Yukon River Healing Journey Begins by yurtgc548


Executive Committee
    AlAskA Region
       Yukon Flats
   Clarence Alexander
 James Nathaniel Sr. (Alt)
      Tanana River
     Edna Hancock               July 2007                                                                           Vol 2 Issue 2
   Charlie Stevens (Alt)
     Middle Yukon
    Pat Sweetsir (Alt)
     Koyukuk River
       Eliza Jones
    Karen Kriska (Alt)
       Lower Yukon
      Olga Changsak
Chief James Landlord (Alt)
   Innoko Confluence
     Harry Maillelle
 Chief Carl Jerue, Jr. (Alt)
     John Deck (Alt)
   Coastal Communities
      Ted Hamilton
    Elmer Simon (Alt)

  Yukon TeRRiToRY                Participants at the Healing Journey celebration in Fort Yukon join Reverand Trimble Gilbert in
   Dahka Tlingit Nation          a blessing of the handmade birchbark canoe made by Paul Herbert.
    Harold Gatensby
    Carl Sidney (Alt)
    Vuntut Gwich’in/
   Tr’ondek Hwech’in
                               Yukon River Healing Journey Begins
   Chief Darren Taylor
                                                                                                      By BrIan HIrscH, PH.D.
    Northern Tutchone
    Chief Darren Dsaac
Chief Eddie Skookum (Alt)      On June 22, 2007 the Tr’ondek Hwech’in                 Ambassador Dr. John Francis, staff and
                               First Nation hosted opening ceremonies to              other friends of the YRDTWC.
   Kaska Tribal Council                                                                   The new canoe will be specially
                               initiate the Yukon River Healing Journey.
     Sam Donnessey
                               The ceremonies were held at Moosehide, a               outfitted with a water quality probe which
    Southern Tutchone          traditional village in the Yukon Territory which       will take a continuous water chemistry
     Geraldine Pope            served as the location of the 2005 YRDTWC              profile the entire length of the journey. We
       Kwanlin Dun             Summit.                                                would like to extend a special thank you
      Jessie Dawson                The Healing Journey is a 1,500 mile canoe          to YSI for lending us a water quality probe
 White River First Nation      journey down the Yukon River which will                to conduct this important assessment of
  Chief David Johnny           conclude in St. Mary’s for the YRDTWC Ten              the health of the Yukon River. The canoe
  Angela Demit (Alt)           Year Anniversary Summit.                               will also support fold-out solar panels
                                   Healing Journey participants will be               and an inverter for battery charging a
   eldeR AdvisoRs              traveling in a mixture of traditional and              computer, video and GPS. This equipment
       Sarah James             contemporary boats for approximately seven             will illustrate how the YRDTWC and
    Nick Andrew Sr.            weeks. Leading the journey in a modern                 indigenous people of the Yukon River
      Stanley James
                               two-person canoe will be YRDTWC Assistant              watershed are blending traditional
   Chief Benedict Jones
                               Director Jon Waterhouse with the other seat            practices with modern technology to take
     Trimble Gilbert
                               filled by alternating paddlers including United        care of the land and water.
                               Nations Environmental Program Goodwill                                   see Healing Journey, page 2
PAGE 2                                                  currents

Is it a movie, dream or reality?
                                                                             By alaska regIon DIrector roB rosenfelD

The greatest of movie makers could        crackling fire illuminating the meeting.    Network and the YRDTWC
not have scripted what follows. Dmagine   Serious conversation, planning and          videographer filming the leaders
a Maori filmmaker, a retired Native       learning occur during the days as           planning and discussing strategies
American Navy Chief, an adventure         drums and dancing fill the nights,          for the future while youth and
photo journalist, a Jewish Renewable      shining a radiant light on Yupik cultural   environmental workers immerse
Energy expert, a United Nations           traditions.                                 themselves in learning and sharing
Goodwill Ambassador and indigenous            The dream continues with the            successes.
people paddling 1,500 miles down          arrival of two Bolivian Chiefs, an              Dmagine the meeting being
the Yukon River stopping in villages      Environmental Director from Taos            enhanced by representatives from
and sharing stories of environmental      Pueblo, two Maori youth from                UNICEF, World Learning Inc. various
stewardship and tribal successes.         Aotearoa, Guatemalan and Yupik              environmental groups, Dnternational
Continue to imagine the journey           translators, Billy Frank Jr. and            Symposium of Digital Earth and state
culminating in an enchanting village      Founding Director Roy Sampsel from          legislators.
named St. Mary’s. The canoes arrive       the Northwest Dndian Fish Commission,           Dmagine this monumental gathering
and the celebration begins.               former vice presidential candidate          taking place August 9-13, 2007. Keep
    Envision Chiefs and Presidents        Winona LaDuke from the White Earth          imagining and imagine yourself in St.
from 66 villages discussing and           Foundation and Jaime Pinkham (Nez           Mary’s, Alaska to witness the sacred
planning the future of the people and     Perce) from the Colombia River Dnter-       Yukon River unify the people and the
the environment of the Yukon River        Tribal Fish Commission with his lovely      global community. We invite you to
watershed. Try visualizing 300 people     Latvian bride.                              join us as we usher in a new age at
in a circle overlooking the Andreafski        The vision unfolds with Japanese        the YRDTWC Ten Year Anniversary
River from high on a hillside with a      PBS, Aboriginal Peoples Television          Summit!

