Providing current news on Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's
government, administrative, and program activities.
- August 2017 -
News in this Edition...

  • Washington State U.S. Senator Meets with Tlingit & Haida
  • Tribal Court Training to be Held on VAWA and Tribal Code Writing
  • Tribe Welcomes Heather Gatti to the Office of the President
  • BIA Awards $110K to Begin Baseline Water Quality Sampling on Alsek River
  • Southeast ICWA Workshop
  • Back to School Backpack Fair and Community Distributions
  • Southeast Environmental Conference
  • 2017 Client Service Community Fairs
  • Motherhood Is Sacred®
  • Fatherhood Is Sacred®
Washington State U.S. Senator Meets with Tlingit & Haida
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington met August 23, 2017 with President Richard ( Chalyee Éesh ) Peterson, Executive Management Team members and other staff during her Alaska visit. Senator Cantwell's visit was a great opportunity to share information with her on clan and family structures, some history of the region and discuss key topics on Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Title IV-E funding, and Tribal Courts.

"Recognizing that Tlingit & Haida has enrolled tribal citizens in Washington state that are also her constituents, I really appreciate Senator Cantwell taking the time to meet with us to identify areas where we can work together,” said President Peterson. “Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa Senator Cantwell for reaching out to Tlingit & Haida and building that relationship to explore opportunities to better serve our tribal citizens in Washington.”

Senator Cantwell was the first chairwoman for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has extensive knowledge on tribal issues and has been a friend to tribes in years passed. 
Tribal Court Training to be Held on VAWA and Tribal Code Writing
A Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) training for Southeast Alaska tribes will be held September 25-26, 2017 at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau, Alaska. The training is designed to build community capacity for addressing domestic violence in Southeast Alaska’s communities. The target audience for the training includes tribal council members, tribal judges, tribal administrators, program staff and community members who serve or work for a Southeast Alaska tribe or Native organization. Travel and training scholarships are available for up to three representatives from each Southeast Alaska community under a grant received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Tribal Justice Support, Office of Justice Services.

In coordination with the VAWA training, BIA will be hosting a Tribal Code Writing workshop September 27-29, 2017. The workshop will assist tribes in developing tribal laws, codes, ordinances, court rules, and policies & procedures. College credit is available for $45. VAWA training attendees can extend their travel to participate, additional training costs, hotel and per diem will not be covered by VAWA scholarships.

Deadline to Submit Travel Request: Close of Business September 15, 2017

For more information or to request travel, contact the Office of the President at 1.800.344.1432 ext. 7379 or .
Tribe Welcomes Heather Gatti to the Office of the President
Tlingit & Haida is pleased to welcome Heather Gatti to the Office of the President as Special Assistant to the President. In this position, Heather will coordinate all intergovernmental activities, serve as a liaison to the Delegates and Executive Council, and directly supervise the support staff in the Office of the President.

Heather previously worked for the First Alaskans Institute (2014-2017) as an Indigenous Research Assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage and has held internships with First Alaskans Institute, Alaska Psychiatric Institute and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Heather was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska and is of Haida and Tlingit descent. She is from the Yahkw ’Láanaas clan (Raven/Shark House). Heather is the granddaughter of Franklin Demmert Sr. and Frances Peele Demmert; daughter of Mark & Jiji Gatti and Victoria Demmert Gatti; sister to Sarah Kooy, Dennis Demmert, Joy Demmert, and Jodie Gatti; and proud auntie to Ayuq, Gracie, and Emma.

Click here to read the full press release. 
BIA Awards $110K to Begin Water Sampling on Alsek River
Tlingit & Haida has been awarded $110,000 from the BIA to begin water quality studies on the Alsek River near Yakutat. Initial funding was received in July 2015 to compile baseline water quality data on the Taku, Stikine and Unuk rivers. The data will assist with watershed management decisions, complement other transboundary studies such as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and help establish a future monitoring program that can assess any potential downstream impacts from mining development in British Columbia. As of August 2016, 14 samples from the Taku River and 16 samples from the Stikine River have been collected.

For questions relating to the baseline water quality testing on transboundary rivers, contact NLR Manager Desiree Duncan at 907.463.7183 or
Southeast ICWA Workshop
The Tribal Family and Youth Services (TFYS) department hosted a successful Southeast Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) workshop August 8-11, 2017 in Juneau, Alaska.

