Alaska Natives

Seadrone photo showing stone fish trap found in Shakan Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales could potentially be oldest ever found in the world. The structure was first discovered in 2010 and officially confirmed as a stone weir earlier this year. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage)

Ancient weir sheds new light on Alaska Native history

Stone fish trap dates to at least 11,100 years ago, according to scientists.

 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, center, holds a copy of House Bill 123, providing state recognition for Alaska’s 229 federally recognized Native tribes, at an event hosted by the Alaska Federation of Natives in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday, July 28, 2022. (Photo provided by the Alaska Federation of Natives)

Bill recognizing Alaska Native Tribes signed into law

The bill serves as the first formal recognition of Alaska’s Indigenous people

 

Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Friday, May 13, 2022, following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 already federally-recognized tribes. Gov. Mike Dunleavy is scheduled to sign the bill during a ceremony Thursday during a ceremony in Anchorage. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Alaska Natives welcome tribal recognition by state

Dunleavy to sign bill Thursday; advocates say it advances cooperative relations

 

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
The Wooshkeetaan Kootéeyaa totem pole was re-installed at its new home in the atrium of the State Office Building on Friday, March 11, 2022. Workers from Alaska Electric Light and Power helped install the pole. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Wooshkeetaan Kootéeyaa totem pole was re-installed at its new home in the atrium of the State Office Building on Friday, March 11, 2022. Workers from Alaska Electric Light and Power helped install the pole. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Signatures for a ballot initiative to have the State of Alaska recognize the 229 federally-recognized tribal governments were submitted to Division of Elections offices in Anchorage Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. The campaign was able to collect 56,230 signatures - well over the minimum requirement - meaning Alaskan voters will likely see the initiative on the November ballot. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Better Government)
Signatures for a ballot initiative to have the State of Alaska recognize the 229 federally-recognized tribal governments were submitted to Division of Elections offices in Anchorage Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. The campaign was able to collect 56,230 signatures - well over the minimum requirement - meaning Alaskan voters will likely see the initiative on the November ballot. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Better Government)
Dorothy Thomson stands while giving a thumbs down as Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives his State of Alaska Address during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 2019 convention was the last in-person convention as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the meeting to go digital for the second year in a row. (Eric Engman/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)

‘Relationships are key’: AFN Convention brings leaders to the table

This year’s convention will look back on 50 years of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Dorothy Thomson stands while giving a thumbs down as Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives his State of Alaska Address during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 2019 convention was the last in-person convention as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the meeting to go digital for the second year in a row. (Eric Engman/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)
This undated photos shows National Day of Mourning plaque on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Mass, where since 1970 Indigenous groups have gathered to mourn the history of colonization in North America. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the traditional “First Thanksgiving ” in 1621, but for many Indigenous people, including Alaska Natives, the holiday is a somber one. (Courtesy photo / Creative commons)
This undated photos shows National Day of Mourning plaque on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, Mass, where since 1970 Indigenous groups have gathered to mourn the history of colonization in North America. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the traditional “First Thanksgiving ” in 1621, but for many Indigenous people, including Alaska Natives, the holiday is a somber one. (Courtesy photo / Creative commons)
Students from Angoon donned their regalia on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, for the 139th anniversary of the bombardment of Angoon by the U.S. Navy. Despite the violence, Angoon residents say the fact the village remains is a testament to their endurance. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Students from Angoon donned their regalia on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, for the 139th anniversary of the bombardment of Angoon by the U.S. Navy. Despite the violence, Angoon residents say the fact the village remains is a testament to their endurance. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Courtesy image/ Wikicommons
This map from the U.S. Cencsus Bureau highlights Alaska’s Indigenous populations. A ballot initiative to have the state of Alaska formally recognize the state’s already federally recognized tribes took a step forward Monday, when it was certified by the Division of Elections.
Courtesy image/ Wikicommons
This map from the U.S. Cencsus Bureau highlights Alaska’s Indigenous populations. A ballot initiative to have the state of Alaska formally recognize the state’s already federally recognized tribes took a step forward Monday, when it was certified by the Division of Elections.
Joaqlin Estus / Indian Country Today
Athabascan singer and storyteller George Holly performs at the unveiling of a place-name marker at Chanshtnu, or “grassy creek,” the Dena’ina Athabascan name for Westchester Lagoon, on Aug. 3 in Anchorage.

New place names highlight Alaska city’s Dena’ina roots

‘Anchorage as a community is only about 100 years old, but our history goes back well over 1,000 years’

Joaqlin Estus / Indian Country Today
Athabascan singer and storyteller George Holly performs at the unveiling of a place-name marker at Chanshtnu, or “grassy creek,” the Dena’ina Athabascan name for Westchester Lagoon, on Aug. 3 in Anchorage.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a ceremony for Alaska Native Veterans from the Vietnam era at the Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau on May 5, 2021. Dunleavy announced the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden administration for what Dunleavy says is illegally keeping restrictions in place on federal lands in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a ceremony for Alaska Native Veterans from the Vietnam era at the Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau on May 5, 2021. Dunleavy announced the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden administration for what Dunleavy says is illegally keeping restrictions in place on federal lands in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alyssa London, second from right, and her team are working to produce Culture Story, which will showcase modern Alaska Native cultures across and outside of Alaska. (Courtesy photo / Culture Story)

Team works to tell positive, accurate stories about Alaska Native life

Show aims to show Alaska Native cultures as they thrive in the modern world.

