February 28, 2022

Murkowski Holds Field Hearing on Education in Alaska

Anchorage, AK – Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), recently chaired a field hearing in Anchorage, Alaska titled, “Transformative and Innovative Strategies for Better Educational Outcomes for Alaska Native Students.” The field hearing was held at Alaska Pacific University and featured witnesses from the Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska State Board of Education, Sea Lion Corporation and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. These witnesses provided valuable testimony about how the federal government can best support the collaboration between the State and Tribes to advance innovative strategies to close gaps in the education of Native students across Alaska.


Pictured: Senator Lisa Murkowski with Alaskan Witnesses and Native Leader following SCIA field hearing on February 24, 2022


“This was a great opportunity to examine the state of education in Alaska and how we can achieve better outcomes for Alaska Native students,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski. “I am so pleased that we were able to hold this field hearing in Alaska and in-person. Discussion about new strategies, ideas and tools that focused on innovative ways to enhance education opportunities and outcomes for Native students are encouraging – particularly the state-tribal collaboration on education compacts, which could be a way forward to provide real systemic change.”


The field hearing featured the following witnesses:


  • MS. JULIE KITKA, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives;
  • MS. SANDRA SALAKTUNA KOWALSKI, Vice President of Shareholder Relations for the NANA Regional Corporation and Second Vice Chair of Alaska State Board of Education;
  • MR. WILLIAM NANENG, General Manager of the Sea Lion Corporation; and
  • DR. MICHAEL JOHNSON, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development


To read the witness testimony in full or watch the archived video of the field hearing, click here.