Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship
The Ahtna Heritage Foundation was created to assist Ahtna shareholders in meeting their educational goals. Our scholarship, The Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship, funds Ahtna shareholders who are either full or part-time students. Funding for the Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship is generously provided by Ahtna Incorporated.
Fall Semester – July 15
Spring Semester – December 15
The Ahtna Heritage Foundation
Attn: Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 213
Glennallen, Alaska 99588
Walter U’eldahwdi’aasen Charley was born February 24, 1908 in a village near present day Copper Center called Wood Camp. Walter was the son of Ring Charley and Natelia (Stickwan) Charley. A beloved Ahtna leader, Walter was a lifelong believer in the importance of hard work and education. After losing his parents in the flu epidemic of 1918, Walter was raised by his uncle Big Charley and aunt Walya Stickwan in Copper Center. Walter’s aunt and uncle taught Walter many life lessons including how to hunt and fish, the importance of only taking what you need, to not brag about oneself, to work hard, to be humble, and the importance of protecting the land and resources. Walter also learned, very young, how important it is to have an education.
The value of education is one that Walter Charley worked hard to instill in his own children, as well as others. Walter said “Education is a main thing for me, ‘cause of my lack of education. I had a hard life and I wanted to show my kids there is a better way to face this world – with education.” (Walter Charley: A Lifetime Perspective by Lily Gallatin).
Walter and wife Mamie instilled a love for education in each of their five children; all of whom went on to attend various universities and colleges.
Walter served the Ahtna people in many leadership capacities including: past officer of the Alaska Native Brotherhood, Camp 31; Ahtna ‘T’Aene Nene, Copper River Native Association, RurAL CAP’s Village Participation Conference, and Ahtna, Incorporated. Walter was a tireless advocate for traditional hunting and fishing rights and testified in many hearings including the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs regarding implementation of Title 8 of ANILCA (1992).
Walter Charley went to be with the Lord on October 22, 1992. In tribute to Walter’s dedication to the Ahtna people and higher education, Ahtna, Incorporated named their scholarship the Walter Charley Memorial Scholarship.