Kawerak, Inc. is an Alaska Native regional tribal consortium serving 20 federally-recognized Tribes of the Bering Strait region. Kawerak’s mission is, “To advance the capacity of our people and tribes for the benefit of the region.” Kawerak provides services to the 20 tribes through contracts with the state and federal government and additionally sought funding. The population Kawerak serves is about 9,915 (75% of the population is Alaska Native). Kawerak offers educational, social, infrastructure development, natural and cultural resource preservation and employment services to the region.

Kawerak’s Wellness Department implements a coalition driven project aimed at increasing adult resilience through addressing Institutional Racism and Historic Trauma. There are several institutions within the community whose policies and practices perpetuate ongoing, multigenerational trauma and oppression. There is a need to increase community awareness and support around these issues in order to partner with our institutions to create meaningful and sustainable change in policies/practices.

We are asking for $100,000.00 in funding to host trainings with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to create a cohort of local Undoing Racism workshop facilitators. This will increase the community’s capacity to create meaningful change. Localizing the training and creating a pool of facilitators in our community will ensure sustainability and cultural appropriateness. We would utilize funding to provide 4 local Undoing Racism Workshops with 30 participants in each. Kawerak will support travel for participants from all over the region. We will also utilize funding to support a local training of trainers to create a cohort of 6-10 local Undoing Racism trainers.

Our partners will work directly with organizations in Criminal Justice, Social Services, and Education to offer training to staff and leadership as well as to the community members who are served by those systems. The training itself also provides education around community organizing and discusses methods used to influence policy and policy makers. Participants will be given the necessary tools to help institutions become accountable to the communities they serve, creating an ongoing relationship. Fostering healthy relationships between communities and the institutions who serve them is a necessary step in transforming the level of equity.