Resolution 2018-25: Native People to be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

WHEREAS, the Tanana Tribal Council is the legal governing body of the Native Village of Tanana; and

WHEREAS, the First People lived on this great land from time immemorial, taking their healthy sustenance off the bounty from the waters, lands and skies; and

WHEREAS, the First People have been mandated to stop and forced to stop, fishing and hunting, for healthy foods, which sustained their people for tens of thousands of years; and

WHEREAS, there are many causes of cancer affecting the First People, from smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol to eating canned foods loaded with chemicals and additives, known to cause cancer, to environmental contamination; and

WHEREAS, it is a fact that various governmental agencies such as the IHS/HHS hospitals, caused contaminations decades ago by dumping contaminants including x-ray fluids, dry cleaning fluids in forgotten, unmarked pits, or the U.S. Air Force burying contaminants in pits, or spraying Agent Orange near White Alice Sites in Alaska, or burying drums of Agent Orange near villages; and

WHEREAS, it is a fact that the cancer rates in Natives are going up, many times the people affected find out they have cancer when they are in late or terminal stages; and

WHEREAS, it is a fact that the age group being afflicted by cancer is getting younger, and many more younger people are dying as a result; and

WHEREAS, if people knew what signs and symptoms to look for to ensure they do not have cancer, they would be better prepared to face the fact that they may have cancer and would not hesitate to go to health facilities to rule out cancer; and

WHEREAS, the health clinics and Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center are tasked with seeing patients and are in place to diagnose, and treat various medical ailments and diseases; and

WHEREAS, many times cancer is diagnosed, after a patient has returned many times for the same complaint, before further workup on the complaint is started, and the cancer diagnosis is made.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors directs the Tanana Chiefs Health Department, to make it a priority, to provide education material to village clinics, and to put into the Council Newsletter, on potential signs and symptoms, of cancer and other diseases in Native people; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors directs staff to keep in mind that traditional foods are healthier than processed foods and thus it is imperative, that they 1) continue to lobby for our peoples fishing and hunting rights, at local, state and federal levels and 2) educate our people about the importance of eating traditional foods as a method of cancer prevention.

Submitted by: Tanana Tribal Council


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