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

  • T&H Services Awarded Major Subcontract for US Coast Guard Base in Kodiak
  • Maori Delegates Visit Tlingit & Haida
  • Special Native Issues Forum Held on Criminal Justice Reform & Public Safety
  • AFN Convention Week Highlights
  • Executive Council Attend NCAI
  • Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
  • President Peterson Meets to Discuss New Homeless Native Veterans Program
  • Tlingit & Haida Signs Petition to Investigate Mines in BC
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Survey
  • Southeast Environmental Conference Held
  • 5th Annual Tea Picking Partnership with TCLL Program
  • Medical Fundraiser for T&H Employee Cindy Mills
  • Native American Heritage Month Celebration
  • 4th Annual Holiday Market
T&H Services Awarded Major Subcontract for US Coast Guard Base in Kodiak
T&H Services, LLC was awarded a major subcontract by Choctaw Defense Services for a $95 million prime contract to provide facilities maintenance services on the United States Coast Guard base in Kodiak, Alaska. The base station is approximately 21,500 acres and includes 400 building and structures totaling more than 2.5 million square feet. Choctaw is currently phasing in the contract with the assistance of T&H Services. Click here to read the full press release.

T&H Services is an SBA-certified, tribally-owned 8(a) small business subsidiary of Tlingit Haida Tribal Business Corporation (THTBC), which is a wholly owned business enterprise of Tlingit & Haida. The mission of THTBC is to engage in, carry on and conduct business to improve the economic condition of the Tribe.

For more information, contact THTBC CEO Richard Rinehart at
Maori Delegates Visit Tlingit & Haida
Tlingit & Haida met with First Alaskans Institute President & CEO Liz Medicine Crow and a delegation of Maori leaders on October 24, 2017. The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to share important histories and how our tribes, corporations and other entities operate to govern, face challenges, promote language, culture, and economic development, and to provide services to our people.

Gunalchéesh , Háw’aa to Liz Medicine Crow, President & CEO of First Alaskans Institute, for providing my staff and I the honor and privilege of meeting with Maori leaders Rukumoana Schaafhausen, Aimee Kaio, and Lisa Gardiner,” said President Peterson. “We had an amazing dialogue that revealed striking similarities between our indigenous peoples of Alaska and New Zealand. They also have tribes and Native corporations, but because their corporations answer to and serve to support their tribal government, they have built a trust of $120 million up to $2.5 billion. This shows that when working together you can accomplish much for your people. The Maori’s face the same issues as us and they’ve been able to put enormous resources into language revitalization, education and job creation.”
Special Native Issues Forum Held on Criminal Justice Reform & Public Safety
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida), Native People’s Action and Sealaska co-hosted a special Native Issues Forum on Criminal Justice Reform and Public Safety on October 23, 2017. The topic of the forum was chosen to advance discussion on Senate Bill (SB) 54 which is being taken up by the 30th Alaska State Legislature during their special legislative session this month. SB 54 would roll back a portion of last year's criminal justice reform bill (SB 91) aimed at reducing recidivism with alternatives to jail (i.e. probation, electronic monitoring and drug treatment) for nonviolent crimes. The forum included guest speakers Senator John Coghill, Alaska Criminal Justice Commission Chair Greg Razo and Tlingit & Haida's Second Chance Program Coordinator Talia Eames. 

If you missed the forum, watch a recording on Tlingit & Haida's Livestream channel: .
AFN Convention Week Highlights
President Peterson and several Executive Council members traveled to Anchorage to attend the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Annual Convention. Here are some of the highlights:
Attorney General Issues Legal Opinion on Status of Tribal Sovereignty
Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth released a legal opinion on the status of tribal sovereignty in Alaska. The state previously held that legally tribes did not exist - the new issued opinion officially recognizes the inherent sovereignty of Alaska tribes and their status as legal entities separate from other governments.

Media Coverage:

Tlingit & Haida Signs Child Welfare Compact Agreement with State of Alaska
Tlingit & Haida, along with 17 other Alaska tribes and tribal organizations, signed a historic Tribal Child Welfare Compact Agreement with the State of Alaska. The compact agreement creates a unique new partnership and aims to reduce the disproportionate number of Alaska Native children in foster care. It is also the first of its kind for both Alaska and the United States which recognizes the authority of Alaska tribes to provide child welfare programs and services on behalf of the Alaska Office of Children’s Services. Click here to watch a video of the historic signing of the compact agreement.

