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Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Alaska Native Education

Updated 11/29/2022

CACNE Priorities: Updated Jan 25, 2022 with UAS ANSI goals


Build a robust Indigenous student population through targeted recruitment, retention, and graduation efforts.

  1. Create an Alaska Native Student Retention Officer and fill that position, charged with the duties of ensuring Alaska Native Student Success and Retention and analyzing areas where UAS can make foundational improvements in order to increase retention rates.
  2. Mandate orientation of all faculty and staff to the Indigenous population and resources available to support Indigenous student success.
  3. Provide an annual data briefing with CACANE by the Institutional Effectiveness office on UAS Alaska Native student enrollment (FT, PT, and by program), performance, and graduation, as well as faculty and staff demographics.
  4. Expand rural recruitment efforts to every community that has a federally recognized tribe, work with alumni to recruit students, and set a target of retaining 4 students from each of those communities enrolled at UAS at all times.
  5. Develop an orientation program for Indigenous students
  6. Establish or increase connections with all Alaska Native Tribes, ANCSA Corporations, and Alaska Native Heritage Non-profit organizations within Southeast Alaska


Increase of Alaska Native / American Indian (AN/AI) personnel: Full-time Faculty from 3 to 10 by 2025, and to 20 by 2035; increase AN/AI Administrators from 1 to 3 by 2025; increase AN/AI staff from 8 to 20 in 2025 and 36 by 2035.

  1. Consider a cluster hire of Indigenous faculty/staff,and ensure the pay they are offered is equitable with other faculty/staff hire position
  2. Establish a goal of 22% of AN Faculty, Administrators, and Staff  to align with the state of current UAS student population of 22% American Indian.
  3. Include CACANE representation, or someone nominated by CACANE, on UAS search committees.
  4. Identify and recruit available Alaska Native faculty, including those no longer at UAF and UAA.
  5. Continue to include a statement of commitment to recruiting, hiring, and retaining Indigenous faculty and staff on all employment announcements.
  6. Offer on-boarding support for new Indigenous applicants transitioning into a new position, ensure that being a faculty mentor/ staff mentor is something that is included in faculty mentor / staff mentor workload and supports tenure files
  7. Offer Indigenous Convocation every year, and explore methods to support existing Indigenous staff, faculty, and administrators to improve the retention of an Indigenous workforce.Alaska Native and American Indian Counts Table


Support of institutional change through vision, leadership, messaging, measured growth, and increased diversity. Implement a mandatory training on cultural safety and equity for faculty, staff, administration, and students and then develop and implement measures for incident reporting and including cultural safety and equity into employee review.

  1. Mandate annual training on cultural safety and equity for all faculty, staff, administration, and students.
  2. Develop a system of maintaining certification for cultural competency and equity that ensures that all faculty, staff, and administration enroll in training and encourages participation
  3. Develop a cultural safety and equity working group that can mediate situations and determine the path forward when cultural safety and equity are violated in academic situations
  4. Develop a transparent process of reporting violations of cultural safety and equity      and training faculty, staff, administration, and students on the processes and procedures for maintaining equity cultural safety.
  5. Ensure that committees and working groups at UAS are diverse and include Alaska Native peoples whenever possible.


Establish a UA College of Alaska Native Languages

  1. Support continued expansion of Indigenous language programs. By offering certificates, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in Alaska Native Languages. ( With a vision of expanding to include Alaska Native Arts and Alaska Native Studies with emphasis in Leadership, Tribal Governance, and Federal Indian Law).
  2. Create a pathway for Alaska Native Language speakers to become Alaska State Department of Education certified teachers.
  3. Build bridges between UAS, UAA, and UAF, Tribes, ANCSA Corporations, and Alaska Native Heritage Nonprofits by creating and supporting an Indigenous language curriculum committee throughout incorporatebest practices from each MAU into our curriculum, pedagogy, and programs. 
  4. Create education courses within the School of Education to support second language acquisition and bi-literacy instructional strategies.


Solidify the Indigenous Studies program at UAS

  1. Move all Alaska Native content courses in Anthropology to Alaska Native Studies.
  2. Encourage all existing degree programs to be inclusive of Indigenous Studies content into their degree and certification pathways.
  3. Support development and expansion of the Northwest Coast Arts program.


Elevate the effectiveness and impact of CACANE by formalizing the functions and effectiveness of the Alaska Native Studies Council and renaming CACANE to the UAS Council on Alaska Native Education

  1. Formalize the functions and composition of the Alaska Native Studies Council within UA to demarginalize Alaska Native faculty, staff, and administration.
  2. Create a co-governance model with tribal representation by Southeast Tribes, ANCSA Corporations, and ANCSA Heritage Nonprofits in a co-governance that is called the UAS Council on Alaska Native Education.
  3. Include an indigenous land acknowledgement statement on the UAS website.
  4. Establish clear pathways for courses to be reviewed to fulfill the Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement, including a curriculum deadline of October 1 and a working group approach to help align intentions.


