Providing current news on Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's
government, administrative, and program activities.
- MARCH 2017 -
News in this Edition...
  • Tribal Assembly Update
  • Application Period Open for Emerging Leader
  • Tribal Court Celebrates 10 Years of Service
  • Head Start Administrative Staff Relocate to William G. Demmert Head Start Center
  • Tlingit & Haida Cultural Immersion Park Update
  • Leonora Florendo Retires After 33 Years of Service
  • Second Chance Program Participates in 10th Annual Success Inside and Out Conference
  • Spring King Salmon Derby Cancelled Due to Sport Fisheries Closure
  • Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park Renovations
  • Public Safety to Implement Local Emergency Preparedness Plans in Southeast VPSO Communities
  • Final Native Issues Forum
  • Tlingit Language Lunch Sessions

Tribal Assembly Update
Over 100 Delegates from Southeast Alaska, Anchorage, Washington and California will be gathering April 19-21, 2017 in Juneau, Alaska to conduct tribal business at the 82nd Annual Tribal Assembly.  Delegates are the Tribe's governing body while in session and possess the sovereign and plenary power to legislate for and govern, conduct and manage the affairs and property of Central Council. Delegates will hear reports covering the administrative, governmental and business activities of the Tribe, review and take action on resolutions and proposed amendments to the Tribe's governing documents, and elect a Tribal Court Judge, Delegate/Citizen of the Year, and Emerging Leader. 

Other Highlights:
Theme: "Looking to Our Past, Living for Our Future"  
Tribal Host:  Lowell Halverson (Arlington, WA)
Tribal Hostess:  Ethel Lund (Juneau, AK)
Keynote Speaker:  Lance Morgan, President of Ho-Chunk Tribal Business Corporation
Special Address: Maureen Chapman, Regional Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations

We are also pleased to announce this year's President's award recipients who will be recognized at the Tribal Assembly Welcome Banquet on April 19, 2017.
President's Lifetime Achievement Award
Delores Churchill (Ketchikan)
President's Everyday Hero Awards
Della Cheney (Kake): Culture Bearer
James Hart (Haines): Emerging Leader 
Cindy Mills (Klawock): Hold Each Other Up 
Heather Powell (Hoonah): Inspiring Educator
Alfie Price (Juneau/Metlakatla): Language
Holly Handler (Juneau): Tribal Ally

John Smith (Juneau): Youth Mentor
Application Period Open for Emerging Leader
Central Council is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Emerging Leader position. The Emerging Leader position on the Executive Council, formerly known as the Youth Representative position, was established in 1999 to provide young tribal adults between the age of 18 to 26 with opportunities to acquire important knowledge about Central Council, its governing and organizational structure, and valuable hands-on leadership experience.

Elections for Central Council's Emerging Leader occur annually during Tribal Assembly. To qualify, an applicant must:
  • Be Tribally Enrolled with Central Council Tlingit & Haida
  • Be 18 to 26 Years of Age
  • Submit a Completed Application
Deadline to Submit: April 3, 2017
Please submit application, supporting documents, and any letters of recommendation via email to

Tribal Court Celebrates 10 Years of Service
Central Council's Tribal Court is celebrating 10 years of providing a culturally-appropriate forum for tribal citizens to address their judicial needs and was recently featured in a KTOO article. The Tribal Court has grown from handling a short list of child support and paternity cases to approximately 1,000 open cases including protection orders, custody disputes and adoptions. Approximately 85 percent of all cases relate to child support. 

The Executive Council, Judiciary Committee and Tribal Court staff continue to work toward expanding and sustaining the Tribal Court and its judicial services. The Tribal Court is available for and has subject matter jurisdiction over a large range of civil and criminal issues including: adoptions, child custody, child support, child welfare, divorce, domestic violence, guardianships, marriage and paternity.

The Tribal Court’s judicial services are guided by the traditional values of respect, patience and the essential responsibility to safeguard the future of the Tribe by promoting healthy tribal families. 

