Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallott along with Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten visited several of our communities in July.
Mallott and his staff were accompanied by Chief/Chairman Victor Joseph, members of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and several of TCC’s Executive Board Members.
On their trip they were able to hear from tribal members from: Kaltag, Nulato, Koyukuk, Ruby, Galena, Huslia, Hughes, and Allakaket. Chief Victor Joseph said, “These trips are important, to get out there to our communities and make sure their voices are heard.” The goal of the three-day trip was to visit and listen to community members to get a better understanding of how to improve management of the King salmon run.
This is the second trip that Mallott has been on in two years to TCC’s river communities. Last year, the Lt Governor and Commissioner Cotten visited several other Yukon River communities.
The topics of conversation include the decline of the King Salmon and how that has directly impacted our tribal members who rely on subsistence fishing and hunting to provide for their families throughout the year. Village Chiefs and Tribal members testified about their culturally rich way of life in fish camp that took place all summer long. Fish camp was where you learned math, science, engineering, health, and spirituality to name a few. This way of life has been jeopardized by severe declines and mismanagement of the run.
Bringing these dignitaries to our tribes is important and the voices they hear are important and impactful. The trip was successful, collecting testimonials, local knowledge, and hands on experience. The hospitality was warm, with passionate discussion about King Salmon and lifestyle. Community members generously shared their catch and offered gifts of thanks.
We thank all of our communities for welcoming us with open arms and for being the advocates for generations to come.