Approximately 90 participants attended the workshop which is partially funded each year by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and TFYS to increase community partnerships, inform partners of new ICWA policies and guidelines, and enhance the courtroom skills of Southeast ICWA representatives.
This year’s workshop kicked off with an in-depth discussion facilitated by First Alaskans Institute on Advancing Native Dialogues on Racial Equity (ANDORE ). Other highlights included a Q&A period with regional State and Tribal Court judges that reiterated the importance of tribal sovereignty in protecting families and role of ICWA representatives as legal representatives with the ability to call witnesses, cross examine and introduce evidence; breakout sessions to enhance the courtroom skills for qualified expert witness reviews and placement review hearings; and an overview of the life of an ICWA case and how to negotiate adoption subsidies.

Thank you to all those you attended this year’s workshop from the Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS), Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and Southeast Alaska tribes.
Back to School Backpack Fair and Southeast Community Distributions
Tlingit & Haida’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) department hosted another successful Back to School Fair on July 29, 2017 at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau, AK. The fair, which offered morning and afternoon sessions, has been held every year since 2004 and is not only a great way to gear up for the school year, but marks the start of Tlingit & Haida’s annual distribution of backpacks in Juneau and throughout Southeast Alaska. This year over 1,800 backpacks were distributed with starter school supplies such as binders, notebook paper, pencils, crayons, calculators and erasers.

Special guest speaker Miss Alaska USA Alyssa London spoke to students on a variety of topics, but most importantly conveyed the importance of school and encouraged students to be confident and to set goals. At the end of each session, Miss Alaska USA responded to questions from the participants and made herself available to students who lined up for a photo opportunity with her at the Glacier Photo Booth setup at the hall.

A special thank you to the Service and Learning Together (SaLT) student group from Chicago, IL for assisting with the assembling of backpacks and serving food at the fair. Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa  to Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council for partnering again and making this a successful event for the community. Best wishes to the students for another great school year!
Southeast Environmental Conference
Dates: September 3 5, 2017
Location: Wrangell, Alaska

Tlingit & Haida’s Native Lands and Resources department is pleased to announce the annual Southeast Environmental Conference will be held September 3-5, 2017 in Wrangell, Alaska.

The Southeast Environmental Conference brings together Southeast tribes, natural resource professionals and others to learn about and address regional environmental priorities. This year’s conference is held in partnership with Wrangell Cooperative Association. Click here to view the agenda.

For more info, contact Raymond Paddock at 800.344.1432 ext. 7184 or .
2017 Client Service Community Fairs
Dates: September 8 23, 2017
Locations: Southeast Alaska Communities

Mark your calendars! Tlingit & Haida will be holding Client Service Informational Fairs in Southeast communities beginning September 8th. The fairs are an opportunity for tribal citizens to learn about Tlingit & Haida’s programs and services, eligibility requirements, ask questions, and receive a new Tribal ID card. Join us for light refreshments and door prizes, and don't forget to also bring a form of identification to receive a new Tribal ID!

If you are unable to attend the fair, don’t forget you can also review our Program Profiles booklet which provides a comprehensive list of all of Tlingit & Haida’s programs and services. 

For more info on the fairs, contact the Program Compliance department at 1.800.344.1432 ext. 7143 or
Motherhood Is Sacred ®
Dates: Wednesday Evenings (Sept. 6 Nov. 29, 2017)
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: 3075 Vintage Blvd. Juneau, AK
Another 12-week session of the Motherhood Is Sacred™ program will begin Wednesday evening (September 6th). Each session is designed to strengthen families through guided discussions on responsible parenting and will explore topics on choice, wisdom, self-identity, and relationships.
For more information or to register, contact Lexy Gallant (907.463.7167 or ) or Vivian Croasmun (907.463.7360 or ).
Fatherhood Is Sacred®
Dates: Thursday Evenings (Sept. 21 – Dec. 22, 2017)
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: 320 W. Willoughby Ave. – Juneau, AK

The Fatherhood Is Sacred® program invites all fathers to participate in their next 12-week program (September 21 st through December 22 nd ). Family is at the heart of our Tlingit and Haida cultures and there is no role in life more important than being a father or mother. If you’re interested in strengthening your family, please register now for our free Fatherhood Is Sacred® program. The program meets every Thursday through December 22nd and brings fathers together for fun activities and discussions designed to guide fathers in teaching and raising children to develop the potential and attributes needed for success in life. Dinner and child care are provided. 
For more information or to register, contact Justin McDonald at or 907.463.7197.
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“Preserving our sovereignty, enhancing our economic and cultural resources, and promoting self-sufficiency and self-governance for our citizens through collaboration, service, and advocacy.”