To read the full article, please click here.
Head Start Administrative Staff Relocated to William G. Demmert Head Start Center
Head Start’s Administrative office has relocated to the second floor of the William G. Demmert Head Start Center located at 9095 Glacier Highway (formerly known as the Carmag Building). The Head Start administrative staff made the move following the sale of the old Head Start building on Douglas Island. The new center will also be the new location for two Head Start classrooms (Taashuka I and II) this coming Fall. 
Tlingit & Haida Cultural Immersion Park Project Update
Myrna Gardner, Business & Economic Development Manager, recently provided a full progress report on the Tlingit and Haida Cultural Immersion Park project during KINY radio station's Action Line program. In her report, Myrna beautifully describes the conceptual design for the cultural immersion park, the interactions that visitors will experience, the opportunities for our youth to learn and practice our Tlingit and Haida languages and art. She also reported on the estimated costs for construction and operation and funding concerns. To listen to the recorded interview, click here

Please consider showing your support for our Tlingit & Haida Cultural Immersion Park by making a donation today. All funds raised through GoFundMe will support the construction of the cultural immersion park and be used as a match for grant funds. 
Leonora Florendo Retires After 33 Years of Service
After more than three decades of service to Central Council, Leonora (Le) Florendo has decided to take the great leap into retirement. During her tenure with Central Council, Le witnessed many great changes including the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Welfare Reform.

Le began her work at Central Council in 1983 as the Executive Secretary to then-Executive Director Gus Adams. In 1984, she found her permanent work-home as a social worker in the Human Services department under then-Manager Art Holmberg (the department was later renamed to the Tribal Family and Youth Services department).

For the last couple of years, Le has served as Coordinator for the Elderly Services program, which is a wonderful program for elders and caregivers and sponsors a weekly exercise group where elders can exercise, socialize, and enjoy lunch together every Thursday at the Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council building.

Central Council held a special retirement party to celebrate Le and her years of service that has protected and maintained the integrity and rights of Alaska Native children, their families, and tribes. Le has been a dedicated member of the TFYS team for decades and will be missed by many.

A full article on Le's retirement will be issued in the  1st Quarter 2017 Tribal News newsletter.
Second Chance Staff Share Info at Success Inside & Out Conference
On March 4, 2017, Second Chance program staff participated in the 10th Annual Success Inside and Out Conference at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Over 20 other community resource organizations also attended the event to provide program and support service information to aid approximately 60 inmates who are preparing to be released. During the event Second Chance staff shared information, talked to inmates about their plans for success upon release, and distributed over 20 applications.

Statistics to Think About (statistics cited by Alaska Department of Corrections): 
  • Alaska Natives make up 37% of the adult population of the Alaska Department of Corrections despite only representing 15% of the State’s total population, which includes minors under the age 18.
  • Of all the Alaska Natives released from prison, 70% were convicted of non-violent offenses. Alaska Natives are also more likely to recidivate: 75% of all released non-violent Alaskan Native felons return to incarceration compared to the state average of 63%. 
  • Specific to Juneau, drug and alcohol offenses make up 22% of criminal offenses; however, many property crimes, parole/probation violations, and crimes against the person can be tied to substance use disorders. When these crimes are included, well over 50% of the population returning from incarceration is represented.
  • 95% of Alaska’s inmates are eventually released from prison.
Central Council is committed to providing services to tribal citizens who are reentering their communities following incarceration. Providing community support and services to our returning tribal citizens is key to their success in becoming productive, contributing members of society and breaking the cycle of incarceration for themselves and oftentimes their families.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa  to all who participated in this year’s Success Inside and Out Conference!
Spring King Salmon Derby Cancelled Due to Sport Fisheries Closure
Central Council’s Annual Spring King Salmon Derby has been cancelled following a king salmon sport fishing  emergency order  issued by the State of Alaska’s Department of Fish & Game for the Juneau area. The emergency moratorium, which will run from April 15 through June 14, 2017, was made based on the 2017 preseason forecast for the total terminal run that indicated the lower end of the escapement goal is unlikely to be achieved.  

