Last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced it would invest $46 million in funding to build climate resilience in tribal communities. This investment is especially significant for rural Alaska and the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes – many of which serve as the only governing body in the communities where they are based. This funding is part of billions of dollars in federal relief and infrastructure investment that could flow to Alaska, but there is a catch: communities, large and small, have to be positioned to apply for and successfully receive and deploy the money. And getting positioned for a massive influx of federal dollars is a profound challenge.
Alaska Venture Fund is making investments, right now, to support rural communities and Indigenous-led organizations as they ramp up for this opportunity. We’re also working with partners to ensure that cutting-edge thinking on climate change interventions gets integrated into the federal implementation of the infrastructure and other spending bills.
Our team is moving quickly on these and other fronts, and the milestones we have passed this last month reflect our work to help ensure Alaskans are leading the way on the global transition to a more sustainable and equitable future. It’s a time for transformation, for sure.
If you’re curious about our work or our people, or just want to connect, drop us a line. 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.
Public lands are Indigenous lands
A cohort of 25 Alaska Native leaders gathered last fall to learn from founders of Indigenous-led ecosystem stewardship projects around the world. These leaders strive to return the stewardship of ancestral lands to Indigenous communities, sustainably managing lands and waters, while providing social, ecological and economic benefits. We’re pleased to share the report summarizing the learnings of this powerful exchange and identifying key opportunities for investment and support that advances Indigenous stewardship in Alaska.
Indigenous leaders convene for Justice40
Early last month, the Justice40 Council for Alaska met for the first time. This new Alaska Venture Fund initiative, composed of Indigenous leaders from diverse Tribal organizations and entities, is designed to ensure that Alaska Native communities have the resources, platform and opportunity to shape how federal investments are allocated and deployed across the state. The Justice40 Initiative is a federal project to ensure that at least 40% of federal investments in climate and clean energy go directly to frontline communities.
Congratulations to our long-term collaborator, Dr. Nikoosh Carlo, on her appointment to the US Arctic Research Commission! As part of the commission, Nikoosh's work will help guide US Arctic research priorities for years to come. Alaska Venture Fund is partnering with Nikoosh to develop a Climate Response Fund that will finance community-led climate mitigation and adaptation projects across Alaska. Nikoosh is also a member of the Justice40 Council. You can read more about Nikoosh and her work in this recent profile on our website.
Southeast leaders applaud federal sustainability plan
Read about why the leaders of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) think a new collaborative USDA plan is promising for the region. Alaska Venture Fund partners with these amazing community leaders, and supports SSP in its visionary work to shift the Southeast economy away from boom or bust timber extraction and towards sustainable, community-driven solutions.
Win a once-in-a-lifetime trip in support of Bristol Bay
Our allies at the American Fly Fishing Trade Association Fisheries Fund are raffling five once-in-a-lifetime fly fishing trips to support the Bristol Bay Defense Fund. Click here to enter. Entries close today, at 7:59pm AKST. Best of luck!
From Across Alaska
News, articles, events, videos and more.
The power of tides: After being successfully prototyped and deployed in Igiugig (under the guidance of AVF Partner AlexAnna Salmon), a hydrokinetic power system is now expanding use in Alaska, growing the state’s renewable energy and powering communities without using oil. The RivGen devices, which harness the power produced by tides and river currents, are set to be installed and tested in Upper Cook Inlet and will generate power for the Mat-Su. If permanently adopted, the system could power all of Port MacKenzie’s electricity needs as well as its manufacturing power demands.
$41 million to measure the melt: Permafrost, estimated to hold twice the carbon currently in the atmosphere, is incredibly important to consider as it thaws. Permafrost Pathways, a new program based in collaborative international Arctic permafrost monitoring, is poised to inform adaptive climate solutions and community support mechanisms to adapt to Alaska’s changing climate. Check out this New York Times article reviewing the project and its implications for Alaska and the global community. More information in audio from Alaska Public Media here.
Pebble is not dead yet: As Bristol Bay gears up for a historic forecast of sockeye salmon, the Bristol Bay Defense Fund coalition has been clearly and firmly asserting that protections for the people, land and waters of Bristol Bay must be finalized. Check out this op-ed from Russell S. Nelson, a director of Bristol Bay Native Corp, speaking to the ongoing insecurity Pebble Mine adds to regional communities’ lives and ecosystems.
In case you missed it:
Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior and America’s first Indigenous cabinet secretary, made her first official visit to Alaska last month. Learn about the opportunities coming with $138 million in Alaskan infrastructure investments for FY22 in this Department of the Interior announcement.
- AVF Partner and President of the Igiugig Village Council, AlexAnna Salmon, is spearheading a project aiming to bring fast and reliable internet to rural communities in Bristol Bay. Read more about SALMONet here.
Alaska currently imports 95% of its food. With farming on the rise, climate change altering seasonal cycles, and increased research on food production emerging in Alaska, food security is an important focal area for public and private investment.
And finally, a long-awaited film documenting the heart-wrenching experience of Alaskans impacted by climate change. Follow the inhabitants of Newtok, a Yup’ik village in the Bering Straits region, as they are forced to relocate due to rising seas and thawing permafrost. Watch below.
Building a more sustainable
future for Alaska and beyond.
Alaska Venture Fund is a project of the New Venture Fund.
New Venture Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Alaska Venture Fund
721 Depot Drive
Anchorage, AK 99501
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