RAHI Newsletter
Issue: # 1
November 2012
In This Issue
2012 RAHI 30th Anniversary
Ada Chapman
Jennifer (Allred) Litera
Veronica Nicholas
Indigenous Leadership Award Ceremony
3 of our RAHI students are being recognized as Native youth leaders at the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award Ceremony conference in Portland Oregon.

Olivia Shields (Anch, '12)
Nelson Kanuk (Kipnuk,'12)
Aubry Gosuk (Togiak, '12)
Congratulations to these outstanding students for their accomplishments.

RAHI 2013
Program Dates

May 28-July 12, 2012

Deadline to apply:

Received in
RAHI office by

March 1, 2013

RAHI Contact
201 Brooks Building

PO Box 756305

Fairbanks, AK 99775

(907) 474-5876

Toll Free: 
(800) 478-6886

(907) 474-5624





2012 RAHI 30th Anniversary Reception & Reunion 


This year marks the 30th anniversary of RAHI.  Thanks to a generous donation from New York Life, we were able to produce a 14 minute documentary, which contained footage that covered the last twenty years, thanks to director Mike Green, as well as photos from the earliest years of RAHI. 


The documentary was premiered at the 2012 Alaska Federation of Natives conference, and was well received by those in attendance. Later that evening, RAHI hosted a screening of the film, which was combined with our annual reunion, at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.  The view was stunning, the food was amazing, and the company was unbeatable.  The range of alumni at the reception spanned from the first year's student cohort (1983) to the most recent graduates of our program (2012), with 75 people in attendance. In addition to alumni and staff, Acting Vice Chancellor of the College of Rural and Community Development Pete Pinney, UA Board of Regents Kirk Wickersham, Representative Les Gara, and Willie Hensley were also present.


A very heartfelt thank you to New York Life, UAF College of Rural and Community Development, and Anchorage Hilton Hotel for making this special event possible.


Ada Chapman  
(Tanacross, 1988)

SR. Business Analyst

The Line - Alyeska Pipeline Sept/Oct 2012

The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is often referred to as Alaska's economic backbone. Behind this iconic infrastructure are employees with stories of why for TAPS. Meet Alyeska employee Ada Chapman, a lifelong Alaskan who began her career on TAPS more than 13 years ago.

Originally from the small village of Tanacross, Chapman began her career hoping to gain more experience in the oil industry. It is because of Alyeska Pipeline's reputation in safety, excellence and teamwork that she continues to work here, she said.

Chapman was first hired as an accounting associate through theBuilding Foundations for Excellence Program (BFEP), a program that provides Alaska Natives with an alternative pathway to enter the TAPS workforce. Today, Chapman is a Senior Business Analyst in the Business & Strategic Planning Team.

"I started as a BFEP and graduated from the program to an Accounting Specialist," Chapman said. "In 2002, I was relocated to Anchorage, as an accountant, which included a lot of time implementing the Oracle Project Accounting System."

To Chapman, the most challenging part of her job was the successful implementation of Oracle, due to its complexity and long hours. The most gratifying part of her job: being part of the TAPS workforce.

"Working alongside TAPS employees has been so rewarding," Chapman said. "I have numerous fond memories on TAPS."

While working at Alyeska, Chapman has raised her four children and finished her MBA. Outside of work, Chapman volunteers her time on the Finance and Investment Committee for the Doyon Foundation, and the Leadership Committee for the Alaska Native Professional Association. This year, Chapman co-chairs Alyeska's Corporate Area Safety Team, which promotes "safety and health awareness for all Anchorage-based workers and management."

For Chapman, working on TAPS means she gets to be a part of the world's best operated and maintained pipeline.

Jennifer (Allred) Litera 
(Nome, 1988)

Barrow Principal happy to serve as 'role model'

By Tommy Wells

Arctic Sounder - Oct. 4, 2012, excerpt


Jennifer Litera has always believed school was a special place. A place where young boys and girls can go to learn, play and take step toward whatever dream they may have for the future.


When she was a young girl growing up in Nome, she spent countless hours at the school reading, playing and learning from positive role models - even on Saturdays. More than two decades later, that love of school led her to become a teacher and administrator in the Alaskan school system.


That same love is something Litera would like to see other rural Native children develop. Especially since it could mean more Native teachers who could convey their traditional customs and values to youngsters.

"We don't have enough Native teachers in Alaska," said Litera, who is beginning her sixth year as principal at Ipalook Elementary School in Barrow. I would like to see more Natives become teachers so they can fill that role."


