As part of a new grantmaking partnership with the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (MACF), The CIRI Foundation (TCF) has been selected to distribute more than half a million dollars in grants to promote Alaska Native arts and culture.
The partnership will provide TCF with an additional $200,000 per year for three years to promote projects that encourage Alaska Native culture and artistic techniques to be passed down from generation to generation. The funding is also aimed at helping Alaska Native artists hone their business skills.
“It is an incredible honor to be selected for this important initiative,” said TCF President and CEO Susan Anderson. “Our team will work hard to ensure we fulfill the intent of this generous gift to benefit our Native heritage and the state of Alaska.”
Having celebrated its 31st anniversary in July 2013, TCF is the largest private foundation of its kind serving the needs of Alaska Native people. The foundation provides educational scholarships to original enrollees of CIRI and their lineal descendants, and funds project grants to improve education as well as the area of preservation and perpetuation of the cultural heritage of Alaska Native people. Each year approximately 85 percent of TCF funds are awarded to students pursuing their educational goals and 15 percent is awarded as project grants.
“As a leading philanthropic organization in Alaska, TCF shares goals and interests with its new partner,” Anderson said. “Rather than reinvent the wheel, MACF wanted to work with organizations that know the state, are familiar with the culture and have a good understanding of the programs that can most effectively achieve their philanthropic objectives.”
The funds from MACF will roughly double the amount TCF is able to award annually in project grants.
“This is a tremendous contribution for the state of Alaska,” Anderson said. “For TCF, the challenge will be to put that money into the hands of those who can develop innovative approaches to enlighten and inspire the next generation to carry on our cultural heritage.”
The mission of CIRI is to promote the economic and social well-being and Alaska Native heritage of our Shareholders, now and into the future, through prudent stewardship of the company’s resources, while furthering self-sufficiency among CIRI Shareholders and their families.
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Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) is one of 12 regional corporations established in Alaska by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. CIRI is owned by over 9,200 Shareholders, primarily of Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Aleut/Unangax descent.