Providing current news on Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's
government, administrative, and program activities.
- SEPTEMBER 2016 -
News in this Edition...
  • Strengthening Tribal Stewardship Conference Held
  • Central Council Joins the 2017 "A Year of Kindness" Challenge
  • Executive Council Report - Tribal Representatives Attend IUCN World Conservation Congress
  • Emerging Leader Report - When Water Moves a Nation
  • Office of the President Promotions
  • Business & Economic Development Manager Appointed to Juneau Commission on Sustainability
  • Carmag Building Renamed to William G. Demmert Head Start Center
  • 2016 Alaska Head Start Association Awards of Excellence
  • VPSO Coordinators Meeting Held
  • 2016 Southeast ICWA Workshop
  • Get Out the Native Vote Registration Rally & Candidates Forums
  • Land-into-Trust Workshop
  • Native Artist Market
Strengthening Tribal Stewardship Conference Held
Central Council hosted a Strengthening Tribal Stewardship conference August 23-26, 2016 in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Tribal Management program. The four-day conference brought together tribal staff from Yakutat, Klawock, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Haines, Douglas, and Klukwan to explore various models of co-management of Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources, as well as review the state's lands history and fee-to-trust.

Central Council's Native Lands and Resources department, President Richard Peterson, 3rd Vice President Ralph Wolfe, and Emerging Leader Miciana Hutchinson also attended the conference which included a special presentation by Douglas Indian Association Tribal Council Member John Morris Sr. who provided an elder’s perspective on the connection we have to the land and animals, the inherent responsibility of stewardship, and the wellness associated with subsistence ceremonies that have been practiced for thousands of years.
Central Council will coordinate additional trainings to take place next year to continue to encourage further discussion on how communities and tribal governments can collaborate on co-management and strengthen tribal stewardship of traditional territories in Southeast Alaska.

“Advancing tribal self-determination and self-governance is always at the forefront of our priorities,” said President Peterson. “The current federal and state dual management system is ineffective and difficult to navigate. Co-management advances tribal self-determination, builds tribal capacity, and creates economic opportunities.”  
Central Council Joins the 2017 "A Year of Kindness" Challenge
Central Council is pleased to join the 2017 "A Year of Kindness" Challenge in partnership with the Juneau Police Department! 

The initiative challenges Juneau community members and organizations to do one kind act a day in an effort to build bridges between different cultures, races, religions, and socio-economic groups. JPD intends to measure changes in quality of life in Juneau between 2016 and 2017 based on the challenge and will compare statistics between the two years. Statistics will include crime rates, police calls for service, suicide rates, and other factors to determine if quality of life can be improved across the city if personal interactions between residents are more positive and more inclusive.

Are you ready to join the challenge? 
Executive Council Report - Tribal Representatives Attend IUCN World Conservation Congress
First Vice President Rob Sanderson Jr., along with Native Lands and Resource Specialist Jennifer Hanlon and tribal representatives from the United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group (UTTMWG), recently traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to attend and give a presentation at the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. 

The IUCN World Conservation Congress meets every four years and is the world’s largest conservation event that brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges. Over 190 different countries and 9,000 people attended. 

The UTTMWG, which is a consortium of tribal governments working to protect the ancestral lands and waters of Southeast Alaska, submitted a proposal to the IUCN to host a session and was one of 188 proposals selected from approximately 1,500 to present during the IUCN’s Knowledge Café. UTTMWG’s session, “Saving Southeast Alaska’s Rainforest Way of Life,” led discussions that reintroduced an ecosystem-based approach to equitable sharing of resources with culture-based protections that prioritize traditional knowledge; addressed the need for a legal structure supported by international water law and the Boundary Waters Treaty; and gave a demonstration of the burdens of over-accumulation of material goods, benefits of sharing knowledge and resources, and the importance of respecting ecological connections in the natural world. Although the session was designed as a discussion among 12 leaders, over 25 people attended.

The IUCN was an important opportunity for Southeast tribal representatives to generate support and awareness on continued efforts to protect our tribal communities and way of life from the downstream impacts of large-scale mining in the transboundary region. 