 Healing Journey, continued
                                          have the opportunity to share their         Development Dnstitute, Alaska
                                          observations and concerns related to        Conservation Foundation, Tribes and
                                          climate change. Their comments will be      First Nations, individuals and others.
                                          documented and brought to the Summit.           For more information or to
                                              Since many communities within           contribute to this exciting event,
                                          the Watershed are not located directly      please contact the Healing Journey
                                          on the Yukon River, larger events are       Coordinator Danielle Pratt at 907-
                                          planned at the confluence of major          258-3337 or dpratt@yritwc.com.
                                          tributary rivers including Fort Yukon-          The YRDTWC will also be setting
                                          July 2, Tanana- July 12 and Koyukuk-        up a blog and other internet-based
 Anna Pratt and Danielle Pratt, YRITWC,   July 21. (The Healing Journey was           documentation of the event, so please
 paddle the Yukon River ten miles
 downriver from Moosehide.                originally set to begin on June 4 at the    check our website regularly <www.
                                          headwaters of the Yukon River in Atlin      yritwc.com> if you want to keep up
     As the Healing Journey travels       Lake, British Columbia however the          with the journey!
 downriver, visits will be made to        long, cold spring pushed the opening to
 indigenous communities along the         its new time and location.) We would
 way that will include a traditional      like to thank the Tr’ondek Hwech’in
 meal, cultural exchange, dancing         First Nation for offering to host the
 and drumming, and a talking circle       opening ceremony.
 to forge a common commitment to              The Healing Journey is being
 a future based on environmental          sponsored by the National Geographic
 stewardship and healthy communities.     Society’s and DBM’s Genographic
 Participating communities will           Legacy Fund, First Nations
                                           yukon rIVer Inter-trIBal WatersHeD councIl                                       PAGE 3

 Our Ten Year Anniversary                                                               YRITWC
 Summit                                                                                 Staff Directory
                                                                                        Rob Rosenfeld, Alaska/Interim Yukon
                                                           By sHaWna trumBlee              Region Director (907) 258-3337,
                                                                                        Jon Waterhouse, Assistant Director/Solid
We are just weeks away from our             participate in the regalia contest!             Waste/BackHaul Manager (907)
Ten Year Anniversary Summit to be           Let us know if there are traditional            258-3337, jwaterhouse@yritwc.com
held August 9-13, 2007 in St. Mary’s,       dancers and drummers from your              Brian Hirsch, Ph.D, Development Director
Alaska! People from Alaska, Canada          community who would be interested               (907) 235-6842, bhirsch@yritwc.com
and other countries around the world        in participating in this gathering. Bring   LaVern Huntington, Administrative &
                                                                                            Finance Director (907) 451-2530,
will be in attendance to participate in     a vial of water from your community             lhuntington@yritwc.com
yet another eventful YRDTWC Summit.         to take part in a water ceremony at the
                                                                                        Roslyn Petersen, Fairbanks Office
    Summits are held every two years in     Yukon River.                                    Manager & Administrative
a different community along the Yukon           We would be delighted to see as             Assistant (907) 451-2530,
River. The tradition first began in         many community members, leaders and             rpetersen@yritwc.com

