everything from an anthropologist to accountants to foresters. So we dropped that, just because we found we needed educated people in all areas,” she says.
Scholarships have totaled around $400,000 a year. Most of the funding comes from the Sealaska regional Native corporation.
Sealaska has more than 21,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders. About half live outside Alaska.