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August 2013

Alaska: Sealaska, Sitka Tribe sign Redoubt Falls agreement - Sealaska and the Sitka Tribe have reached an agreement on the management of Redoubt Lake Falls — when, and if, the property is ever conveyed by the federal government.

May 2013

Alaska: Native Alaskan tribes use tourism to turn a profit and keep traditions alive - Huna Totem Corp. opened Alaska Native Voices on Wednesday. Huna Totem is the village Native corporation for Hoonah — a largely Tlingit community of 775 in southeast Alaska — and one of the front-runners of tribal tourism, a growing trend in Alaska and nationally.

April 2013

Alaska: Prominent Tsimshian artist David Boxley reclaims the past through carving, dance, song - The minute David Boxley strikes his deer hide drum, everything changes. An empty stage quickly fills with the Git Hoan dancers, stealth in each dancer’s stride, driven by respect for Boxley and a shared love for their Tsimshian culture.

December 2012

Alaska: Alutiiq items in Russian museum offer eye-opening view of early Alaska - This fall, after six years of work, "The Alutiit/Sugpiat: A Catalog of the Collections of the Kunstkamera" came out in English. The gorgeously illustrated 400-page book from University of Alaska Press is stunning in several respects, a contender for the title of the most beautiful volume of Alaska ethnography ever published.

November 2012

Alaska: 2 resign from Sitka Tribe’s council after election - Dale Williams resigned his seat on the Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Tribal Council after losing the race for chairman to former council member Mike Baines. The Tribe held its elections for chairman and council on Tuesday. Baines becomes the first new chairman in about 20 years. Williams, meanwhile, had a year left in his term.

September 2012

Alaska: Scientist seeks signs of human life on Alaska's remote St. Matthew Island - Dennis Griffin, the state archaeologist with Oregon’s State Historic Preservation Office, has traveled to one of the least-walked hillsides in Alaska to search for evidence of his species. On a tundra rise with a gorgeous view of Hall Island and a nice panorama of St. Matthew Island, he has today found a fox tooth in a decaying jaw, chips of rock where someone made tools, pottery, a plate-size anvil stone and a yellowed walrus tusk cut with deep grooves.

August 2012

Alaska: Promoting Tsimshian Culture with Adoption into Clan - This month Metlakatla celebrates its 125th anniversary and emerging cultural traditions are on the rise in this Alaska Native community founded in 1887. The Tsimshians of Alaska have been learning of their Tsimshian culture by returning to their original homeland and learning songs and dances from their relatives of northern British Columbia. What is needed among the Tsimshian Nation is maintaining our Tsimshian way of life, our Sm’algyax (our Tsimshian Language).

Alaska: On the mighty Yukon, Alaska chum salmon fuel an economic revival - Along the banks of the Yukon River, halfway between the Bering Sea and Canada, sits a small Alaska village that has revived hope among its people by finding a way to put them to work. In Kaltag, selling and processing a long-overlooked species of salmon that marketers renamed to boost its appeal to Outside consumers, has produced a summer job boom. Silver Brite refers to the highest-quality chum and their distinct, bright-silver skin. "They are quality fish," he said, noting that chum salmon are also used to make salmon burgers, like those sold at Costco.

June 2012 Alaska: Akiak elders told families to fish despite government ban - State and federal wildlife officials seized 21 nets and 1,100 pounds of salmon from Lower Kuskokwim River subsistence fishermen this week, enforcing a government ban on subsistence salmon fishing on the river. Today, Akiak leaders say some of the fishermen were families who put their nets in the river as an act of civil disobedience encouraged by village elders. They're concern: A looming "food security emergency" brought about by the subsistence fishing ban. "This enforcement practice toward our tribal citizens is totally inhumane as the Elders have stated," Akiak chief Ivan M. Ivan said in a written statement. "It is violating our basic human rights as first peoples of this land and first protectors of our resources."

Alaska: Southeast Alaska Tribal Cultures of Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian Still Alive - Sealaska Heritage Institute of Juneau, Alaska showed to all of Alaska and 17,000 Television audience watchers that the cultures of the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are very much alive. At Celebration 2012 there were 55 Tribal Dancers that performed for three days at the Centennial Hall in Juneau, Alaska.

Alaska: Sitka artist Nicholas Galanin challenges conceptions of modern aesthetics and Native identity - A piece of art by Nicholas Galanin invariably makes you took twice. With that second glance the artist-viewer connection really begins. Incongruity charges the Sitka artist's sculptural, photographic and performance work, work that has put him in the top ranks of emerging American cutting edge artists, with a growing national and international reputation. Of Tlingit, Aleut and non-Native heritage, Galanin often works on themes that raise questions of culture, race and art with a lively sense of ambiguity.

