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Governor and First Lady Announce 2019 Shirley Demientieff Award

Oct 17, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019 (Fairbanks) – Today in Fairbanks at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy and First Lady Rose Dunleavy announced Coaching Boys into Men as the 2019 winner of the Shirley Demientieff Award.


Coaching Boys into Men is a national program that has been implemented in many of Alaska’s schools by encouraging athletic coaches to have meaningful conversations with their student athletes about respect, integrity, and nonviolence.

“If Alaska will ever turn the corner on our horrendous rates of sexual assault and domestic violence, we must begin training and teaching our youth that these behaviors are unacceptable,” said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “The First Lady and I were impressed by the successes that Coaching Boys into Men have demonstrated in the communities that it has been implemented, especially those in in rural Alaska. We hope by shining a light on this program, more coaches and athletic directors will begin to implement it in their High School sports programs.”

“When Mike and I began looking for a worthy individual or program to award the Shirley Demientieff Award this year, we looked for somebody or something that is focused on training our next generation of Alaskans to be respectful toward each other and themselves. We quickly discovered Coaching Boys into Men and the remarkable work they do in Alaska’s communities with our youth. It was an obvious choice,” said First Lady Rose Dunleavy.

The Coaching Boys into Men Program in Kake, Alaska was highlighted during the award presentation.

The Shirley Demientieff Award recognizes outstanding individuals or organizations who have worked to improve the lives of Alaska Native women and children.

Past recipients of the Shirley Demientieff Award include:

2008: Representative Mary Nelson

2009: Lena Andree

2010: Family Wellness Warriors

2011: Ethel Lund

2012: Mary Jane Fate

2013: Sally Smith

2014: Gloria O’Neill

2015: Poldine Carlo

2016: Faith Peters

2017: Francine Eddy Jones

2018: Cynthia Erickson, Kelly Fields, Anna Bill