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For Immediate Release
March 18, 2020
Contact: Angela Łot’oydaatlno Gonzalez, [email protected], (907) 677-1700


Anchorage, Alaska – First Alaskans Institute (FAI), a statewide Alaska Native nonprofit focused on advancing Alaska Natives for the next 10,000 years, is taking the following cautionary steps in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to be good relatives and protect the health and safety of our staff and community.

Beginning March 19, 2020 FAI’s physical office, located at 606 E Street, Suite 200, will be closed and our staff will operate and conduct our FAI business remotely. Our staff can continue to be reached by email or by calling our main office number at (907) 677-1700 during normal business hours. We have also suspended work travel for staff, both in and out of state. Additionally, we have suspended all in-person events and gatherings until further notice – we will notify participants directly of any changes to future events. 

Regarding recruitment for our Summer Internship Program, though the application deadline has passed for potential interns, we are currently accepting applications for Employer Partners. Please contact Sassuuk at [email protected] with any questions about our application process or Summer Internship program. While we do not know how long pandemic impacts will last, we must move ahead with providing real learning and on-the-job opportunities for our interns – we encourage you to think about dynamic ways to utilize interns given this unique situation and reach out to our team to see what might be possible. 

Knowing many within our community will need extra support during this time, we will continue to monitor for and share resources via our social media (@firstalaskans) as they are received – if you know of any that our community should be aware of, please send them to [email protected]. The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and Center for Disease Control websites continue to provide important updates and information related to this pandemic, please visit for up-to-date information on this ever-evolving situation.

Lastly, knowing that our Native peoples hold incredible knowledge of good ways to navigate difficult times like these. We recently held a virtual Coffeetime for the People in an effort to create connection, knowledge-sharing, and uplift our peoples during this stressful time. Our guest speakers shared personal memories and insights, cultural stories and songs, humor, and practical steps to ensure our families and communities stay safe during this time. Notes and photos of this virtual Coffeetime can be found on FAI’s Facebook page. We will periodically host other virtual gatherings during this time to continue to advance our vision and mission, that true to identity, heritage, and values, Alaska Natives are informed and engaged in leading the decisions that shape the future, so please follow us on social media for the most up to date information, check in our website for information about our work, or email us at [email protected]

We will continue to monitor the situation and let our community know when we will physically re-open the office; until then, we will see you online and via email. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to when we can all gather in person and do the important work of our peoples. Please take good care of yourselves and each other – our future depends on it.

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About First Alaskans Institute (FAI):  At FAI we know we are responsible for carrying more than 10,000 years of ancestral knowledge into the future with rigor, humor, resilience, vigilance, and love. To learn more visit our website at www.firstalaskans.org, contact us at 907-677-1700 or email [email protected]

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