2022 Fall Newsletter BBNCEF News

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As summer draws to a close, I am grateful for the season of abundance that we experienced in Bristol Bay and in Alaska. Our summer has been busy with activities, and I am excited to be home and get ready for school and other fall events.

This fall is particularly special as BBNCEF is turning 30 years old this year. The foundation was created by BBNC in 1992. We thank our leadership, including our long-time board chair Marie Paul who has served on our board since 1999. In our history, BBNCEF has funded close to 3,000 scholarships to students valued at $7.2
million. While we have much to be proud of, we are looking to the future. Our board passed a strategic plan this year that outlines a bold new vision for our organization. We anticipate investing deeper in education and culture in our communities.

Starting in 2023, BBNCEF will open its scholarship programs to serve direct lineal descendant students. The board recognized that it was time to make this change, particularly as the original shareholders are at least 50 years old. We hope that it will add additional incentives and supports for students who are interesting in pursuing
education and training after high school. The first deadline that descendants will be eligible will be April 7, 2023.

Please be sure to follow BBNCEF on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with our activities. Do you have ideas for the BBNCEF? You can always reach me at (907) 265-7875.

Aleesha Towns-Bain

Higher Education Updates

BBNCEF will open the Higher Education 2023-2024 academic year application in early December 2022.

The Career Focused Vocational Education (CFVE) program for BBNC shareholders supports in-depth training for specific career-focused and long-term employment goals, such as professional piloting, maritime, cosmetology licensing, and industry trades. The application is accessible online at

For more details on either of these programs, contact us at or (907) 278-3602.

Becoming a BBNCEF Donor

Thank you to our corporate donors and contributors for giving. You can donate to BBNCEF online by clicking here. You can make a single gift, or sign up for a recurring donation.

These generous gifts make it possible for BBNC shareholder students to reach and attain their education and training goals. In each and every way that you contribute, we thank you for all you do to support students and cultural heritage in Bristol Bay.

Cultural Heritage Program

Indigenous Language Summit Participants

In addition to offering grants, the Cultural Heritage Program is expanding its focus to include work focused on our Indigenous languages. This past May, the Cultural Heritage Program hosted an Indigenous Language Summit that brought together many of our language teachers throughout the region to discuss language needs.

You can find the Raven’s Group report on this event by clicking here.

BBNCEF Fall Raffle

BBNCEF will host its annual fall raffle drawing Makiraniarartukut, Neqsurluta-llu (it’s time for us to fish, gather, and harvest). Last year, we raised more than $30,000 through this community effort. This years’ prizes include five fun packages including a trip for two on Alaska Airlines, a fall subsistence package, and canning, fishing and camping packages.

Raffle tickets are available through BBNCEF and may be purchased with cash, check, or card. If you have any questions or would like to buy tickets, contact BBNCEF at or (907) 278-3602. (Need not be present to win, permit #1869).

Winners will be drawn at BBNC’s annual meeting on Saturday, October 1, 2022, in Anchorage.

Neqa Derby on the Nushagak

BBNCEF hosted a two-day king salmon derby on the Nushagak River near Dillingham from June 18-20. BBNCEF received over $256,000 in cash and in-kind services to support BBNCEF’s mission. We are thankful to our key sponsors: Weidner Apartment Homes, General Communication Inc. (GCI), Grant Aviation, and Rasmuson Foundation. These funds will help open new career paths through specialized trainings, allows students to follow their dreams, and keeps our cultural heritage going strong in Bristol Bay.

The event also featured a rich array of cultural heritage demonstrations including Native dancing, Native food presentations, and traditional fish cutting.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

1st Place – Two round trip tickets sponsored by Alaska Airlines: Bill Barrickman
2nd Place – Seattle Kraken, premiere experience for two: Phil Leonardi
3rd Place – Orvis waders: Steve Gabalon
Lodge/Camp Trophy Winner: Toman’s King Camp

Catch and release winners:

1st Place – Eva’s Wild package: Inez (Webb) Bielefeld
2nd Place – Fishewear package: Finn Dufresne