Today's guest on Our Community is a longtime Executive Director of the Chugach Regional Resources Commission. At an annual award luncheon hosted by the Alaska Conservation Foundation, CRRC's Patty Schwalenberg was awarded the 2017 Caleb Pungowiyi Award for Outstanding Achievements by an Alaska Native Organization or Individual.
Patty Schwalenberg is executive director of Chugach Regional Resources Commission, a nonprofit inter-tribal organization dedicated to conservation of natural resources in the Chugach region.
For more information about CRRC, check out the web page: http://alutiiqpridehatchery.com/chugach-regional-resource-commission/\
or phone 907-334-0113
Information from a press release regarding her nomination for the award:
"Background on the award: The Caleb Pungowiyi Award was named for the late Caleb Pugowiyi, a Siberian Yup’ik from the community of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, who worked tirelessly to protect the vital link between Alaska Native culture and a healthy environment, with a distinct interest in issues related to marine mammals. He understood that the Natives' well-being was tied to a healthy environment and he worked collaboratively with Oceana and many other environmental groups over the years. It is only fitting that ACF’s award for outstanding achievement by an Alaska native organization or individual be named for Caleb."
"For nearly 35 years, Patty has been actively engaged with tribes across the country and Alaska on natural resource issues, including those related to migratory birds, marine mammals, fisheries and climate change. She has worked with tribes and members of Congress on issues related to the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and national resource policies that affect tribal governments. She is the director of the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council which develops proposed regulations for the subsistence harvest of migratory birds, and has facilitated the involvement of the Chugach Tribes as members of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Marine Mammals.
Patty was instrumental in the creation of two accredited tribal natural resources management courses at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks College of Rural Alaska and the development of a K-12 science curriculum that integrates Alutiiq indigenous knowledge with western science in a way that is easy for students to understand.
In 2015, Patty received the Chief Sealth Award for Outstanding Contributions toward the Preservation, Protection and Prudent Conservation of this Nation’s Vital Fish and Wildlife Resources from the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society for her exceptional work with tribes in this arena.
Throughout her career, Patty has been deeply committed to protecting indigenous subsistence ways of life with the understanding that they depend on healthy ecosystems. She works tirelessly to protect the natural resources that sustain Alaska Native cultures through innovative problem solving, collaboration, effective communication and building conservation support within Alaska Native communities through meaningful involvement in research and management projects while building connections between Native and non-native cultures that share a common goal to protect Alaska’s natural environment."
For a full roster of the 2017 recipients of the Alaska Conservation Foundation awards, you can visit this site: http://alaskaconservation.org/achievement-awards/2017-conservation-achievement-award-recipients/