Alaska: Genetic researchers hope to trace Raven and Eagle lineages - Alaska Natives in Juneau for this week's Celebration gathering are being asked to participate in a DNA study that may help determine which came first -- the Raven or the Eagle? Southeast Alaska tribes are identified as members of two moieties, sometimes called clans, named after those two iconic birds. People do not typically marry within their clan, and children assume the clan of their mother. The practice is widespread in the Pacific Northwest, and its ancient origins are obscure. Note: Tracing lineage through the mother is sometimes confused with matriarchy, or "rule by mothers," but they're not the same thing.

Alaska: Celebration kicks off this week in 30th year - Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will kick off its biennial Celebration this week, marking the 30th year since the inception of the popular dance and culture festival. Celebration is a major event organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute every two years.

Sitka: Assembly updated on Sealaska lands bill, Redoubt selection - The Sealaska lands bill is still active in the US Senate, but doesn’t appear to be moving anywhere soon. Sealaska executive vice-president Rick Harris told the Sitka assembly on Tuesday (5-22-12) that the controversial legislation remains in the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, where it’s been for exactly one year.

Alaska: For Native American women, more rape, then less support - One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, according to the Justice Department. Their rate of sexual assault is more than twice the national average. And no place, women's advocates say, is more dangerous than Alaska's isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service. Comment: The "one-in-three" number began with the Mary Koss-Ms. Magazine Rape Campus Survey several years ago. The survey was discredited and continues to be discredited by a slew of academicians and professionals, but the mainstream news and politicians lapped it up. It's easy to politicize, but politicians don't solve the problem, they just use it. Inflated numbers aside, the problem is real, and it goes beyond rape and sexual assault to the destruction of the culture. Pretending that women cannot be good role models and that only men need good role models won't fix that. It requires a holistic approach.

Alaska: Tribe continues to express grave concerns overmanagement of the Sitka Sound Sac Roe Fishery - For many years the Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) said they have expressed grave concerns over the management of the Sitka Sound Sac Roe Fishery and its impact on the resource, the ecosystem and the subsistence harvest. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) said this year’s dismal return of herring to spawn in the Sound proves their concerns were well founded.

Alaska: Feds to hold tribal meeting in Ketchikan - Representatives from 10 federal agencies will converge on Ketchikan this Friday to meet with tribal officials from Southern Southeast Alaska. Larry Yerich is a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Alaska. He says leadership from federal agencies will meet with elected leaders from Alaska tribal governments in hopes of furthering collaboration between the federal government and the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes.

Alaska: Tribes say Violence Against Women Act could harm their people - Alaska Natives are lining up in opposition to Lower 48 tribes over the congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Lower 48 tribes are pushing hard in favor of the bill because it gives tribal courts jurisdiction on reservations to prosecute non-Indians who attack Indian women. But in Alaska, where few Natives live on a reservation, tribes say it actually would take away their power to intervene in domestic violence.

Alaska: Amendment lets Alaska tribes keep restraining-order powers - The U.S. Senate passed the Violence Against Women reauthorization act Thursday with a last-minute amendment that lets Alaska tribes continue to issue domestic violence protective orders but excludes them from powers given to Lower 48 tribes to criminally prosecute offenders.

April 2012

Alaska: Subsistence hunters invited to participate in herring roe harvest - In a recent release, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska stated it would like to extend an invitation to all Alaskan resident subsistence harvesters in Southeast to participate in the subsistence harvest of herring eggs in the Sitka area.

Alaska: Sitka Tribe, Sealaska reach deal on sacred sites - The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has reached a deal to manage sacred sites near Sitka. Five of the sites are already owned by Sealaska Corporation. And the deal for tribal management is one of a series of agreements signed or in negotiation throughout Southeast Alaska.

March 2012

Alaska: Sitka Tribe’s ads protest herring harvest - Last year, the commercial fleet pulled about 19,400 tons of herring from Sitka Sound. This year, that number is around 29,000 tons. Fish & Game says, in essence, the increase in the harvest level is setting the bar back where it should have been...But the Sitka Tribe of Alaska disagrees, and it has taken to newspapers throughout Southeast Alaska to say so.