1997 when 56 Tribes and First Nations       environmental coordinators as possible      Charlene Stern, Brownfield Program
                                                                                           Manager (907) 451-2558,
gathered in Galena, Alaska to share         at the Summit. Bring your family               cstern@yritwc.com
their observations about the alarming       and come prepared for evening fiddle
                                                                                        Sonta Hamilton, Brownfield Technician
environmental changes occuring              dances, local tours, contests and door          (907) 451-2549,
throughout the Watershed. The first         prizes. The Healing Journey will also           shamilton@yritwc.com
Summit created a solid foundation for       be culminating at the Summit and there      Crystal Frank, Brownfield Intern
addressing common issues impacting          will be many stories told by those who          (907) 451-2548, cfrank@yritwc.com
the Watershed as a unified people.          paddled down the Yukon River.               Bryan Maracle, Science and Mapping
                                                                                            Program Coordinator (907) 451-2546,
    Over the past decade, Summits               Dn related news, several YRDTWC             bmaracle@yritwc.com
have initiated the kinds of dialogue        Executive Committee seats will be
                                                                                        Anna Pratt, Interim Solid Waste Manager
and training opportunities that have        open for nominations. The YRDTWC               (907) 258-3337, apratt@yritwc.com
led to many positive influences. Since      will be accepting written nomination        Stephen Price, Solid Waste Coordinator
the original signing of the Dnter-Tribal    for Executive Committee members as              (907) 258-3337, sprice@yritwc.com
Accord in 2001, 66 Tribes and First         well as for communities interested in       Gena Tran, Capacity Builder (Circuit Rider)
Nations have joined the collective          hosting the 2009 and 2011 Summits.             (907) 451-2552, gtran@yritwc.com
effort to clean up and protect the Yukon        For more information about this         Valerie Andrew, Capacity Builder
River. These efforts include eliminating    event please contact Shawna Trumblee            (Circuit Rider) (907) 451-3337,
the use of styrofoam and plastics,          at 907-258-3337 or strumblee@yritwc.
improving landfills, backhauling            com.                                        Miriah Killam, Environmental Specialist
                                                                                             (907) 258-3337, mkillam@yritwc.com
solid waste, expanding water quality
                                                                                        Danielle Pratt, Youth & Canoe Journey
monitoring capabilities and increasing                                                      Coordinator (907) 258-3337,
environmental education in the schools.        Items to remember for                        dpratt@yritwc.com
    An important issue raised at past               the Summit:                         Shawna Trumblee, Summit Coordinator
Summits was the high cost of energy.                                                       (907) 258-3337,
                                                      Sleeping bag
Communities inquired about alternative                                                     strumblee@yritwc.com

energy options that protect natural                         Tent                        Marilyn Paukan, Local Summit
                                                                                            Coordinator (907) 438-2329,
resources and lead to cost savings. Dn
response, renewable energy resource
                                                             Mat                            marilynsipary@hotmail.com
                                                                                        Polly Hyslop, Yukon Region Summit
demonstrations such as waste to oil to               Eating utensils                        Coordinator (867) 393-2199,
energy converters and solar powered                                                         yritwc@northwestel.net
lighting will be among the many                        Vial of water                    Rachael Peltola, Travel & Communications
exciting training opportunities featured                                                   Coordinator (907) 258-3337,
                                              Traditional foods to share                   rpeltola@yritwc.com
at this year’s Summit.
                                                                                        David Pelunis-Messier, Water Quality
    Dnterested in becoming involved              Musical instruments                        Monitoring Intern (907) 451-2530,
at the Summit? There are a variety of                                                       dp247@cornell.edu
ways.                                              Traditional regalia
    Bring your traditional regalia and
PAGE 4                                                     currents

BackHaul Season Kicks Off With a Bang
                                                                                                            By anna Pratt

                                                                                        Lynden Air Cargo lands in Hughes
                                                                                        to pick up BackHaul!

      Anna Pratt and Steven Price, YRITWC, and Larry Ketzler, Nenana, preparing
      totes in Nenana.

