2016 TCC Annual Convention

FB Cover Photo - Convention Event WEBPAGE

Tanana Chiefs Conference’s 2016 Annual Convention and Full Board of Directors Meeting took place March 14th-17th, 2016  in Fairbanks with theme Our Communities, Our Future and featured keynote speaker Chief Floyd Green of Rampart. 

Keynote Address

2016 Keynote Speaker: Chief Floyd Green

IMG_7286TCC’s 2016 Keynote Address was given by Chief Floyd Green of Rampart. At the age of 23, Chief Green has made large strides in advancing his community. He is the son of Patty Wiehl and Doug Green, his grandparents are Henry and Betty Wiehl. 

Chief Green has been the First Chief and Tribal Administrator in Rampart for almost three years. When he first started, there were only 8 people living in the community, most of which were elders, and the school had closed 12 years prior.Chief Green, along with the Rampart Tribal Council, were determined to revive their community. They put together a plan to generate revenue, improve and create additional housing, created local jobs to encourage tribal members to come back to the village, renovated the old school building, and petitioned the school board and state to re-open their school. 

 

Learn more about how Chief Floyd Green Revitalized His Community:

 

 

Our Communities, Our Future

Our Communities, Our Future

This year Tanana Chiefs Conference wanted to highlight the achievements of our tribes and tribal members. We wanted to celebrate the communities and people who work together to make positive changes for our tribes. It’s important that our Tribes share their stories and generate dialogue about how we can work together to secure success for “Our Communities, Our Future”.

It’s important that our Tribes share their stories and generate dialogue about how we can work together to secure success for “Our Communities, Our Future”. Below are some of the stories from our communities:

Holy Cross Youth

thumbnailIn Holy Cross, education and tradition are one in the same. 37 students from the Holy Cross school get the unique experience of learning traditional subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping along with their regular school work.
Holy Cross Principal Jeff Bader understands the value of subsistence living,Instead of going out to buy these things from a store, you can catch it; and even make something and sell it yourself.

Since 2001 Bader has been taking the youth, grades 6 through 12, on different outings in order to help teach them how to keep their traditional lifestyle thriving. They’d talk about how a long time ago they had a fish camp said Bader, So we went ahead and built one. Bader spends many of his days with the kids outdoors teaching them to trap, fish, tan hides, and even hunt moose at Culture Camp.

Bader says he believes it is important to get outdoors and be active and one of the highlights of the year is Culture Camp.They love to camp, its something to keep them going he said. Bader also makes sure the students learn from their elders, They tell the stories of how it used to be,he said,It’s important for them to know that.Many of the kids can take apart a snow machine should it break down and by 6th grade they are hunting for moose and cutting them up to give to their elders. By teaching youth about traditional values and subsistence living, the community of Holy Cross is helping preserve Our Communities, Our Future.

Galena Circle Sentencing

The community of Galena for years now, has been participating in an alternative way to help its village residents who get in trouble with the law.

“Circle Sentencing has been a success in my opinion,” said Jenny Pelkola, First Chief of Louden Tribe. The method is simple, people from the village who get in trouble are then brought back to their home community. “We felt like the system was impersonal” Pelkola said. So, the tribal council and a Magistrate Judge got together to come up with the process called Circle Sentence and put it to use. 

Members of the community gather with the person who committed the crime and listen to the accusations. “We are there to listen to both sides” said Pelkola. After that the tribal members are able to speak directly to the person- making comments and giving advice as to the acts they did and how it affects not only the victims but the home villages as well. “We want to help the person” Pelkola explained, “maybe by assigning them community service, having them go trapping, or something like that.”  The tribal members and panelists on the sentencing committee are then able to help the person heal by offering mentors from their own area. But, they also have the option, should they feel it necessary to opt to send that person back to jail. 

“I think it helps bringing them home” Pelkola said. And the tribal members in Galena agree that it has been successful in furthering “Our Communities, Our Future.” 

Northway Takes a Stand

Tribal members in Northway are taking a stand against drugs in their community. Gerald Albert, former Chief of Northway, has helped to spearhead the project. It’s called “Taking a Stand,” and it has been going on for about two years now.

The purpose of the program is to protect the village members and children from an influx of drugs. “The problem began with spice,” Albert explained, “then the trafficking of meth started.” But the community wasn’t ready to let those drug being brought into the village take over their people. “We’re not here to harm anyone,” Albert said “we’re just here to help.”

With a group of more than 70 people “Taking a Stand’ has become a success story. The members partner with the Village Public Safety Officer in Tok, as well as other residents in Tok and Tanacross, who will notify them if they see suspicious activity headed their way. Their success has inspired other villages to want to do the same thing—take back their community and fight against drugs.

Gerald Albert says they can help but it is important for the other communities to take a stand themselves. “You have to do it for your community,” he explained “we can’t do it for them but we want to help them get started.” The group in Northway that started as just concerned tribal members, took action and according the Albert “I think it is a success, after it started our community began to see healing.”

Beaver – Small Schools Matter

As many schools across the state face the question of whether or not their doors will be closed, the community of Beaver fights to stay open.

The discussion on whether or not to close Beaver’s school began when enrollment went from ten students to eight, dropping it below the minimum required by the Yukon School District. Resident Rhonda Pitka took action with the help of Tanana Chiefs Conference President Victor Joseph and Pat Stanley, Executive Director of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, “I had to lobby my school board” she said, “They had to make some tough choices.”

Pitka, mother to a future kindergartener, says she knows the importance of rural schools in our communities. “A lot of schools will be facing this” Pitka said, “There is still a lot of uncertainty.” She has been advocating for her school and others like it under the “small schools matter” initiative. Pitka travelled to Juneau and engaged lawmakers in discussions about keeping rural schools open. “They are the center to our communities,” she said.

Schools in small communities are vital to residents. Without them many families are forced to make tough decisions including whether or not to move out of their homes. Pitka says closing a school can break up a family and ultimately destroy a village entirely. Though Beaver’s school was kept open, many of staff lost jobs and leaving the school with only one teacher.

Pitka isn’t giving up, “I want my daughter to go to school in our village and to know our traditional way of life.” She is looking out for “Our Communities, Our Future.”

Elections

Election Results:

  • Vice-President to the TCC Executive Board
    Julie Roberts-Hyslop, Tanana
  • Yukon Flats Representative to the Executive Board
    Nancy James, Fort Yukon
  • Yukon Tanana Representative to the Executive Board
    Frank Thompson, Evansville
  • Upper Tanana Representative to the Executive Board
    Chaaiy Albert, Northway
  • AFN Village Representative
    Julie Roberts-Hyslop, Tanana
  • Youth Advisor to the Executive Board
    Isaac Ticknor, Anvik

  

 

Award Winners & Recognition

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Darlene Christensen
TCC Employee of the Year
Joni Young
Rural Employee of the Year
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Howard Beasley
Co-Operate of the Year 

Nolita Madros, CHP, Anaktuvuk Pass 
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 Laverne Huntington
Patti L. Hyslop Leadership in Sobriety Award Winner
Aimee Nollner
 Patti L. Hyslop Leadership in Sobriety Award Winner
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Keith Charlie
Patti L. Hyslop Leadership in Sobriety Award Winner 
 

 

Video Recaps

DAY 1 RE-CAP

DAY 2 RE-CAP

DAY 3 RE-CAP

DAY 4 RE-CAP