Sitka: Dream Weaver: Internationally Renowned Artist Teri Rofkar’s Incredible Textile Masterpieces - Teri Rofkar (Tlingit of the Raven Clan from the Snail House) of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska sees patterns and shapes emerge from wool and roots. Using cedar, spruce tree roots, ferns, and mountain goat wool she collects in the woods, and along the shoreline of her Northwest coast home, the internationally renowned artist has been weaving exquisite baskets and textiles for over 25 years. Her robes are made with traditional Sitka freehand weaving techniques that date back over 6,000 years. Descending from a family of weavers she is inspired by "a deep connection to my ancestors."

Alaska: Fish board OKs some Sitka herring changes - Alaska’s Board of Fisheries on Tuesday voted to close part of Sitka Sound to commercial herring harvests. But it wasn’t as much as some wanted. The board faced a number of proposals to lower catch levels, limit commercial fishing areas, or both. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska and some others wanted further protections for subsistence harvests of herring and their roe.

Alaska Native: Fish board OKs some Sitka herring changes - Alaska’s Board of Fisheries on Tuesday voted to close part of Sitka Sound to commercial herring harvests. But it wasn’t as much as some wanted. The board faced a number of proposals to lower catch levels, limit commercial fishing areas, or both. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska and some others wanted further protections for subsistence harvests of herring and their roe.


Alaska Native: Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations program applications due in March - Few people get to see real emergency room doctors in action, be with operating room staff during surgery or even watch a dentist performing a root canal. Alaska Native and American Indian high school students from Southeast Alaska can experience these and other opportunities when they participate in the Ethel Lund Village Health Occupations Program (VHOP).

January 2012

Sitka: Tribe names officers, approves GM contract - Dale Williams will serve as vice chairman of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. The Tribe selected its new officers at a meeting Thursday. He’s joined by Stephanie Edenshaw who will serve as treasurer, and Rachel Moreno, the secretary. The job of chairman, held by Woody Widmark, is an elected position. Widmark has a year left in his three-year term. The Tribal Council also approved a contract for its new general manager, Ted Wright.

Sitka: Tribe hires Wright as general manager - The interim general manager at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska can settle into his office. The Tribal Council hired Ted Wright as the full-time general manager at a meeting last night.Before his return to Sitka, Wright was managing the Lummi Indian Business Council in Bellingham, Washington. About 10 years ago, he also served as general manager of the Douglas Indian Association in Juneau, when the organization was rebuilding. He’s also worked as a consultant to other tribal organizations.

Alaska: Museum gets totem pole newly carved in ancient wood - This week, in the Potomac Atrium of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, the renowned 59-year-old Tsimshian totem carver and his son, David R. Boxley, 30, are re-creating the magical story in a 22-foot-long, 2,500-pound pole. And in this season of Congressional gridlock and political bitterness, the Boxleys hope the old Northwest fable of gratitude and benevolence may be a public tonic when the pole is raised in the museum a few blocks from the Capitol. But mainly the huge totem — prone for now as the artists finish it — is a message from the carvers, and the museum, that their culture has survived, despite a century of crushing obstacles. Related Story: Kingston carver's totem pole will debut at Smithsonian

Alaska: Teaching above the Arctic Circle makes Port Townsend woman humble - Coping with extreme cold and swallowing seal innards are some of the things that Katie Campbell, a 2006 Port Townsend High School graduate, has learned to take in stride in her first year of teaching special education in Kivalina, Alaska, a coastal village on a barrier reef 127 miles above the Arctic Circle. She’s also learned that Inupiat people speak with their faces — raising the eyebrows means yes, scrunching up the face means no. The villagers do everything as a community, Campbell said, with the two churches, Episcopal and nondenominational Christian, providing social outlets in addition to the school.

Alaska: Mixing traditional and modern art, Larry Ahvakana builds reputation - Inupiaq artist Larry Ahvakana has spent more than four decades building a reputation as a dynamic and profound artist. His unique sculptures, glass panels, masks and other pieces are held in private and public collections around world. Though Ahvakana now lives in Suquamish, Wash., with wife Donna – also an Alaska Native – he said his art will always be deeply intertwined with the traditions of his Arctic heritage.

Tsimshian: Tiny NW tribe to have totem pole installed at Smithsonian - Among the stately cedars of the Kitsap Peninsula, David Boxley is carving a niche for his people. Boxley is a member of the Tsimshian tribe, located on a 10-mile-long island near Ketchikan, Alaska. He is a world reknowned wood carver -- and former Ballard High School teacher. Boxley's reputation has now earned his latest work, a 22-foot tall totem, a place at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Related Stories: Tsimshian: Local artist carves piece of American Indian history; Tsimshian: Story of the Tsimshian Totem Pole


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