The 2007 BackHaul season kicks off          the United States Department of
with a bang! Recently, we developed         Agriculture this BackHaul season
a partnership with Lynden Air Cargo         has all the makings of being the
whose giant L-382 Hercules aircraft         best one yet especially as more and
backhauled over four tractor trailers       more communities stage their own
of solid waste from Hughes. Dn a            BackHaul and Freon removal. With
coordinated effort between Omni             so many people and communities
Logistics, C&R Pipe, Alaska Battery         working together to create a clean and      Thank you to the
Supply, Arctic Fire & Safety and Total      sustainable environment for the future
                                                                                        Solid Waste/BackHaul
Reclaim all of the backhauled materials     these are exciting times to be living in.
will be recycled!                              Good luck to all you hard working
    We have more good news to report        people and we hope to see you on the
on Nenana! After a one-week trip to         river!                                      Crowley Marine
the hub community, Stephen Price and
Anna Pratt were able to stage all the
                                                                                        Northland Services
battery totes (including 45 new totes)                                                  Alaska Railroad
which will be sent to the villages. Last                                                Airland Services
year old car batteries composed a large                                                 Everts Air
portion of the total weight backhauled                                                  Northern Air Cargo
and it looks like this year will be our
                                                                                        Lynden Air Cargo
biggest year yet in getting batteries out
of villages and recycled.                                                               OMND Logistics
    Dn other Nenana news, Jon Ward                                                      Total Reclaim
of Simpatico was able to get the local                                                  Arctic Transportation Services
oil reuse facility (or REOS) system                                                     Frontier Flying Services
running which means that the Nenana                                                     Weaver Brothers
health clinic furnace now runs on a
blend of heating fuel and used oil.
                                                                                        ABS Battery
This will lower their heating costs and                                                 C&R Pipe
recycle their used oil. Good job Jon!                                                   Wrights Air
    Thanks to the continued support
                                            BackHaul in Hughes with Lynden Air
from the Environmental Protection
Agency, Denali Commission and
                                          yukon rIVer Inter-trIBal WatersHeD councIl                                       PAGE 5

Circuit Rider Spring                                                                   Inter-Tribal Accord
Training Series                                                                        Alakanuk Traditional Council
                                                                                       Alatna Village Council
                                                                                       Algaaciq Tribal Government
                                            By lamIa BouzIane anD gena tran            Allakaket Traditional Council
                                                                                       Anvik Tribal Council
The YRDTWC Circuit Rider                   assessment of tribal organizations          Arctic Village Council
Program in partnership with the            and provide assistance in financial         Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Council
                                                                                       Beaver Tribal Council
Foraker Group hosted three trainings       management, proposal development,           Birch Creek Tribal Council
which were held in Anchorage during        office organization, policy                 Canyon Village Council
the spring. Training topics included       development, revisions, grant reporting     Carcross/Tagish First Nation
                                           and management.                             Chalkyitsik Village Council
project design and grantsmanship,                                                      Chevak Native Village
board roles and responsibilities, and          The Circuit Rider Program would         Chuloonawick Native Village
financial management.                      like to thank the Environmental             Circle Village Council
                                           Protection Agency for their continued       Eagle Traditional Council
    Participants were delighted                                                        Emmonak Traditional Council
with the opportunity to learn more         support. At this time they would also       Evansville Tribal Council
about their job areas and to discuss       like to announce the following staff        Grayling DRA Council
tribal issues with other community         changes. Lamia Bouziane (Anchorage          Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government
                                                                                       Hamilton Tribal Council
members.                                   office) is no longer with the YRITWC.       Holy Cross Traditional Council
                                           Valerie Andrew is working with the          Hooper Bay Native Village
 Comments shared by participants           Native Village of Shaktoolik, Algaaciq      Hughes Village Council
                                                                                       Huslia Tribal Council
 included:                                 Tribal Government, Pitka’s Point            Iqurmiut Tribal Council
                                           Traditional Council, Asa’carsarmiut         Kaltag Tribal Council
 • “D learned about many aspects of        Tribal Council and Chuloonawick             Kluane First Nation
 my job including how grants operate,      Native Village this summer. Valerie is
                                                                                       Kotlik Traditional Council
 how to manage funds, and how to do                                                    Koyukuk Tribal Council
                                           based in Marshall and can be reached at     Kwanlin Dun First Nation
 our quarterly reports. When I started     907-679-6153 or valerie_andrew2000@         Liard First Nation
 D had no idea how the whole grant         yahoo.com. Gena Tran continues to
                                                                                       Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
 process worked. Now D have the                                                        Louden Tribal Council
                                           work in the Fairbanks office and can        Manley Village Council
 knowledge to do my job right.”            be reached at 907-451-2552 or gtran@        Marshall Traditional Council
                                                                                       Mentasta Village Council
 • “[Board training] was the most          yritwc.com.                                 Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation
 interesting of all trainings D have                                                   Naqsragmiut Tribal Council
 attended in the past two years                                                        Native Village of Bill Moore’s Slough
                                                                                       Native Village of Minto
 because we really discussed tribal                                                    Native Village of Shaktoolik
 issues. D learned what other Tribes                                                   Native Village of St. Michael
 are doing in their communities and                                                    Native Village of Tanacross
                                                                                       Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government
 can now see the larger picture of                                                     Nenana Native Council
 what is happening amongst Tribal                                                      Nulato Tribal Council
 Boards in Alaska. D hope to pass                                                      Ohogamiut Traditional Council
                                                                                       Paimiut Traditional Council
 what D have learned to the younger                                                    Pilot Station Tribal Council
 generation so that they can learn how                                                 Pitka’s Point Traditional Council
 to govern.”                                                                           Ruby Tribal Council
                                           Franklin Murphy, Chuloonawick Native
                                                                                       Scammon Bay Traditional Council
                                           Village, and Frank Aguchak, Scammon Bay,
 • “The [financial management]             at a Circuit Rider training.
                                                                                       Selkirk First Nation
                                                                                       Shageluk DRA Council
 training provided interactions with                                                   Stebbins Community Association
 each other to learn how each tribal                                                   Stevens Village Council
 organization identifies a need,            New Accord Signers!                        Ta’an Kwach’an First Nation
                                                                                       Taku River Tlingit First Nation
 considers their options and how they                                                  Tanana Tribal Council
 manage to resolve any problems.”                  Manley Village Council              Teslin Tlingit First Nation
                                                    Naqsragmiut Tribal                 Tr’on Dek Hwech’in First Nation
                                                                                       Venetie Village Council
    Dn addition to the group trainings,                 Council                        Vuntut Gwichin First Nation
our staff conducted on-site visits                                                     White River First Nation
to several Yukon River watershed                    That brings the total              Yupiit of Andreafski
                                                     number to 66!
communities to complete overall
PAGE 6                                                       currents