“This historic agreement puts the power in our hands. It recognizes our sovereignty and right to restore our families," said President Richard ( Chalyee Éesh ) Peterson. "It also sets up the framework for similar agreements with other State departments. For example, we are having a difficult time with recruitment and retention of Village Public Safety Officers and in the meantime, our Southeast Alaska communities do not feel safe. Compacting public safety would allow us the flexibility to better serve our communities that are crying out for safety. Other areas are education and corrections. The ability to compact education could give us the ability to restore our languages and compacting with corrections can help us further address recidivism.”

Francine Eddy Jones Receives Shirley Demientieff Award
Tribal Family & Youth Services Director Francine Eddy Jones was awarded the Shirley Demienteff Award. Bestowed by the Governor each year at AFN, the Shirley Demientieff Award recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of Alaska Native women and children.
Francine has dedicated over three decades of service to Tlingit & Haida and has served as the Director of the Tribal Family & Youth Services department since 1995. She has a deep passion for advocating for tribal children and families and has demonstrated leadership affecting positive change in tribal child welfare for decades.

President Peterson Discusses Advancing Social Justice in Alaska on Radio Program
President Peterson was pleased to participate on KNBA's Alaska's Native Voice radio program to discuss advancing social justice in Alaska. Click here to listen to the one-hour Alaska's Native Voice radio program.

Ethel Lund Receives Della Keats "Healing Hands" Award
There's no one more deserving than our very own Ethel Lund to receive the 2017 AFN Della Keats “Healing Hands” award! This award recognizes an Alaska Native whose accomplishments have most directly affected Native people in their home communities as a traditional healer or healthcare provider. Ethel has been a champion of healthcare for Southeast Alaska and is one of the founders of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC). Gunałchéesh, Háw'aa for lifting us all up Ethel! We love and cherish you!

Southeast Alaska AFN Reception
Tlingit & Haida and Sealaska co-hosted a reception for tribal citizens and shareholders during the week of AFN. The event served as an opportunity for Tlingit & Haida and Sealaska to provide outreach to tribal citizens and shareholders residing in the Anchorage area. There was a great turnout for the reception which featured dance performances, light refreshments and door prizes.
Executive Council Attend NCAI
Several of Tlingit & Haida's Executive Council members traveled to Milwaukee, WI to represent the Tribe at the 74th Annual National Congress of American Indian (NCAI) Convention and Marketplace. Executive Council members are working hard to ensure Alaska is represented in committee meeting and task force discussions on climate change, education, substance abuse prevention and many other topics.

Emerging Leader Keenan Sanderson also had an opportunity to participate on NCAI's Election Committee.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa to 1st VP  Rob Sanderson Jr. , 2nd VP  William Micklin , 3rd VP  Marvin Adams , 4th VP  Jacqueline Pata , President Emeritus  Edward K. Thomas  and Emerging Leader  Keenan Sanderson  for your leadership!
1st VP Rob Sanderson Jr. Elected Alaska Area Vice President
Congratulations to 1st VP Rob Sanderson Jr. who was elected to serve a two-year term as NCAI Area Vice President for the Alaska region. Rob is currently serving his fifth term on Tlingit & Haida's Executive Council and has been a Delegate since 2000. He has been a strong leader on important Alaska Native issues such as suicide prevention, fisheries, subsistence (our way of life), and transboundary mining. He represents the Tribe on the GOAC3 (Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition), IPCoMM (Indigenous People’s Council for Marine Mammals), USFS (United States Forest Service) Alaska Tribal Leaders Committee, United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group as co-chair, Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission, Region 10 Tribal Leaders Summit Committee, and Statewide Suicide Prevention Council. He also participates on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and is a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 14.
Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
There was not an empty seat in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall for the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration hosted by Tlingit & Haida in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) on October 9th. The event kicked off with a march down Willoughby Avenue in downtown Juneau with singing and drumming, welcomes and opening remarks from President Peterson, Governor Bill Walker, ANB Grand Camp President Sasha Soboleff, CBJ Assemblyman Robert Edwardson, and Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson; dance performances by Woosh.ji.een and All Nations Children, and a traditional deer harvesting demonstration.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa to our co-sponsors UAS, Sealaska, SEARHC, THRHA and Juneau Tlingit & Haida Community Council and all who attended and helped us celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day!

