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Sitka Native corp. ends fine arts scholarships

Posted: January 20, 2014 - 1:04am

SITKA — The urban Native corporation in Sitka is no longer providing scholarships for shareholder’s children to attend the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

The board of Shee Atika Inc. has decided to focus its scholarships on educational programs that could lead to better jobs, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported.

Last year, the corporation spent about $600,000 on scholarships. Of that, about $20,000 went to the summer fine arts program.

Shee Atika President and CEO Ken Cameron said surveys from shareholders from the last 30 years since have shown that the shareholders favor scholarships that improve their employment prospects.

“The surveys consistently come back, that they would like to see it being used to put food on the table,” Cameron said.

The corporation makes up to $2,400 a year available to a shareholder to attend college, trade school or certificate program.

Sitka Fine Arts Camp director Roger Schmidt says it won’t hurt the camp financially since they are at record enrollment.

But, Schmidt said, it will hurt the camp’s “economic diversity, cultural diversity and social diversity.”

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