                                                                                          Watershed Planning
    Announcing New Act for Health Rivers Coalition                                            Workshop
             Act for Healthy Rivers is a community website fighting to protect              Cill Ide Native Plant Nursery
         the public from harmful sewage pollution in our rivers by calling on            announces a watershed planning
         Congress to pass The Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-                   workshop to be held September 13,
         Know Act of 2007. The legislation would set national reporting and              2007 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
         notification standards for sewage treatment operators to follow to              The focus of the workshop will be
         make sure the public is notified when sewage spills into your local               to discuss the eight watershed
         waters. To show your group’s support visit <http://www.healthyrivers.            planning tools developed by the
         org/>.                                                                          Center for Watershed Protection.
                                                                                               For more information call
                                                                                                919-302-6900 or email

              Thank You
           Peter Captain, Sr.               Northwest Environmental Training Center Opportunities
           The YRITWC would like to
     thank Peter Captain, Sr. for his
                                            Event                                     Dates                  Location
        leadership and service over         Pacific Salmonid Recovery         Sept.6-9                       Seattle, WA
     the past ten years. The former         Conference 2007
          chairman of the YRITWC            Fundamental Contaminant Chemistry Sept.19                        Portland, OR
         has recently stepped down
                                            (course 1 of 2 in series)         Dec.23                         Honolulu, HD
      from the Executive Commitee
         and is currently serving as                                          Nov.13                         Seattle, WA
       vice president for the Tanana
            Chiefs Conference.              Contaminant Chemistry and                 Sept.20-21             Portland, OR
                                            Transport in Soil and Groundwater         Oct.24-25              Honolulu, HD
                                            (course 2 of 2 in series)                 Nov.14-15              Seattle, WA
         National Water Quality
     Monitoring Council Conference          For more information visit <www.nwetc.org>.

        The National Water Quality Monitoring
    Council presents its 6th conference,                       First Alaskans Institute Announce
    Monitoring: Key to Understanding Our                       Community Engagement Awards
    Waters to be held May 18-22, 2008 in
    Atlantic City, NJ. The conference will                            First Alaskans Institute is announcing a pilot project,
    feature recent theme-related successes                        Community Engagement Awards. This is a funding initiative
    from a broad array of river basins and                        for projects that demonstrate collaborative efforts among
    coastal waters, including overviews of the                    community organizations to plan and implement innovative,
    three pilot studies selected for the National                 lasting programs that contribute to healthy and thriving
    Water Quality Monitoring Network for U.S.                     communities. Funding will be available for results-based
    Coastal Water and their Tributaries, and                      activities that include family and community partnerships in
    plans for the Network’s future.                               the following areas:
                                                                      • early childhood education activities that better
                                                                          prepare children for success in school
                                                                      • increasing high school graduation rates
            Western Brownfields                                       • connecting Elders and youth in cultural learning
                Workshop                                              • promoting youth leadership development
             October 3-5, 2007 in                                     A total of $500,000 will be awarded in the second half of
                                                                  2007. For more information visit <www.firstalaskans.org>
                Portland, OR                                      or contact Sarah Scanlan at sarah@firstalaskans.org or
      For more information, visit
                                       yukon rIVer Inter-trIBal WatersHeD councIl                                  PAGE 7

