ACF’s Alaska Native Fund awarded fourteen grants totaling $249,965 for indigenous environmental priorities addressing food security, sustainable economies, holistic wellness, energy and climate change issues in Alaska. We are pleased to present the following 2015 Alaska Native Fund grant recipients:
ACAT will train and send a delegation of Arctic Indigenous women to the 2015 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, Switzerland, to persuade world leaders to ban the toxic chemical Penta. This chemical has been found in the blood of Arctic Indigenous women and children around the globe.
ANTHC will incorporate a Youth Organizing Project into their Alaskan Plants as Food and Medicine Symposium Youth Leadership Track in the summer of 2015. The project is designed to bring Alaska Native youth learners together with plant educators and elders to promote the traditional knowledge of plants as medicine.
The Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Conservation District (ATCD) will conduct a feasibility study on behalf of Labrador Tea and Natural Artisan Spring Water, and a community garden will also be pursued in the summers of 2015-2016. The grant will also support the Coordinator position to advance the goals of the ATCD.
AVTC will reconstruct a caribou fence (vadzaih tthał) on the traditional hunting grounds near Arctic Village. The caribou fence represents an opportunity for collaboration between elders and youth, people on both sides of the Canadian border, and agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Porcupine Caribou Management Board and private foundations.
The Alaska Native Fund will support the Northern Bering Sea Initiative to foster collaboration across the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Bering Strait regions toward the development of marine policy that will benefit future generations. The Elders Group aims to safeguard our marine resources and strengthen the self-determination of local tribes in forming the future of the northern Bering Sea.
Chickaloon Native Village will host a formal summer fish and culture camp program at Moose Creek Campus focusing on food security, protecting traditional lands from coal strip mining, and harvesting of salmon from Moose Creek and the Matanuska River. Traditional methods of harvesting subsistence foods and living off of the land will be taught to the younger generation.
Chugach Regional Resources Commission will plan and coordinate a Climate Adaptation Workshop to support collaboration of tribes in the Chugach Region with governmental agencies working in natural resource management. Tribes will have an opportunity to address their concerns and share solutions with government agencies regarding the impacts of climate change on their homelands and cultural ways of life.
The Hydaburg Cooperative Association (HCA) will conduct a study called “Sea Otter Impacts on Customary and Traditional Foods.” The study will be a part of a community initiative focusing on food security and will connect science with local and traditional knowledge.
As a reaction to the proposed Pebble Mine and its detrimental impact on the sockeye salmon, Igiugug Village Council will develop an inspirational student play that conveys the history, culture, and values of the Igyararmiut (People of Igiugig) with regard to their relationship with the salmon. A series of seven performances will educate local residents, the sport fishing community and an international audience in New Zealand about ensuring the continuation of the great salmon run.
Kawerak Inc. will document and preserve traditional indigenous knowledge through research and interviews with elders. Kawerek Inc. will examine how traditional historical knowledge, beliefs, and experiences, particularly traditional stories, show how culture is connected to environmental stewardship; a strong cultural value.
The Native Village of Chuathbaluk will address the proposed development of the Donlin Creek Gold Mine and contract with Center for Science and Public Participation (CSP2) to facilitate local tribes’ participation in the Environmental Impact Statement process.
Native communities are seeing population declines in their villages and this epidemic is a threat to tribal identities and culture as the urban sprawl continues. Northway Village Council will work to reduce the high costs of energy in homes and community buildings in the hopes to prevent further decline in its population.
The project “So We Can Eat” aims to increase Alaska Native influence in government regulation and policy regarding traditional lands, resources and their use for the protection of their traditional way of life by providing support for tribal participation in decision-making processes. The project will utilize ANF funding to support travel for key tribal leaders to attend advocacy and regulatory trainings, regional priority strategy sessions, and key regulatory meetings in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau.
Traditional Weaver Della Cheney will complete her project Xaygwaay (Weaving Our World). Della plans to create a short film showcasing how traditional weaving was done with respect to the natural environment. Della also intends to help create a Weaver’s Charter with Chapters in Haida Gwaii, Kake and Juneau to grow the weaving community to ensure traditional knowledge regarding conservation is passed down to the next weaving generation.