Indigenous Peoples Day was officially signed into law by Governor Bill Walker earlier this year. The holiday is observed on the second Monday of October each year. Alaska was the second state to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Other states include: Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota and Vermont.

Media Coverage:
President Peterson Meets to Discuss New Pilot Program to Help Homeless Native Veterans 
Tlingit & Haida President Peterson had the pleasure of recently being introduced to Robin Murdock, a clinical social worker for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). THRHA’s Norton Gregory coordinated the meeting to share information on a demonstration pilot program they were selected to participate in under the Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.

Based on the large population of Native American Veterans in Southeast Alaska, THRHA was one of twenty-three housing authorities in the United States awarded a grant ($324,749). Under the grant, case management and supportive services from VA will be paired with THRHA’s rental housing assistance which will issue 20 rental subsidy vouchers to honorably discharged, homeless or near-homeless Alaska Native and American Indian Veterans in Southeast Alaska.

Robin, who has worked for the VA’s Homeless program for the past 10 years and recently relocated to Juneau, has already visited the Glory Hole and homeless camp sites in the area to identify Alaska Native Veterans who qualify for the assistance. She expressed how eager she is to see this program succeed during her visit with President Peterson and will continue to provide outreach to local tribes and other support service organizations throughout Southeast Alaska in an effort to coordinate resources and identify eligible Native Veterans. To date, the program has issued three housing vouchers with one Native Veteran successfully housed in Saxman, Alaska and one application in process.
“Robin’s work experience and energy lends itself to improve the lives of our homeless Veterans and Tlingit & Haida is eager to work with her to ensure this demonstration program succeeds,” said President Peterson. “Our Veterans and homeless are one of the Tribe’s priorities and we are committed to working with Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority, Veterans Administration and other agencies to identify and help our Native Veterans with housing in Juneau and other parts of Southeast Alaska.”
If you know a Native Veteran who is homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless in Southeast Alaska, please contact Robin Murdock at or call 907.780.3125.
Tlingit & Haida Signs Petition to Investigate Mines in BC
Tlingit & Haida along with other tribes and conservation groups has signed a petition to formally invoke Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to investigate the six large-scale metal mines (see map) in British Columbia, Canada and their impacts on transboundary watersheds that carry water across the Canada-United States border and through Southeast Alaska to the sea. The potential acid-mine drainage and heavy metals from tailings and mine waste threaten to pollute the waters of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers, which are the spawning grounds for many salmon, rich with wildlife, and not only nourish, but sustain our local Southeast communities. The Tulsequah Chief Mine which is located on a tributary of the Taku River, is already producing acid mine drainage that is leaching toxic waste into our waters and is a current example of just how very little the Canadian government is enforcing environmental protections. By petitioning Secretary Ross, Tlingit & Haida hopes to have the issue referred to the International Joint Commission, which is the governing body that addresses disputes arising from the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between the United States and Canada. The treaty governs the use of waters shared by the United States and Canada and cites: “waters flowing across the boundary shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other.”

Petition Signers:
Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Craig Tribal Association, Douglas Indian Association, Friends of the Stikine Society, Ketchikan Indian Community, Klawock Cooperative Association, Organized Village of Kake, Organized Village of Kasaan, Organized Village of Saxman, Petersburg Indian Association, Rivers Without Borders, Salmon Beyond Borders, Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Trout Unlimited, Wrangell Cooperative Association, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, and Earthjustice.

Related Media :
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Survey
Tlingit & Haida and the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) invites you to participate in an important survey regarding Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the transboundary watersheds. This TEK survey is an initial attempt at understanding community concerns in transboundary watersheds. Concerns over pollutants entering Alaskan waterways from upstream Canadian mining operations is a growing concern among Southeast Alaska residents.
This research project is being conducted by Tlingit & Haida and the ADEC. The survey relates to an Alaska Clean Water Action Stewardship activity and the information gathered will help guide future discussions and identify areas of priority.