To read 1st VP Sanderson’s full Executive Council report, click here.
Emerging Leader Report - When Water Moves a Nation
Emerging Leader Miciana Hutcherson recently chronicled her journey to the Sacred Stone Camp to support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who have been peacefully protesting the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Miciana was one of several tribal citizens who participated in the historical canoe journey down the Missouri river with Juneau Delegate Doug Chilton (One People Canoe Society). In her report, Miciana shares her personal journey from first learning about the DAPL, attending rallies, and eventually traveling to Bismarck, North Dakota to join the Missouri River paddle and how this experience forever changed the way she looks at water and the world.

Excerpts from Miciana’s report:

I call it a “perfect storm” because there’s no clear timeline or tipping point as to why this time, after all of the other struggles that Indian Country has faced, we’ve decided to come together in such a momentous way. It’s a culmination of connected issues that branch throughout our land even farther than the tributaries of the Missouri and Cannonball. Mauna Kea in Hawaii, transboundary mining in Alaska, coal trains in Washington–they were all the wave that carried us to North Dakota…

This camp is the epitome of environmental justice, suicide prevention, healthy lifestyles, alcohol and drug prevention, intertribal communication, and everything else we’ve been working for throughout Indian Country. This is where we practice what we preach and everyone has a part. This is where we take a stand and say “We are Idle No More.” Water is life and it is breathing life back into our people–it starts with Standing Rock. 

To read Miciana's full report, click here.  
Office of the President Staff Promotions
President Peterson is pleased to announce the following promotions in the Office of the President: 
M adeline Soboleff Levy, General Counsel
Madeline Soboleff Levy ( Shaa Xei di Tlaa / Gaayjuwaay) formerly served as the Tribe’s Child Support Attorney where she provided legal services and representation in all paternity and child support cases. As General Counsel, Madeline will provide professional legal counsel to the Tribe in the areas of tribal government, federal-tribal relations, jurisdiction issues, environmental and natural resources law and policy, economic development, tribal business enterprise, and employment issues.

Grace Singh, Tribal Government Affairs Liaison
Grace moved into the new Tribal Government Affairs Liaison position after serving over a year as Special Assistant to the President. In her new position she will coordinate the Tribe’s intergovernmental activities with federal, state, municipal, and tribal entities. Her position will work closely with the President, Executive Council, and General Counsel to promote tribal interest and achieve Central Council’s mission, goals, and objectives. 

Carley Jackson, Secretary to the President
Carley Jackson ( Gajint’) has been an integral part of all projects in the Office of the President since joining the team as an Administrative Assistant in 2015. In her role as Secretary to the President, she will oversee the President’s meeting schedule and travel plans, record the minutes of the Tribe’s official business, and coordinate all events hosted by the Office of the President.   
Business & Economic Development Manager Appointed to Juneau Commission on Sustainability
Central Council's Business & Economic Development Manager Myrna Gardner was recently appointed by the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Assembly to the Juneau Commission on Sustainability. Myrna joins nine other public members along with the Planning Commissioner and one City Assembly member to promote the economic, social, environmental, and governmental well-being of Juneau and all its inhabitants. CBJ Assembly established the Juneau Commission on Sustainability in 2007 to research and advise the CBJ on community sustainability.

As the Business & Economic Development Manager, Myrna works with local, state, and federal governments to foster and improve the Southeast Alaska economy. She is responsible for creating partnerships with Native organizations and businesses, provides administrative support to the Tribe’s business enterprise, and offers business development and marketing support services to tribally-owned businesses.
Carmag Building Renamed to William G. Demmert Head Start Center
Central Council is pleased to announce the Carmag Building has been officially renamed the William G. Demmert Head Start Center! The Executive Council unanimously selected to rename the building in honor of Tlingit scholar William G. Demmert Jr. ( KaaGooWu), Ed. D., who passed away in 2010. The property located at 9095 Glacier Highway is currently under renovation and is expected to be the new location for Head Start’s administrative office and two classrooms in 2017. Giving the building a new name that recognizes  KaaGooWu’s lifetime of dedication to Native education - it couldn't be a better match!
KaaGooWu  was born in Klawock to William and Florence (Allman) Demmert. He attended Seattle Pacific University, University of Alaska – Fairbanks, and Harvard University, where he received his doctorate of education in 1973. Bill retired as an Adjunct Professor of Education from Western Washington University and was one of the original founders of the National Indian Education Association. He was also the first Deputy Commissioner of Education for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Indian Education, and served as the Director of Education for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He held the position of Commissioner of Education for the State of Alaska, and served as a member of President Clinton’s Education Transition Team.   
2016 Tlingit & Haida Head Start Association Awards of Excellence
The Alaska Head Start Association annually recognizes parents, staff, and community partners who go above and beyond in their roles and commitment to helping all of our children become school ready. This year, Tlingit & Haida Head Start nominated several people who were selected to receive the 2016 Alaska Head Start Association’s Award of Excellence. Congratulations to the award recipients and Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa for supporting the Tlingit & Haida Head Start program!