“The cancellation of the derby is unfortunate, but we fully support the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s decision to close the Juneau king salmon sport fisheries,” said President Richard Peterson. “As stewards of the land and sea, it’s vital we protect our traditional and customary resources to ensure sustainability so future Taku River king salmon runs return stronger.” 

For the past 20 years, the Annual Spring King Salmon Derby has not only been a healthy, fun, family-friendly community event, it also funds Central Council’s Alumni Scholarship Assistance program which has provided over $475,000 in supplementary scholarships to over 1,500 students. 

“Although we hope the derby can return next year, alternative fundraising activities are underway that will allow us to continue providing Alumni scholarships to our higher education students this coming academic year,” said Laird Jones, Higher Education Manager. “Thank you to all participants and businesses for their tremendous support over the past two decades."

If you would like to support Central Council’s Alumni Scholarship Assistance program, please contact the Higher Education program at 1.800.344.1432, 907.463.7133, or
Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park Renovations 
On March 1st, Central Council’s Tribal Transportation department held their second meeting with Southeast Alaska Native Veterans to continue discussions on renovations to their memorial park located across from Central Council’s Andrew Hope Building. The March meeting served as an opportunity for veterans to meet directly with Chris Myrtle, an architect with Corvus Design, who the Tribal Transportation department has contracted to complete the memorial park redesign.

The Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park currently includes a raven/eagle totem, a marble centerpiece, and six headstones that have the words ‘courage’ and ‘warrior’ scribed on the front in Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. So far, plans include the installment of a series of plaques with the names of all Southeast Alaska Native veterans. Conceptual plans for the memorial park redesign are expected to be presented to the veterans at their next meeting with construction expected to start this summer.

For more information on the memorial park renovations, please contact the Tribal Transportation department at 1.800.344.1432 or 907.463.7763.
Public Safety to Implement Local Emergency Preparedness Plans in Southeast VPSO Communities 
Through a new partnership with Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM), Central Council’s Public Safety department will be developing and implementing local emergency preparedness plans in the Southeast Alaska communities served under the State’s Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program. The partnership between the DHS&EM and Central Council is the first of its kind that creates a unique tribal jurisdiction in Southeast Alaska that will allow the Tribe to seek further emergency planning funding.

“Oftentimes the focus of emergency planning is on larger communities, but it’s just as important that our rural communities have emergency plans in place for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery,” said Public Safety Manager Jason Wilson.

Sergeant Corey Padron has been promoted to the position of Emergency Management Coordinator to help partner communities in Southeast Alaska develop their local emergency preparedness plans.

"I am thrilled to be working with our partner communities on this important project," said VPSO Sgt. Padron. "As the Emergency Management Coordinator, I plan to work directly with other VPSOs and partner communities to first review and update any existing plans, create additional plans as necessary, and ensure everyone identified in each community’s plan understands their role and has the appropriate training to perform their duties. I will also be focusing on identifying training opportunities and grants to help Southeast Alaska’s communities increase their disaster resiliency."

To read the full press release, click here.
Final Native Issues Forum
Date:  April 6, 2017
Time: Noon - 1:00 PM
Location:  Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (320 West Willoughby Avenue - Juneau, AK)

Don’t miss Central Council’s final Native Issues Forum! The forums are a great opportunity to hear reports on a wide range of topics important to our Native community. If you’re unable to attend in person, all forums are webcast live at We hope you can join us in person or by webcast!

For more information, please contact Government Affairs Liaison Grace Singh at 907.463.7103 or
Tlingit Language Lessons
Dates:  Every Tuesday
Time:  12:15 - 12:45 PM
Location: Vocational Training & Resource Center (3239 Hospital Drive - Juneau, AK)

Bring your lunch and join Central Council’s Language program for Tlingit Language Lessons! The weekly class is open to the general public and is a wonderful opportunity for language learners to get a quick lesson during the work week. Lessons will begin with a review of the Tlingit writing system and will gradually work towards learning how to discuss lineage and use conversational language.
  Our Mission
“Preserving our sovereignty, enhancing our economic and cultural resources, and promoting self-sufficiency and self-governance for our citizens through collaboration, service, and advocacy.”