BCSF announces 2020 YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund Grantees

by BCSF Staff

In its second year of grant making, Bethel Community Services Foundation’s YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund supported two health-related projects, one in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and one in the Northwest Arctic region of Alaska.

The 2020 grant recipients are the Kuspuk School District ($15,000) and University of Alaska Chukchi Campus ($15,377). Both groups submitted proposals for initiatives that will promote health in their respective communities.

The Kuspuk School District (KSD) will use this grant toward the implementation of improved mental health programming for K-12 students in nine schools across 6 villages in the District. KSD’s Student Health Intervention Program (SHIP) will provide a variety of services such as teletherapy services for students, individual and group therapy sessions, and will prioritize parental or community involvement. The program’s goal is to treat existing mental health issues while also focusing on prevention. Currently, there are no villages that have full-time mental health services in the District. The intent of the SHIP plan is to fill the gap in mental health services with an innovative and community-centered approach.

The University of Alaska Chukchi Campus in Kotzebue will use their grant to develop Inupiaq language teaching materials to support language instruction in the coastal Inupiaq dialect. Language in the Alaska Native community is commonly associated with wellness, spiritual connection to the past, and cultural identity, all of which are crucial to the health and well-being of individuals as well as the community. The Cultural Knowledge and Inupiaq Language Program seeks to standardize the teaching methods and materials that have been used by instructors in the past two decades and create a curriculum that is widely accessible.

The YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund received five grant applications from groups in the Northwest Arctic and YK Delta regions.

“The proposals we received this year covered health from a variety of angles–from cultural revitalization to outdoor recreation to social work,” says grant selection committee member, Cheryl Offt, of Bethel. “All these great applicants make it challenging to decide what to fund, but we’re proud to award this year’s grants to programs that will have a wide reach and lasting impacts.”

You can create a fund for a project or purpose you feel passionate about with our Foundation. BCSF staff will work with you to develop a fund agreement that details the purpose and intention of your fund. A sample fund agreement can be found at bcsfoundation.org under the Resources tab. To learn more about how to open a fund, or include a BCSF fund in your legacy plans, contact Michelle at [email protected]