Alyssa London, second from right, and her team are working to produce Culture Story, which will showcase modern Alaska Native cultures across and outside of Alaska. (Courtesy photo / Culture Story)
This June 8, 2021, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FIle)

Supreme Court sides with Alaska Natives in COVID-19 aid case

The $2.2 trillion legislation earmarked $8 billion for “Tribal governments” to cover expenses related to the pandemic.

This June 8, 2021, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FIle)
A graphic from the Vaccine Materials in Alaska Native Languages project shows a person who was recently vaccinated against COVID-19. Translated from Tlingit to English, it says “I want us to be among each other, that is why I got the shot. I love the people I am with.” (Photo provided)

Vaccine information available in Native languages

The organizations worked in tandem for two months to make the translation project possible.

A graphic from the Vaccine Materials in Alaska Native Languages project shows a person who was recently vaccinated against COVID-19. Translated from Tlingit to English, it says “I want us to be among each other, that is why I got the shot. I love the people I am with.” (Photo provided)
In this Juneau Empire file photo, Former Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, tells his favorite Dr. Walter Soboleff stories during a celebration of Dr. Soboleff at the Walter Soboleff Center on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
In this Juneau Empire file photo, Former Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, tells his favorite Dr. Walter Soboleff stories during a celebration of Dr. Soboleff at the Walter Soboleff Center on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
In this April 22, 2021, photo, signs of spring thaw appear along the Tazlina River in Tazlina, Alaska. The Catholic Church wants to sell 462 acres that once housed the Copper Valley mission school to the Native Village of Tazlina, a federally recognized tribe. The tribe is scrambling to raise the nearly $1.9 million asking price so it can regain stewardship of its ancestral land. (John Tierney/Indian Country Today)

Alaska village eyes return of ancestral lands

A federally recognized tribe is scrambling to raise funds to regain stewardship of the lands.

In this April 22, 2021, photo, signs of spring thaw appear along the Tazlina River in Tazlina, Alaska. The Catholic Church wants to sell 462 acres that once housed the Copper Valley mission school to the Native Village of Tazlina, a federally recognized tribe. The tribe is scrambling to raise the nearly $1.9 million asking price so it can regain stewardship of its ancestral land. (John Tierney/Indian Country Today)
In this undated photo provided by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, shows PJ Simon, chief and chairman of the conference, from Fairbanks, Alaska, displaying a COVID-19 vaccination sticker. Alaska has been one of the leading states in the percentage of its population to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But some of Alaska’s highest vaccination rates have been in some of its most remote, hardest-to-access communities, where the toll of past flu or tuberculosis outbreaks hasn’t been forgotten. (Rachel Saylor/Tanana Chiefs Conference via AP)

Alaska tribal health groups distribute vaccine far and wide

“We live for our children. We want to bring that sense of normalcy back in our lives.”

In this undated photo provided by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, shows PJ Simon, chief and chairman of the conference, from Fairbanks, Alaska, displaying a COVID-19 vaccination sticker. Alaska has been one of the leading states in the percentage of its population to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But some of Alaska’s highest vaccination rates have been in some of its most remote, hardest-to-access communities, where the toll of past flu or tuberculosis outbreaks hasn’t been forgotten. (Rachel Saylor/Tanana Chiefs Conference via AP)
In this June 20, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington as a storm rolls in. The Supreme Court seems inclined to say that hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief money tied up by a court case should benefit Alaska Natives, rather than be spread more broadly among Native American tribes.The justices were hearing arguments April 19, 2021, in a case involving the massive pandemic relief package passed last year and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Court seems ready to send virus funds to Alaska Natives

The federal government set aside more than $530 million for the so-called ANCs.

In this June 20, 2019, file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington as a storm rolls in. The Supreme Court seems inclined to say that hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief money tied up by a court case should benefit Alaska Natives, rather than be spread more broadly among Native American tribes.The justices were hearing arguments April 19, 2021, in a case involving the massive pandemic relief package passed last year and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
In this Oct. 28, 2016, photo provided by the Maniilaq Association, Alex Whiting, left, and Cyrus Harris, right, are observed by Chris Sannito, second from left, and Brian Himelbloom, third from left, of the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center as they trim and clean seal blubber in Kotzebue, Alaska. In January 2021, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation approved seal oil to be served at a Maniilaq elder care home, believed to be a first for seal oil in the U.S.  (Maniilaq Association via AP)

Cultural ‘big deal’: Seal oil makes menu at Alaska care home

Seal oil is back on the menu for Inupiat elders.

In this Oct. 28, 2016, photo provided by the Maniilaq Association, Alex Whiting, left, and Cyrus Harris, right, are observed by Chris Sannito, second from left, and Brian Himelbloom, third from left, of the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center as they trim and clean seal blubber in Kotzebue, Alaska. In January 2021, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation approved seal oil to be served at a Maniilaq elder care home, believed to be a first for seal oil in the U.S.  (Maniilaq Association via AP)