Hello Friends, 
In communities small and large, January’s extreme cold temperatures exposed Alaska’s energy infrastructure gaps – and opportunities – and demonstrated the need for ambitious large-scale energy projects that would benefit everyday Alaskans. This month, we’re highlighting big, achievable goals to support Alaska’s energy transition, and innovative co-management projects involving entire ecosystems.

There’s ambitious work to be done in 2024, and we’re building momentum in what will be a pivotal year here in Alaska. If something below sparks your interest, we’d love to hear from you.

The Alaska Venture Fund Team

Alaska Venture Fund - News & Views

Project updates, stories and perspectives that inspire our work.

Spotlight: AVF Publications
Alaska Native Communities and the Denali Commission
Twenty-five years ago, federal law established the Denali Commission to improve conditions in rural Alaska and the needs in rural Alaska remain as urgent as they were then. In a new report commissioned by AVF, we open a dialogue on how to deepen the commission’s ties to the rural Alaskans at the heart of its mission.
Energy & Infrastructure Funding in Alaska: Barriers & Potential Solutions
AVF contracted with DeerStone Consulting to identify barriers to tribal energy and other infrastructure funding opportunities in Alaska. Based on stakeholder interviews, this paper identifies actionable potential solutions for reducing barriers and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of federal funding mechanisms in rural and Tribal Alaska.

Nature-Based Climate Solutions on Alaska’s Public Lands
The decisions we make now about Alaska’s public lands will set the course for the future. In this article, AVF’s Director of Strategic Partnerships Dr. Natalie Dawson explains how Alaska holds one of the keys to global solutions to climate change. “If we work together,” she writes,“it is possible to imagine an Alaska where old growth temperate rainforests…and Arctic slope wetlands are valued for their ability to store and sequester carbon.”

Future-Proofing Communities with Affordable Broadband
The Village of Igiugig has received $8 million from the federal Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The money will be used to complete the remaining planning and environmental impact studies for the Southwest Alaska Long-haul and Optical Network, or SALMONet, which will “future-proof” 16 Alaska Native communities in Bristol Bay by providing high-speed, affordable internet.

Latest Episode of Arctica Podcast  
In Episode 4, Warren Jones is joined by AVF’s Jonella Larson to discuss Native nation building and self-determination, the problematic nature of blood quantum, and Indigenous stewardship.

Co-Stewardship Symposium
Earlier this month, AVF staff facilitated dialogues on Indigenous-led stewardship at the Alaska statewide symposium in Fairbanks. Participants dove deep into conversations addressing co-stewardship of lands and waters, healing relationships and respectful collaboration, upholding Tribal governance, racial equity, imagining a new future together and charting concrete next steps.

Welcoming Shawna Hotch to AVF!
Shawna Hotch joins AVF as Tribal Liaison for Strategic Initiatives in the Chilkat Valley. As a member of the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan, Shawna’s work focuses on nation building efforts to improve the health and wellness of the people in the Chilkat Valley through land stewardship, tribal sovereignty, and community-led initiatives to protect and preserve the Jilkáat Kwáan for generations to come. We’re also excited to announce that Shawna will be a member of the American Indian Policy Institute’s Spring 2024 Indigenous Leadership Academy cohort!

Join the AVF Team
We are looking for driven, dynamic individuals who believe in Alaska’s potential and want to build a future based on opportunity, innovation and sustainability. Learn more about our open positions:

Operations Associate
Administrative Assistant
Community Wildfire Resilience and Workforce Coordinator
From Across Alaska
News, articles, events, videos and more.
Energy Transition – Alaska has big goals for renewable energy and the momentum to get there: A recent survey found 82% of Alaskans support building renewable energy infrastructure to diversify and strengthen the economy. In its final report, the Alaska Energy Security Task Force prioritized upgrading transmission lines and battery energy storage along the Railbelt, with the long-term goal of significantly more diverse energy generation in the state. By leveraging capital investment, the most populous parts of Alaska could generate most of their electricity through renewable energy by 2050.

D-1 Public Lands – Millions of acres of subsistence lands could be opened up to private resource development: In 1971, millions of acres of federal land were set aside under section D-1 of  the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, giving the government 90 days to decide what to do with them. That land has now been in limbo for more than 50 years and the Bureau of Land Management is collecting public comments about whether to lift the D-1 status on some or all of those lands. Removing D-1 status could open these lands to potential mining and have catastrophic impacts on subsistence use. In response, the village of Holy Cross is leading an effort to work with more than 30 other Tribes to organize a large “ancestral homelands” conservation district in Western Alaska to be co-managed by the new Bering Sea-Interior Tribal Commission and the federal government.
In case you missed it: 
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