Build Indigenous community connections

  1. Build bridges to our rural communities and strengthen the ties between Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau campuses. Expand to action?
  2. Encourage all academic programs to form working relationships with Tribes, ANCSA Corporations, and Alaska Native Heritage Non-Profits in Southeast Alaska, and include the review of those relationships in administrative program review. 
  3. Partner with the community to restore Tlingit place names community-wide.
  4. Explore partnership with Sealaska on the Northwest Coast Arts campus/programs.


The University of Alaska Southeast mission promotes student learning enhanced by the cultures and environment of Southeast Alaska. UAS values associated with the mission highlight the special importance of the histories, cultures, languages, and arts reflected in the Alaska Native heritage, and to promoting cultural safety and equity on our campuses.

The UAS Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Alaska Native Education (CACANE) provides advice to UAS leadership about fulfilling this mission and acting on these values. In doing so, the committee's work is guided by the following:

Cultural Safety

  • Individuals have the right to define themselves independent of the stereotypes of others
  • Individuals have the right to define what is safe for their well-being
  • Institutions operate conscious of historical traumas and current inequities


  • Equity is meeting an unmet need (from recruitment to attainment)
  • Equity is the absence of disparity

Committee Mission

The CACANE is charged with advising UAS leadership in the following areas:

  • Supporting and improving Alaska Native student recruitment, retention, and program completion
  • Developing meaningful partnerships with tribes, Native corporations and non-profits, and other entities that share similar goals in fostering Alaska Native education
  • Advancing respectful recognition of Alaska Native heritage
  • Promoting and enhancing academic programs, pathways to student success, and student support services in the context of its mission, vision, and values
  • Training and educating UAS faculty, staff, and administration on issues unique to Alaska Native heritage and history, and equity.
The CACANE shall provide written recommendations to the Chancellor and executive leadership.

Committee Leadership

Committee leadership shall be a UAS faculty co-chair and a UAS staff co-chair. The normal term for service will be for two years. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs shall be an ex-officio member of the committee.

Current CACANE Chair Members

Janelle Cook

Janelle Cook

Financial Aid Director

View profile and contact info

Éedaa Heather D. Burge, B.L.A., M.A.

Éedaa Heather D. Burge, B.L.A., M.A.

Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages

View profile and contact info

Committee Membership

Membership on the Committee shall include, but is not limited to, UAS Alaska Native faculty, staff, students, and alumni at any of UAS' three campuses. In addition, membership may be extended by mutual agreement of the co-chairs and committee members to Elders and representatives from Alaska Native organizations.

Janelle Cook, Panruk, (Co-Chair), Director of Financial Aid 

Éedaa Heather Burge (Co-Chair) Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages

Akléi Helen Dangel, Academic Advisor / Title IX Liaison

Davina Cole, Saak.adoo, Northwest Coast Arts Program Coordinator

DáxKílatch, Kolene E. James, Student Equity and Multicultural Services Manager

Forest S. Haven, Goi'pa Sha Hana'ack, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Alaska Native Studies

Jennifer Brown, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Judith Dax̱ootsú Ramos, M.A.T., Assistant Professor, Northwest Coast Arts

Lily Hope, Term Assistant Professor of Northwest Coast Indigenous Arts

Ronalda Cadiente Brown Aantooku.aat, M.A., Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs and Director of PITAAS

S'aḵjayéi Yarrow Vaara, Term Assistant Professor in Alaska Native Languages

Xéetl’ee Katelyn Stiles, Term Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies

X̱’unei Lance Twitchell, M.F.A., Ph.D., Professor of Alaska Native Languages

Meeting Frequency and Format

The committee will meet at least three times during the academic year. An agenda will be prepared in advance of each meeting with prior notification of the date and location of meetings. Provisions will be made allowing for participation at a distance from Ketchikan and Sitka campuses. Summary notes about the topics addressed by the CACANE will be prepared and posted on the UAS website.


  • October 6, 2023 10:00am -11:30 pm 
  • November 3, 2023 10:00am -11:30 pm 

UAS Land Acknowledgement

Our campuses reside on the unceded territories of the Áakʼw Ḵwáan, Taantʼá Ḵwáan, and Sheet'ká Ḵwáan on Lingít Aaní, also known as Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka, Alaska. We acknowledge that Lingít Peoples have been stewards of the land on which we work and reside since time immemorial, and we are grateful for that stewardship and incredible care. We also recognize that our campuses are adjacent to the ancestral home of the X̱aadas and Ts’msyen and we commit to serving their peoples with equity and care. We recognize the series of unjust actions that attempted to remove them from their land, which includes forced relocations and the burning of villages. We honor the relationships that exist between Lingít, X̱aadas, and Ts’msyen peoples, and their sovereign relationships to their lands, their languages, their ancestors, and future generations. We aspire to work toward healing and liberation, recognizing our paths are intertwined in the complex histories of colonization in Alaska. We acknowledge that we arrived here by listening to the peoples/elders/lessons from the past and these stories carry us as we weave a healthier world for future generations.