Tlingit & Haida Head Start Award Recipients:
• Mother of the Year - Erin Andresen
• Lead Teacher of the Year - Sandy Churchill
• Administrative Support Staff of the Year - Bob Stevenson
• Humanitarian of the Year - Kathleen Rhea
• Community Advocates of the Year - Linda Torgersen & Chris Thomas

For a complete list of award recipients, please visit: More information will also be posted on Central Council’s website at
VPSO Coordinators Meeting
For the first time in more than 10 years, the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Coordinators meeting was attended by the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner and executive officers from the tribal organizations that administer the VPSO program. Tribal representatives and State officials met for two days. During the meeting, tribal presidents addressed concerns with some of the language in the VPSO contract with the State of Alaska and the newly implemented Standard Operation Procedures manual. VPSO coordinators meet quarterly to review policy and procedures and discuss topics of importance relating to the administration of the VPSO program. The meeting closed with a renewed commitment among tribal and state representatives to meet annually to discuss important Public Safety issues.

The following tribal organizations administer VPSO programs and were in attendance:
  • Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association 
  • Association of Village Council Presidents 
  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation 
  • Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Chugachmiut
  • Copper River Native Association 
  • Kodiak Area Native Association
  • Kawerak
  • Northwest Arctic Borough 
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference
The VPSO program is designed to train and employ individuals residing in the village as first responders to public safety emergencies such as search and rescue, fire protection, emergency medical assistance, crime prevention, and basic law enforcement. VPSO's reduce the loss of life due to fires, drowning, lost person, and the lack of immediate emergency medical assistance in rural communities. The presence of these officers has had a significant impact on improving the quality of life in the participating villages.  
2016 Southeast ICWA Workshop
The Tribal Family and Youth Services (TFYS) department hosted an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) workshop August 30-September 2, 2016 in Juneau, Alaska. The annual ICWA workshop provides an opportunity to increase community partnership, inform partners of new Indian Child Welfare policies and guidelines, and enhance the courtroom skills of Southeast ICWA representatives.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and TFYS funded the workshop which was attended by 90 participants from the State of Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS), Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), Native American Rights Fund (NARF), Southeast tribes, Alaska Federation of Natives, community service providers, Southeast ICWA representatives, and TFYS staff.

Highlights of the four-day workshop included a keynote address from Central Council President Emeritus Edward K. Thomas on tribal sovereignty and the history of Central Council; special welcome from President Peterson via live webcast who stressed the importance of ICWA and the partnership between Central Council's ICWA caseworkers and their community partners, and a dance performance by students with  the Harborview Elementary School’s Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy (TCLL) program.

Several panel discussions were held during the workshop - the panel discussions covered ICWA in the courtroom by state and tribal judges; the new BIA ICWA regulations which go into effect December 12, 2016 and  how they will affect the work of all parties working on ICWA cases; Trauma Informed Care and how providers can learn about historical trauma to better serve tribal families; how the state and tribes can collaborate to find relatives of families to satisfy the placement preferences for children under ICWA; and  an update on Central Council's Tribal Title IV-E maintenance program

The final day and a half of the workshop was devoted to enhancing the courtroom skills of Southeast ICWA representatives. Attorneys from ALSC, Public Defender’s Agency, and Office of Public Advocacy, and Tribal Court Presiding Judge Debra O’Gara provided small group opportunities for mock hearings for participants to practice engagement in the courtroom.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa to all who contributed to and attended the ICWA workshop!  
Get Out The Native Vote Registration Rally & Candidate Forums
Voter Registration Rally & Municipal Candidates Forum
Date: September 30, 2016
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau)
Alaska Legislative Candidates Forum
Date: November 5, 2016
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau)
Land-into-Trust Workshop
Date: November 1-2, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM - 4 PM
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau)

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
Native Artist Market
Date:  November 25-27, 2016
Time: 12 - 5 PM (Fri.) / 10 AM - 5 PM (Sat. & Sun.)
Location: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (Juneau)

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  
  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.”