Alaska Native Fund – 2013 Grantees  

Advancing Alaska Native Priorities for Protecting the Land and Sustaining Our Ways of Life

Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Alaska Native Fund awarded nine grants totaling $142,000 for indigenous environmental priorities and projects addressing critical food security issues in Alaska. We are pleased to present the following 2013 Alaska Native Fund grant recipients:

West

  • Organization: Association of Village Council Presidents
    Project: Alaska State of Our Salmon Special Convention Final Report
    Funding Amount: $12,000
    The Alaska Native Fund grant will be utilized to allow A.V.C.P. to employ a Yup’ik Translator to help in A.V.C.P.’s Final Report addressing the state of the region’s low salmon population and its negative impacts on the region. The goals of the project are to effectively disseminate awareness of the decline of the Chinook salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers to the affected communities with the intent of recruiting more tribal governments for engagement in solutions. 

West

  • Organization: Bering Sea Elders Group
    Project: Northern Bering Sea Initiative
    Funding Amount: $18,000 (Year 2 in funding)
    The Alaska Native Fund grant will finance the Bering Sea Elders Group to collaborate with other local tribal governments and organizations in the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Bering Straits regions to promote marine policies for the northern Bering Sea that protect traditional uses, food security and the ecosystem as a whole. A primary focus is on safeguarding a federal fishery management decision that prohibits bottom trawl fisheries from expanding into northern waters because of concerns such as bycatch and damage to seafloor habitat.

Far North

  • Organization: Gwich’in Steering Committee
    Project: Protecting the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
    Funding Amount: $20,000
    With several communities in close proximity to the Refuge, the steering committee’s primary goal is to maintain their cultural and spiritual connection with their natural environment. The Alaska Native Fund grant will assist with their efforts to protect the Coastal Plains of the A.N.W.R. from oil and gas development. The committee intends to do this by community engagement, leadership development, and campaign development in communities that may be affected by resource development. 

Statewide/International

  • Organization: Inuit Circumpolar Conference
    Project: How to Access Food Security from an Inuit Perspective: Building a Framework for Food Security in the Alaskan Arctic
    Funding Amount: $12,000 (Year 2 in funding)
    The Inuit Circumpolar Conference has done substantial work developing I.C.C.’s capacity to further engage Arctic communities through a Traditional Ecological Knowledge project; building a framework to advance Inuit priorities on the state, national, and international level, and assessing food security as one of their objectives. I.C.C. continues to research indigenous knowledge on harvesting and preserving traditional resources to maintain food security in a changing arctic climate.   

Interior

  • Organization: Nulato Tribe
    Project: Tribal Diplomacy for Food Security
    Funding Amount: $10,000
    Along with several dozen of communities along the Yukon River, the community of Nulato is experiencing the severe decline of Chinook salmon in the Upper Yukon River area. The Nulato Tribe will be utilizing the Alaska Native Fund grant to produce a comprehensive presentation on Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna to the Arctic Council as a request for the Council to investigate the crisis of the declining salmon populations. The tribe also intends to build international relations with neighboring country, Russia, to gain bycatch statistics of the shared Bering Sea fisheries.   

Southeast

  • Organization: Organized Village of Kasaan
    Project: Prince of Wales-Tribal Sea Otter Commission and Sea Otter Artisan Project
    Funding Amount: $20,000 (Year 2 in funding)
    Partnerships between the Organized Village of Kasaan and tribal governments in Prince of Wales Islands including Craig, Hydaburg, and Klawock have created the Tribal Sea Otter Commission with a mission to acquire sustainable subsistence and commercial harvesting of natural marine species, specifically sea otters; along with intents to stimulate the region’s economy by hosting courses in marine life fur trading. The Alaska Native Fund grant will be used to develop subsistence data collection on sea otter diets and the development of the Prince of Wales Sea Otter Management Plan, which will be used as a communication medium for harvesters, regulatory and enforcement agencies, and conservation interests to  communicate on the issues of diminishing sea life and how the regulations have altered the lifestyles of the Indigenous people of Southeast Alaska.

Southcentral

  • Organization: The Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission
    Project: Old Harbor Subsistence Mapping Funding
    Funding Amount: $10,000
    On behalf of approximately 85 Alaska Native tribes spanning from the Aleutian Islands in the Bristol Bay across to the Southeast panhandle communities where sea otters and sea lions are a staple in Indigenous diets, the Alaska Steller Sea Lion and Sea Otter Commission submits policy resolutions to state and federal governments and agencies regarding northern sea otter issues. The Alaska Native Fund grant will be used to conduct data collection including documentation of subsistence harvests and use the data to map critical subsistence areas to support policy and regulation demands based on the needs of the tribal memberships.

Southeast

  • Organization: Wrangell Cooperative Association
    Project: Tribal Food Security and Economic Development Capacity Building Project
    Funding Amount: $20,000
    The Wrangell Cooperative Association desires to join forces with nearby tribes in their region and to become an essential part of the national forest planning and management process. The Alaska Native Fund grant will assist with building the needed alliance to help protect the Stikine River from further environmental degradation brought on by large scale industrial mining of British Columbia. The fund will allow for a workshop gathering of Wrangell and Petersburg tribes to organize their priorities in subsistence, economic development, and environmental conservation while supporting participation in the natural resource development process.

West/Interior

  • Organization: Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association
    Project: Engaging Indigenous Knowledge to Reduce Salmon Bycatch in the Pollock Fishery
    Funding Amount: $20,000 (Year 2 in funding)
    The Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association works to protect and promote healthy, wild fisheries and cultures within the Yukon River drainage. The Alaska Native Fund grant supports YRDFA’s work to protect subsistence resources by reducing bycatch of Chinook and chum salmon in the industrial pollock fishery. The fund will support YRDFA’s work at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to reduce Chinook salmon bycatch and to include indigenous knowledge in the Council’s decision-making on this issue. The fund will also support coalition building of Indigenous and conservation groups in efforts to reduce bycatch.