Koniag Education Foundation (KEF) promotes the education of Alaska Natives from the Kodiak Island region – approximately 4,503 Koniag shareholders and descendants. Fifty percent of these shareholders reside in the rural villages of Kodiak Island and in the state of Alaska, while the other fifty percent live in the Lower 48 and throughout the world, making up KEF’s target market.
KEF was incorporated in the State of Alaska on January 8, 1993, and was deemed a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization in February of 1994. Koniag, Inc. is one of thirteen Alaska Native Regional Corporations established by the Federal Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) tasked with the purpose of providing dividends to Alaska Natives through business and investment growth. KEF, as the nonprofit affiliate, was established to ensure that all Koniag shareholders and descendants interested in pursuing a post-secondary education would be provided this opportunity, regardless of their financial status. KEF’s ultimate goal is to equip shareholders with the skills needed to pursue employment opportunities and grow Alaska Native leadership in the business world. Koniag, Inc. established a five million dollar endowment to sustain and grow KEF in 1997. As a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, KEF has a separate staff and Board of Directors; however, to insure input into future endeavors, the Board of Directors of Koniag, Inc. is the voting membership of KEF.
KEF board and staff focus on the mission, “Enabling our Alutiiq people to achieve their potential through education,” by developing programs designed to encourage education in rural and urban areas through outreach and student recruitment/retention programs, collaborative efforts with other entities, and grant-writing opportunities that propel our mission. KEF also manages mentorship and internship programs which further develop employment skills, education, and community involvement in our students.