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8/28/14 KNBA News - Oral arguments end in appeal of illegal subsistence fishing convictions

Oral arguments have wrapped up in an appeal of the conviction of 13 Yup'ik Eskimo fishermen for illegally fishing for king salmon on the Kuskokwim River in 2012. A 3-judge panel of the Alaska Appeals Court will issue a future decision.

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the state of Alaska have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to foster a new level of communication and cooperation. The Governor's office calls it a first. The MOA calls for a review of issues and programs to identify opportunities for the two entities to work together.

A $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a 5-year pilot project to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native college students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM subjects. The grant is the largest ever awarded to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (see more at ). The goal of the project is to increase the number of Native Americans with advanced degrees and the number of Native tenured faculty in STEM subjects. The project will provide mentors, and $2,500 scholarships over a tw0-year period.

A University of Alaska Anchorage program also works to support Native STEM students. It starts the social and academic preparation at an earlier age, though, and continues the support through graduate level studies. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, is working this year with 868 middle school students. It brings middle school and high school students to stay in dorms while taking classes from University professors. Founder Herb Schroeder says 83% of participating middle school students have completed Algebra I before they graduate 8th grade, compared to a national average of 26%. ANSEP provides scholarships of $5,000 per year. That amount goes up to $30,000 to support Master's and PhD studies.   

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