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Tribal assistance, job programs lose funds

Aug 23, 2016

By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will get about half the BIA settlement funds slated for Southeast tribal governments. Southeast Alaska’s regional tribal government is temporarily ending programs that help clients find jobs and pay for living expenses.

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska says Bureau of Indian Affairs budget cuts are to blame.

William Martin directs the council’s 477 programs, which are named after the federal law that funds them.

Montana State University has received a five-year $20 million dollar grant to work with several Alaska partners on health disparities facing Native communities. The project is being funded by the National Institutes of Health.

By Zacharia Hughes, Alaska Public Media

Turnout for yesterday’s primary election was low – about 15% statewide – but voters sent a clear message as a lot of incumbents lost their jobs.

The state's Republican makeup saw a rearrangment: three incumbents lost their seats, while two more failed to move from the house into the senate.

Monday (Aug. 15), Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth announced she will drop an appeal in a case involving increased tribal jurisdiction through placement of tribal lands into trust.

Trust status transfers title to those lands to the federal government, and protects the land from taxation or seizure for debt. It gives tribes greater jurisdiction and access to federal funding. Trust lands include reservations. They’re a long-standing and common feature of land management for lower 48 tribes.

In today’s [Tues] primary election Alaskans will decide which candidate will appear on November’s ballot for a given political party. In some races whoever wins the primary is likely to win the seat because they will run unopposed in the general election. On the ballot are candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, ten state Senate and all 40 state House seats. Polls are open until 8 p.m.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage

Affordable housing is in great demand in Alaska – people enter a lottery to even get their names on a waiting list. So the grand opening of an East Anchorage affordable housing complex for active seniors was cause for celebration Wednesday when about 50 people listened to speakers and toured the two-building complex.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage

Aug. 5, 2016

Organizers of a wellness summit in Palmer hoped for 300 participants and were pleased more than 500 people came together Thursday [Aug. 4, 2016] to talk about the problem of opioid addictions, and the growing number of deaths due to overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.  

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska said a meeting last fall with several women in recovery opened his eyes to the problem. And he organized the wellness summit to find solutions before it gets worse.

Joaqlin Estus

Thur. Aug. 4, 2016

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Addiction to prescription pain killers has become epidemic according to health officials who will be presenting at a wellness summit Thursday [Aug. 4,] in Palmer. Speaking Tuesday on Alaska Public Media’s Talk of Alaska, Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jay Butler said deaths due to opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the past decade. And U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said such deaths have tripled nationally since 1990.

By Daysha Eaton, KBBI - Homer

For years, the Ninilchik tribe has been seeking — and last week was granted — approval to use a more effective method of catching its subsistence allocation of Kenai River sockeye salmon. The change in gear type has raised concerns about its take of king salmon, a fishery that's been in decline for several years.

Rather than dip netting, the Ninilchik Traditional Council can now set a gill net.

By Daysha Eaton, KBBI - Homer

For years, the Ninilchik Traditional Council has been seeking approval to use a more effective method of catching their subsistence allocation of sockeye salmon on the Kenai River. Late last week, they got that opportunity. 

On July 27, the Federal Subsistence Board approved the tribe’s emergency special action request to operate a community subsistence set net fishery on the Kenai. Approval came after a lawsuit filed in 2015. Before, the tribe was approved for dipnetting and rod-and-reel subsistence fishing on the Kenai.

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