A half Inupiaq educator, Litera said she knew early in high school days that she wanted to become an educator. Following her graduation from Nome-Beltz High School, she enrolled in The University of Alaska Fairbanks and earned a Bachelor's degree with the goal of becoming a teacher and role model for other Native students. That desire also drove her to continue her education. She received her Master's degree from The University of Alaska Anchorage, and then her Special Education endorsement from The University of Alaska Juneau.


"I knew this was my calling," she said. "Hopefully, the kids can see I reached my goal and that if they set their mind to it, anything is possible."


After receiving her bachelor's degree, Litera said she initially wanted to return home and become part of the Nome City School District. Unfortunately, her alma mater didn't have an opening, so she decided to look elsewhere.


"I went to a job fair and that is where I found out Barrow needed a teacher," she said.


Litera said she feels her rural background helped her earn a job offer from Barrow. They felt that being Native and raised in western Alaska would help her integrate into the northern Alaskan community.


Thirteen years later, Litera said she felt she was ready to take a leadership role in the education system and applied for a vacant principal position.


"It was a dream of mine," she said. "Students need to know that you can do what you want if you work hard enough. I want to be a positive role model for them. They need to know anything is possible."


Jennifer said she hopes her career journey will inspire more Native students to seek careers in education.


"I'm hopeful there will be more Native students going to college and getting into education," said Litera, who has served as the elementary school principal since 2006. "I don't think we haveenough Native teachers in the state. It would be good for our children, our culture and education, as a whole, in rural Alaska because we could have a few more teachers who grew up in the same culture as the students."

It could also provide more role models for Native students, and proof that hard work in the classroom can lead to a lifetime job.


The dream all starts with Native students attending school, developing a dream and following that dream until they become a productive part of society.


To all RAHI 1984 Alum  
Veronica Nicholas (Cantwell, 1984)
Published in Daily News-Miner November 7, 2012 
Veronica Nicholas went to be with the Lord, Nov. 3, 2012, at her home in Cantwell.  


She was a unique lady with a determined spirit and sharp mind. Always a hard worker and very independent, she lovingly created a home and nurturing environment for her daughters. She will be remembered for her unwavering loyalty and devotion to her family and those close to her.  


She was born July 14, 1967, in Anchorage, to Gregory and Jane (Tansy) Nicholas. She attended high school in Glennallen and Cantwell, graduating from Cantwell. She also attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Prince William Sound Community College. She remained in contact with friends she made while attending the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. 


She lived in Cantwell and Copper Center, but Cantwell was always home. She served as a board member to Ahtna, Inc., the Copper River Basin Regional Housing Authority, Copper River Native Association, and The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. 


Her compassionate heart led her to a career in health services; she was a community health aide and served as the health director of the Copper River Native Association before returning home to Cantwell to serve as president of the Native Village of Cantwell. Recently she had been employed by the Council as an environmental worker. She made many friends with her colleagues, her patients, and those she met along her life's journey. 


Surviving her are parents, Gregory and Jane, of Cantwell; daughters, Tiffany (Anthony Alonzo), Christina, Jennifer and Patricia Nicholas; grandson, Ethan Nicholas; brothers, Gary (Patty) Folger and Steve Nicholas; sisters, Arlene Drashner, Carol (Matthew Ryan), Sharon Tyone and Miranda Nicholas; aunts and uncles, Louise and Leonard Mayo, Helga and Ray Wiebe, Roy Tansy Sr., and Alec John.  


Her surviving nieces and nephews are Raymond, Duane and Amy Folger, Erin and Verdel Drashner, Stephanie, Karla, Kelly and Robyn Broillier. She is also survived by many cousins, grand-nieces and her godsons who she loved.  


She was preceded in death by grandparents, Jake and Lily Tansy; aunts, Ruby John and Irene Tansy; brother, Gregory Nicholas Jr., and nephews, Michael Nicholas and Dakota Stevens.  


She will be laid to rest in the Yidateni Na' Cemetery in Cantwell. 

Arctic Education Foundation (ASRC)  
  • Must be an ASRC shareholder or a direct lineal descendant of an ASRC shareholder  
  • Deadline: December 1, 2012     
  • For application and more information, visithttp://www.arcticed.com/

Association of Village Council Presidents

  • Must be an AVCP Region resident and have a tribal ID card or tribal verification form 
  • Deadline: November 30, 2012
  • For application and more information, visit http://www.avcp.org/dept/eetforms.htm
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program
  • Up to $7500
  • Must be planning a career in science, mathematics, or engineering
  • GPA 3.0, top fourth of class
  • Deadline: January 4, 2013   
  • For application and more information, visithttp://www.uaf.edu/goldwater/