Native American

By Johanna Eurich, Independent Producer

Alaska Natives have been struggling with the failure of public education in their villages for a long time. Today, we look at two communities taking control of their schools.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

Continuing low prices pressure Legislators to consider reduced oil and gas tax credits

By the Associated Press

  Alaska's largest tribe is boycotting FedEx, a sponsor of the Washington, D.C. NFL team whose name and mascot many consider derogatory to Native Americans. The Juneau Empire reports the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has told tribal employees use of FedEx services will be discontinued.  FedEx is one of the team's top sponsors and owns naming rights to the Washington D.C. stadium. 

Wayside closures will affect travelers on Glenn, Richardson and Tok Cutoff highways

By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

The Alaska House and Senate have reached a deal on the state’s operating budget. For weeks, the two bodies have been at an impasse over whether to fund cost-of-living raises for public employees. House Democrats argued that the state should not go back on its contract with state workers, while Senate Republicans held that it was inappropriate to grant them a pay increase when the state faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit. The House Republican majority acted as a go between.

The U.S. Congress yesterday [Tuesday] unanimously adopted legislation to create a Commission on Native American children. That's according to a prepared statement by bill sponsor U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. The 11-member commission will study and develop recommendations on ways to combine and coordinate federal programs and funding for Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian children.

Bill would give Alcoholic Beverages Control Board oversight of marijuana

By Zacharia Hughes, APRN

A bill that is fundamental to setting up legal regulations for Alaska's marijuana passed the House Tuesday [April 14, 2015]. The bipartisan vote is a step towards the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board establishing a permit structure that oversees a full legal market, from growers to commercial sales.

Legislators debate states’ rights and constitutionality of a state law to seize federal lands

Monday, legislators voted on a controversial bill that would seize some 170 million acres of federal land in Alaska, excluding national parks and the military. Opponents said the bill is unconstitutional, and, with a fiscal crisis at hand, now is not the time to begin pointless litigation. But bill supporters said Alaskans should be able to fight for what is rightfully theirs. The bill passed 27 to 11 along caucus lines. It will now be sent to the Senate.

Historical trauma at the root of substance abuse and other mental health maladies

An Ojibwe woman and independent journalist recently visited Alaska for a series of stories on historical trauma and Native American mental health practices. Mary Annette Pember said the troubled lives of Native Americans reflect their troubled history.

Gov. Sean Parnell vetoed a bill that would have scrubbed Courtview - the state's onlne criminal records database - of any charge that did not result in a conviction. The Alaska Court system has adopted a rule that would wipe the records of any person who was arrested but not charged with a crime.

Oral arguments have wrapped up in an appeal of the conviction of 13 Yup'ik Eskimo fishermen for illegally fishing for king salmon on the Kuskokwim River in 2012. A 3-judge panel of the Alaska Appeals Court will issue a future decision.

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the state of Alaska have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to foster a new level of communication and cooperation. The Governor's office calls it a first. The MOA calls for a review of issues and programs to identify opportunities for the two entities to work together.

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