July 9th, 2015  | Summer Newslette

Welcome to The Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) We are a diverse network of organizations and individuals working together to meet the challenge of sustainable community development in Southeast Alaska. 

It is our collective mission to empower rural Alaskan communities to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity.

The salmon are running, the sun is shining and the grills are hot. Summer is upon Southeast Alaska! The Sustainable Southeast Partnership enjoyed a busy spring. A baby was born, a traveling greenhouse constructed, international exchanges were facilitated and a new community was even added to the network! Please continue to follow along on facebook, on our updated website, blog and with future newsletters.

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership Gets an Identity!

Under the vision of (Southeast) Alaskan designer Michaela Goade, SSP developed our new logo and color theme. We wanted something modern yet traditional, something visually simple yet representative of our complex network. Basically, Michaela had her work cut out for her and we are thrilled with the result!


Our logo combines subtle elements of form-line with a fresh color palette inspired by traditional art. The ovoid form represents our organic, growing, multi-layered, collaborative network. Bravo Michaela!


Our website also received a fresh layer of paint, it's brand spankin' new and we hope you take a moment to check it out. Come on, it's only one click away .

Updates From the Field: What We Do
The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is About Connecting People

From Local Wood Resources, A Mobile Greenhouse is Born!
Greenhouse to Serve Rural Communities as Classroom on Wheels

Juneau Douglas High School students were hard at work this spring, punching nails into local wood to construct a mobile greenhouse! Framing  for the greenhouse is young-growth wood sourced from Sealaska Land (Prince of Wales Island) and milled in Hoonah by Icy Strait Lumber. Young-growth is a sustainable alternative to old-growth and the mobile greenhouse is exploring ways this wood can be used as a construction material in-region.


Alaskan's spend $2 billion on food each year. If Southeast Alaskans were able to displace just 3% of food imports with local food sources we could keep $60 million dollars circulating in the region.

The greenhouse will serve as a local food kickstarter, allowing community members and students to experience fresh, nutritious foods that can be grown in-region. As the greenhouse travels through Southeast Alaskan communities, the mobile classroom will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and food production skills.


SSP is looking for some supporting players to help fulfill the Mobile Greenhouse's mission

  • Educational Material: curricula development about growing food in controlled environments in Southeast Alaska.
  • Rural Community Interest and Leaders: Are you interested in seeing the mobile greenhouse pay a visit to your rural community? We need to gauge community interest and identify potential educational leaders who could lead a greenhouse program in their community.

Contact Lia Heifetz, Grow Southeast, Southeast Conference

GrowSoutheast@gmail.com, 907.321.5425  


Energy costs can be debilitating for small businesses, especially in Alaska's rural communities. In June, Energy Audits of Alaska traveled to the communities of Haines and Hoonah to help business owners save money on energy bills. This program included Commercial Energy Efficiency workshops and energy audits to public and commercial buildings.

In just four days Fowler was able to provide 20 free audits to businesses and public buildings in Hoonah and Haines, totaling over 110,000 square feet of facilities!


On average, businesses in Alaska can cut their energy costs by 30% and that can translate into some pretty big savings, especially for rural villages currently paying high energy rates.


These services are sponsored by the SSP, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation,Renewable Energy Alaska Project, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the support of the Southeast Conference, Haa Aanì, and Alaska Energy Authority.


Next stop, Prince of Wales Island! The energy team is planning to travel to the island in August. If you're a non-residential building owner, manager or tenant in Prince of Wales, please contact Shaina Kilcoyne at 907-331 - 7409 s.kilcoyne@realaska.org .


Strengthening Indigenous Voice in Natural Resource Management
Alaska Haida Representatives Visit Haida Gwaii for a Community Exchange


In May, representatives from Alaska's Haida communities traveled to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia to collaborate on indigenous natural resource stewardship and strengthen international relations.

Carrie Sykes of the Organized Village of Kasaan and Anthony Christianson of the Hydaburg Cooperative Association participated in a community exchange with the Emerald Edge Indigenous Stewardship Initiative--a program with the mission of bringing together people and projects from the coasts of Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington to support the long-term health of the world's largest coastal temperate forest. 

Sykes and Christianson attended the Coastal Stewardship Network Annual Gathering. This annual meeting brings together stewardship representatives from the First Nations to strengthen indigenous leadership in natural resource management. This year, the conference was opened to additional nations including guests from Alaska.


"It was very exciting to learn about what the First Nations are doing in British Columbia to assert their self-governance and sovereign authority. Although the management regimes are quite different between the two countries, there are similar concerns such as impacts from development, competing uses for the resources..." Carrie Sykes says.


The Alaskan Haida and Canadian Haida have much to learn from one another in areas, such as cultural tourism, resources management, co-management of traditional resources, and the protection of culture. 

"Although the Haidas have been separated through a migration to Alaska, we are the same nation and we need a unified voice to protect our customary and traditional resources on both sides of the border. We are united by our Native culture, resources and water. When we stand united we have strength and can make a difference for future generations," says Sykes.

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is eager to turn this knowledge and strengthened international partnership into action for rural communities here in Southeast Alaska.


Community Partners Come Together to Plan A Sustainable Future for Kake's Economy

Kake is the only community in Southeast Alaska that drafts its own Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). CEDS draws on input from a full diversity of community partners including local businesses, the City, the Organized Village of Kake, Kake Tribal Corporation, the Kake City School District, and interested residents. The resulting document is used to identify and prioritize projects that expand economic choices for the people and community of Kake while maintaining and strengthening community health and Tlingit identity.

The community met on May 6th, to start drafting an updated strategy. Participants brainstormed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing Kake. The meeting was a great success with over 25 participants offering their insights to combat Kake's economic challenges.


An example of the Kake's CEDS process in action is the stabilization and restoration of the community's cannery. The restoration of this historical cannery is a step towards that community goal of developing small-scale tourism in the community. A grant provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is making this work possible and currently, crews are working to stabilize and restore the building. Local businesses, artists, restaurants, and community spaces will occupy the cannery upon its completion.

Over the summer the CEDS Committee will use the SWOT information collected during the May Summit to draft the fourth edition of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. All CEDS Committee meetings are open to the public, and community input is welcome and encouraged.



New Faces of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership


On May 31st,  SSP Program Director, Alana Peterson brought beautiful and healthy Esmee Jule Figueroa into the world! Congratulations to mom and family. Meanwhile, this spring SSP also welcomed Paul Hackenmueller into the program! Hackenmueller serves as the Economic Development Coordinator with Haa Aaní, LLC.


In August, SSP will officially welcome Lindsey Hershey and the community of Yakutat into the partnership. We can't wait to start working closely with Lindsey and this vibrant and unique community.

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is... 
Our group, organized under the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, has a unified vision of community sustainability. SSP includes both regional and community based organizations that are working together across the region. 

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership community partners include:  Kake, Kasaan, Hydabur gHoonahSitka and Yakutat.

We are excited to announce the addition of Yakutat to our network in August!
Our regional partners are diverse, ranging from economic development agencies to environmental conservation groups.