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Doyon Foundation Hires Language Revitalization Program Director

Fairbanks, Alaska – Doyon Foundation recently hired Malinda Chase as its new language revitalization program director. In this role, Chase will work with the Foundation’s language revitalization committee to develop and implement the goal of revitalizing Interior Native languages, making language-learning opportunities available to all Doyon, Limited shareholders and non-speakers.

Chase lives in Fairbanks with her 17-year-old daughter, Deenaalee, however her home is Anvik, where she is an enrolled tribal member. Her father is Rudy Chase, from Anvik, and her mother is Sandra McClain, originally from California.

Chase comes to the Foundation from the Association of Interior Native Educators (AINE), where she continues to serve as the volunteer executive director, working with the AINE board on educational initiatives that support Interior Alaska Native educators and students.

Chase has a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and a master’s degree in cross-cultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a Doyon Foundation alumna and a graduate from two dynamic programs – the Alaska Native Leadership Project and the 2010 Doyon Management Training. She also attended the Athabascan Language Development Institutes, when held. She has a strong interest in and is a second-language learner of Deg Xinag, the Athabascan language of the Anvik-Shageluk area.

“I have a background in learning styles from my work with AINE and I am fascinated with how the brain learns and works. I hope to weave that into the Foundation’s language revitalization program,” Chase said.

Currently, Chase serves on the board of directors for Deloy Ges, Anvik’s village corporation; is a parent representative for Education Northwest, a nonprofit educational organization that serves the northwestern states; and is involved with the newly formed Alaska State Policy Research Alliance that focuses on college and career readiness issues in Alaska.

“Malinda’s experience is in nonprofit management, program administration, community planning, editing, post-secondary distance education and youth programming,” said Doris Miller, the Foundation’s executive director. “We are thrilled to have someone with her background and expertise leading this exciting new endeavor.”  

Chase enjoys reading, journaling and learning about Alaskan and Athabascan history. She loves to be outdoors berry-picking, picnicking, boating, kayaking, hiking or walking, especially with her daughter, Deenaalee.

The Foundation launched the language revitalization program in 2012 to address the rapidly decreasing number of fluent speakers of Alaska’s Interior Native languages, which are not being passed on quickly enough to ensure their survival.

For more information on Doyon Foundation, visit www.doyonfoundation.com, www.facebook.com/doyonfoundation or www.doyonfoundationblog.com. For details on the language revitalization program, contact Malinda Chase at 907.459.2162 or chasem@doyon.com.

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