Take the Survey: 

For more information, contact the Native Lands & Resources department at 1.800.344.1432 ext. 7184 or 907.463.7184.
Southeast Environmental Conference Held
Tlingit & Haida’s Native Lands & Resources department and the Wrangell Cooperative Association co-hosted this year’s Southeast Environmental Conference in Wrangell, Alaska at the James & Elsie Nolan Center from September 5-8, 2017.

Over 60 participants attended which brought together Southeast tribes, natural resource professionals, and other environmental interest groups from the region to promote and share awareness on environmental issues and concerns in Southeast Alaska. The conference provides an opportunity to develop partnerships, build collaborations and bring together resources to enhance projects and possibly offset costs.

This year’s conference showcased presentations on partnership development, diversifying funding resources, opportunities through the newly formed Tribal Conservation District, water quality overviews, panel discussions on fish consumption rate work in Alaska, mining, and climate change. The conference was highlighted by a trip up the Stikine River to conduct and provide hands on training on baseline water quality sampling to conference participants. The conference week ended with project presentations from Southeast tribes, a State and Tribal Response workshop, and closing remarks from Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa to the Wrangell Cooperative Association, City of Wrangell, and all who attended or participated in the conference – Southeast Alaska tribes, Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance, Prince of Wales Consortia, Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research, Sealaska Haa Aan í, Spruce Root Inc., Lt. Governor Mallott and staff, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, United States (U.S.) Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Alaska Fairbanks - Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory program, Southeast Alaska Watershed Council, Kai Environmental Consulting Services, Wrangell Sentinel, and Coast Alaska.
5th Annual Tea Picking Partnership with TCLL
Tlingit & Haida’s Tribal Family and Youth Services (TFYS) department co-hosted its annual S’ikshaldéen (Hudson Bay Tea) picking with the Harborview Elementary School’s Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy (TCLL) program on September 27, 2017. TFYS staff met TCLL students and teachers at the Methodist Camp where they picked the medicinal tea to be given to elders and community members who help in the TCLL classrooms.

The annual event provides an opportunity for TFYS staff to strengthen its partnership with the TCLL program which has continued to expand over the last decade.

While picking tea, staff, teachers and students discussed the first month of school, home life and the autumn rain. TCLL students thanked TFYS staff for cooking lunch and organizing the event by sharing the songs and dances they have learned at school.

At the end of tea picking, a young man summarized why we pick tea…After a TFYS staff member asked Leon Demmert (a 5th grader in Michelle Martin’s class) why he had no tea in his bag, he replied, “We put our tea together because it’s about wooch.een (working together).”
Medical Fundraiser for T&H Employee Cindy Mills
Date:  November 8, 2017 (Free Admission)
Time:  11:30 AM–1 :00 PM
Location:  Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (320 West Willoughby Avenue - Juneau, Alaska)

Please join us for an Indian Taco medical fundraiser for Tlingit & Haida employee Cindy Mills. Cindy is someone who is always volunteering and helping others. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. We are asking for you to help us hold her up!

Delivery is available for five (5) or more pre-orders to the same location! To pre-order, please call Patty Lockhart at 463.7169.
Native American Heritage Month Celebration
Date:  November 16, 2017 (Free Admission)
Time:  5:007:30 PM
Location:  Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (320 West Willoughby Avenue - Juneau, Alaska)

It’s movie night at Tlingit & Haida’s Native American Heritage Month Celebration !

The topic this year is Our Sacred Waters . Join us for a viewing of the documentary film “Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock” with closing remarks on Tlingit & Haida’s recent activities relating to the transboundary mining issue.

Theater-style snacks will be provided along with refreshments.
4th Annual Holiday Market
Date:  November 24-26, 2017 (Free Admission)
Time:  Noon 5:00 PM (Fri.) / 10:00 AM 5:00 PM (Sat. & Sun.)
Location:  Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (320 West Willoughby Avenue - Juneau, Alaska)

Save the dates! Tlingit & Haida’s Business & Economic Development department, in association with Juneau’s Public Market, is pleased to host the 4th Annual Holiday Market over Thanksgiving weekend!

The market features a variety of handmade Alaska Native products such as sea otter apparel, jewelry, textile weaving, woodwork, paddles, regalia, Devil’s Club salve, jams and much more. If you are looking for unique gifts for the holiday season, stop by!
For more information on the Holiday Market, call 800.344.1432 ext. 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.”