by BCSF Staff
If you have lived in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and owned a radio, chances are you have heard John Active’s voice. A stalwart of KYUK radio and television, a prolific storyteller and fierce advocate of Yup’ik language and culture, Active was hard to miss.
With his passing earlier this week, KYUK and Bethel Community Services Foundation have partnered to create a scholarship fund in Active’s name. Beginning in 2019, the John Active Memorial Scholarship will award a minimum of $1,000 per year to a college student with social ties to the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.
Honoring Active’s legacy, preference will be given to students pursuing a degree in one or more of the following fields: journalism, indigenous language, multimedia, or communications.
Both the KYUK/Bethel Broadcasting Inc. and the Bethel Community Services Foundation Boards of Directors have made initial gifts to establish the fund.
According to KYUK Station Manager Shane Iverson, Active, who worked at KYUK for nearly 50 years, was a trailblazer in native media. Said Iverson, “As KYUK is one of the pioneering broadcasters for native journalism and local media, John Active was the essential component of that. He was the lynchpin for not just creating local native media, but for its success.”
Active’s passion for Yup’ik language, culture and values went far beyond media, however. His life was a study in teaching by example and his subject was everything Yup’ik. As cited in a KYUK story about Active, at his last retirement potluck at KYUK, he stated, “Everything that I do today, try to make people laugh, make them comfortable, is I’m trying to pass on what the elders taught to me by my actions, what I learned from them.”
Anyone who feels that their life has been enriched by hearing John Active’s voice and stories over the airwaves or in-person is invited to contribute to the scholarship fund in his name. Organizations and businesses are also invited to contribute. Together, we can continue Active’s work of encouraging and cultivating interest in indigenous language, journalism, multimedia, and communications.
There are multiple ways to contribute to the John Active Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Online: Visit bcsfoundation.org, click on the Donate tab and select John Active Memorial Scholarship Fund under the designation drop down menu. Or visit KYUK.org and click the link.
In-person: Checks only will be accepted at KYUK from 8:00am – 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Check, cash or credit card contributions will be accepted at the BCSF office at 1795 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Phone: Call 907-543-1812 to make a credit card contribution.
Mail: Contributions can be mailed to BCSF at PO Box 2189, Bethel, AK 99559. Please include John Active Memorial Scholarship Fund in the memo line of all checks.