Providing current news on Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's
government, administrative, and program activities.
- OCTOBER 2016 -
News in this Edition...
  • Central Council Tlingit and Haida Endorses Senator Lisa Murkowski
  • BIA Funds Awarded for Tribal Court Support
  • Tribal Citizens Featured in 50 Faces of Indian Country
  • Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act
  • Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park Renovations
  • President Peterson Provides Testimony at House Fisheries Committee
  • Land Lease Finalized for Tlingit and Haida Cultural Immersion Park
  • Southeast Environmental Conference
  • NLR Receives an Additional $198K in BIA Funding
  • Native PTAC Workshop
  • Client Service Informational Fairs
  • Land-into-Trust Workshop
  • 2016 GOTNV Election Watch Party
  • Native Artist Market
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Endorses Senator Lisa Murkowski
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) has endorsed Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) for re-election to the United States Senate. An announcement of the endorsement followed the unanimous adoption of a motion made during the Executive Council’s meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska on October 18, 2016.

“Senator Murkowski has been an effective member of Congress,” the Executive Council said in a statement. “Her commitment to Alaska Natives and rural communities has been proven through her continued efforts to advance the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of Alaska Natives. Cultural and traditional language preservation, health services, energy, education, food security, rural development — these are just some of the areas Senator Murkowski works hard to advance and protect on behalf of Alaska Native people and why we have made the decision to support her.”

Senator Murkowski chairs the Senate Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service; is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (Vice Chairman and Ranking Member from 2007 – 2009) and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which oversees the implementation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

“As a tribe, one of our highest priorities is the safety of our women and children,” said President Richard Peterson. “We support Senator Murkowski for continuing to have a strong voice and address this issue through her work and support of the Violence Against Women Act and Indian Child Welfare Act.”
Senator Murkowski is a lifelong Alaskan whose family heritage goes back three generations. In recognition of Senator Murkowski’s strong support for the Alaska Native community, she was adopted into the Deisheetaan (Beaver) clan and given the Tlingit name Aan shaawátk'I, which means ‘Lady of the Land’. 
BIA Funds Awarded for Tribal Court Support
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services’ Tribal Justice Support Directorate has received a one-time appropriation of $10 million from Congress to increase tribal justice support. Tribes in mandatory P.L. 280 states have long shown interest in increasing support and capacity for tribal courts. Alaska tribal governments are unique among indigenous American tribes in that there is a lack of access to federal funding for tribal court development. The final overall plan, which was developed through tribal consultations and visits to several Alaska villages, includes specific funding for Alaska, California, and other mandatory P.L. 280 jurisdictions and will assess needs and consider options for the design, development, and implementation of pilot tribal court systems.

$1.2 million will be initially distributed to Alaska village tribes for tribal court support. Apart from funds received through other components of this plan, each Alaska village tribe will receive $5,000 for training, travel, and basic equipment and supplies. A report on how the initial funding was utilized will be compiled and presented to Congress and will be used to determine future years of funding. In order for tribes to be eligible to receive funding for tribal courts in the future, a tribe must have a current court assessment completed through the Office of Justice Services Tribal Court Assessment Program. Although this process is just the beginning, it is a very important component for future funding.

In response to the special appropriation of funding, Central Council’s Judiciary Committee and Tribal Court Judges will be hosting a series of Tribal Court Roundtable discussions in Craig, Hoonah, and Juneau in late January 2017 to provide technical assistance to Southeast Alaska tribes on tribal court development. Topics will cover options for how tribes can secure increased Tribal Court funds beyond this year’s initial BIA funding and will  provide community education, court options, funding information, and next steps for developing a justice system plan and implementation. Presentations will also explore various tribal court options including traditional talking circles, intertribal court systems, mediation and alternative dispute resolution courts, Western style adversarial court systems, and how best to share resources.

For more information on the Tribal Court Development Roundtable discussions, please contact Tribal Court Presiding Judge Debra O’Gara at 800.344.1432, 907.463.7387, or
Tribal Citizens Featured in 50 Faces of Indian Country
Every year, Indian Country Today selects 50 American Indian and Alaska Native people to be recognized for their leadership in “50 Faces of Indian Country” publication. This year, five of our own tribal citizens were selected to be featured in the special publication.

2016 Edition of 50 Faces of Indian Country:

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa for your vision, leadership, and representation! Your work truly inspires and strengthens us!
Alyce Spotted Bear & Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act
The Alyce Spotted Bear & Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at improving the lives of Native American children, was recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The legislation authorizes the creation of an 11-member commission that will study and develop recommendations on ways to more effectively address the overwhelming obstacles Native children face, such as high rates of poverty, staggering unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, crime, substance abuse, and dire economic opportunities. The aim of the commission is to make sure Native children get the protections, as well as economic and educational tools they need to thrive. The commission is named in honor of Alyce Spotted Bear and Dr. Walter Soboleff, our beloved elder, culture bearer, and champion for Native youth.

“I can cite many examples of young Native people who are living healthy lives and doing great things for their people. Yet far too many have found themselves in a world of despair,” said Senator Murkowski. “There is an urgent need for a broad range of stakeholders to come to the table and formulate plans to give every young Native person a fighting chance at a productive life."

For the United States (U.S.) Senate Committee on Indian Affairs press release, click here.  
Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park Renovations
Plans are underway to redesign the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Park located across from Central Council’s Andrew Hope Building. The Tribal Transportation department has awarded Corvis Design (Corvis), an independent landscape architecture firm, to renovate the memorial park.

While improvements have been made to the Andrew Hope Building parking lot to expand capacity over the last two years, Central Council has committed to preserving the memorial in honor of Southeast Alaska Native Veterans. Although small in size, the memorial has not only become a home each year for our Southeast Alaska Native Veterans’ Memorial & Veterans Day services, it reminds passersby every day of our warriors. 

Corvis designed the original memorial (2002) before it was relocated from Sealaska Plaza in 2006. The 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 Tsimpshian. Part of the renovation will include the installment of a series of plaques with the names of all Southeast Alaska Native veterans. 

The firm’s history with the memorial and past experience working with the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans group was a huge factor in awarding the project. Corvis will be working closely with the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans on the redesign. 

“Since reconstruction of the Andrew Hope Building parking lot over the last couple of years, Central Council’s executive team has made it a priority to make the memorial something more prominent on our property. We want to make it something our Native Veterans and tribal citizens can be proud of – something that expresses how much honor we give to our people who have served our country,” said Tribal Transportation Manager Will Ware. “Our initial contact with Corvis Design and their excitement regarding the project has given us confidence that they will be successful in meeting our objectives.”    

More information on the renovation will be shared as design work and planning get underway. 
President Peterson Provides Testimony at House Fisheries Committee
President Peterson provided testimony on transboundary mining during a House Fisheries Committee's public hearing on October 12, 2016. The hearing was held just one week after the State of Alaska and Canada signed a Statement of Cooperation to establish a working group to ensure both governments work together to address transboundary mining issues such as water quality, environmental assessments and permitting for mine projects, and reporting on mine discharges, operations and closure.    

“This issue for us is really personal, as many of us can track our lineage to these rivers,” explained Richard Peterson.   

Pointing back to the Mount Polley Mine disaster, President Peterson also shared, "We’re terrified that that’s what’s going to happen here. And that we’re going to share their fate. We couldn’t sustain our traditional way of life. We couldn’t sustain our economic way of life, if that happened.”   
Media Coverage: 
Land Lease Finalized for Tlingit and Haida Cultural Immersion Park
Central Council and the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) finalized a 35-year lease agreement for the development of a cultural immersion park on the city-owned property located at 4400 Thane Road. In addition to the land lease, Central Council also recently secured a sublease on an adjacent property through a private sector business. The additional property will expand the cultural immersion park’s demonstration area and will allow for carvers to work inside on projects throughout the year.

The next step in the project will be to complete a feasibility study on the property. Central Council received a United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant in the amount of $83,901 to complete the study which will determine if the current structure can be renovated and repaired or will need to be entirely replaced.

“This project is a long-term commitment of the Tribe,” said Business & Economic Development Manager Myrna Gardner. “It’s a commitment to commerce and workforce development, job creation, our local economy, public and private partners, and creating opportunities for our people. This project is about lifting our people up and being a good neighbor and member of the community.”

The cultural immersion park will include a building retrofitted with a traditional long house façade that will house a restaurant and gift shop. Tourists will be able to enjoy traditional Native foods like blueberries, salmon, and Hudson Bay tea while watching Native dance performances. The gift shop will have authentic Native art and souvenirs available for sale. Visitors will also be able to participate in guided tours with interactive demonstrations on the traditional art of basket weaving and carving canoes, paddles, masks, and totem poles. The restaurant will be closed for the winter, but the carving shed will remain open to provide a space for Native artists to carve and weave, hone their crafts, and host educational classes on metal and wood carving, basket weaving, form line design, and language.

For the full press release, click here.
Southeast Environmental Conference Held
Central Council's Native Lands and Resources (NLR) department hosted the annual Southeast Environmental Conference in Ketchikan, Alaska at the Cape Fox Lodge September 19-23, 2016.

Nearly 100 participants attended this year’s conference which brought together environmental program managers and coordinators from Southeast tribes, federal and state agency staff, and other interest groups from the region to learn about and address common environmental priorities, promote capacity building among Southeast tribal environmental programs, expand networking opportunities, and provide a platform for Southeast tribes to convey local traditional issues or concerns directly to environmental professions.
Topics for the Southeast Environmental Conference were identified based on a needs assessment survey completed by Southeast tribes previous to the conference. This year’s conference focused on and provided in-depth presentations and discussions on transboundary mining, water quality standards, fish consumption rates, State Tribal Response Program (Brownfields), solid waste, and climate change.
The last two days of the conference were reserved for a climate change adaptation planning workshop. This workshop gave participants a more detailed look at the climate change issues that were nominated as priorities from the Southeast Alaska tribes during a training held last year and gave a detailed perspective on how tribes can start their adaptation plan.
Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa to all participants who attended the conference: Southeast tribes, Native Village of Eyak, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Lieutenant Governor Mallott and staff, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, Alaska Center for Science in Public Participation, Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Program, Nature Conservancy, Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership, Southeast Soil & Water Conservation District, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Southeast Alaska Watershed Council, and the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP).
NLR Receives an Additional $198K in BIA Funding
The Native Lands and Resources department has received an additional $198,344 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to continue water quality studies on transboundary rivers. Central Council initially received funding 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 downstream impacts we may experience from mining development in British Columbia. This project had been prompted by proposed and developing large-scale mining activity in the headwaters and tributaries of the three transboundary rivers.

As of October 2016, Central Council has collected eleven samples on the Stikine River and eight samples on the Taku River. Once at least twelve months of data has been collected, Central Council will compile an official report on the results that will be shared with regulatory agencies and interested public. 

Native PTAC Workshops - Growing Your Business!
Date: October 27-28, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: VTRC (Juneau, AK)

Are you interested in learning how to grow your business to include government contracting? Don't miss this two-day workshop in Juneau through the Native Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)! The workshop will cover the basics of government contracting, procurement procedures, registrations, TERO, state DBE, Federal 8(a) & HUBZone certifications, and free small business resources.
Client Service Informational Fairs
Mark your calendars for Central Council's Client Service Informational Fairs! The annual fairs are an opportunity for tribal citizens to learn about Central Council’s programs and services, eligibility requirements, ask questions, and receive a new Tribal ID card.

If you are unable to attend a fair, don’t forget you can review our 2016 Program Profiles booklet which provides a comprehensive list of all our programs and services at

For more information on the fairs, please contact the Program Compliance department at 1.800.344.1432, 907.463.7143, or
Land-into-Trust Workshop
Date: November 1-2, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau, AK)

The two-day training will provide information on tribal land tenure in Alaska, review the pros and cons of placing land into trust, and give specific guidance on how to prepare a land into trust application. 

The placement of land into trust involves land use planning, real estate law and policy, environmental compliance, and a specific administrative process.

For more information, please contact Native Lands & Resources at 800.344.1432, 907.463.7186, or
Get Out The Native Vote - Election Watch Party
Date: November 8, 2016
Time: 3:30 - 8:00 PM
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau, AK)

Get Out the Native Vote (GOTNV) Southeast Alaska is hosting an Election Night Watch Party! Make sure to get out and vote on or before election day and join us to watch the election results tally while enjoying good company and light refreshments.
Native Artist Market
Date:  November 25-27, 2016
Time: 12 - 5 PM (Fri.) / 10 AM - 5 PM (Sat. & Sun.)
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau, AK)

Central Council will once again be hosting the Native Artist Market in association with Juneau's Public Market! The event will take place over Thanksgiving weekend in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. If you’re looking for unique handmade Alaska Native products, make sure to stop by! The market will feature a variety of sea otter apparel, jewelry, textile weaving, woodwork, Devil's Club salve, and other Native made goods.

If you’re a Native artist interested in securing a table, please contact Business & Economic Development at 800.344.1432, 907.463.7139, or  
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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.”