  Save the Date!
  2007 First Alaskans                         YRITWC Needs Your Help!
  Institute/AFN Elders &
                                              The Summit is only weeks away and we could
  Youth Conference
                                              still use additional funds!
  Oct. 22-23, 2007
                                              Donations of any amount are welcome and will
  Carlson Center, Fairbanks
                                              greatly help in the following ways:
Dnvasive Species                              $1-50 helps puchase supplies
Managment Course in
Whitehorse                                    $50-$250 helps purchase food
      The Invasive Species
  Management Course will be                   $250+ helps sponsor a youth to attend the
  held August 9-10, 2007 at                   Summit
  Yukon College in Whitehorse,
  Yukon Territory. The course is              To find out more or to make a donation please
  being organized by the Yukon                contact Shawna Trumblee at (907) 258-3337 or
  Invasive Species Committee                  strumblee@yritwc.com.
  with support from the Yukon
  Government. The course fee is
  $300 (or $150 for students). For
  more information visit <http://                               YRITWC Job Opening!
                                                             The YRDTWC is seeking an advocacy
Employment Opportunity                                     position which will begin October 1, 2007.
                                                            Dnterested applicants may send a resume
as a Trainer                                                  and cover letter to Rob Rosenfeld at
      The Northwest
  Environmental Training Center
  is seeking experienced
  environmental professionals
  to help teach our technical
                                              Yukon Circles Debuts at More Film Festivals
  training programs. These are                and Screenings!
  paid positions that involve
  teaching a one, two, or three-                   In the past few months, Yukon Circles has been debuting at film
  day workshop. Our training                   festivals and screening throughout North America. At the recent Earth
  programs include topics ranging              Vision Dnternational Film Festival in Santa Cruz, California, Yukon
  from environmental remediation               Circles was awarded the Oceans/Water Quality category.
  to habitat restoration and
  everything in between. If you
  enjoy teaching and have a
                                               Here’s Yukon Circles Dmpressive Tally of Film Festivals and Screenings:
  wealth of experience/expertise,
  please review the posted
  opportunities in the link below.             • Native American Film & Video Festival at Smithsonian National
  If you have expertise in an area               Museum of the American Dndian (Dec.06 - New York)
  not listed on our opportunities              • Anchorage Dnternational Film Festival (Dec.06 - Anchorage)
  page, please feel free to contact            • Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival (Jan.07 - Nevada City)
  us as we are always open to                  • Weeneebeg Aboriginal Film & Video Festival (Mar.07 - Northern
  new ideas.                                     Ontario)
                                               • Native American Voices at Fargo Film Festival (Mar.07 - Fargo)
  Instructor Opportunities: <http://           • Earth Vision Environmental Film Festival (Apr.07 - Santa Cruz)
  www.nwetc.org/opportunities.htm>             • Hazel Wolfe Environmental Film Festival (Apr.07 - Seattle)
  Workshop Topics: <http://www                 • Coast Salish Gathering (Jan.07 - Duncan, BC)
  nwetc.org/topics.htm>                        • Alaska Forum on the Environment (Feb.07 - Anchorage)
  Training Catalog: <http://www
PAGE 8                                                    currents

Brownfields: Strengthening Tribal
Environmental Capacity Along the River
                                                                                    By cHarlene stern anD sonta HamIlton

Dn April the YRITWC Brownfields
Program held our second successful
community brownfields workshop.
The three-day workshop, held in
Fairbanks, was filled with informative
presentations as well as interactive
activities that included GPS mapping,
action planning and field trips to local
brownfield sites.
    Dn attendance were eighteen tribal
leaders from different communities
within the Watershed including Elder
Advisor Benedict Jones; representatives
from the Tanana Chiefs Conference          Adam Demientieff, Storyteller Productions, collects some footage of contaminated
Solid Waste Department, Alaska             sites on a recent trip with the Brownfields Program staff.
Department of Environmental
Conservation, Anvik Tribal Response        issues in the Yukon River watershed.          Lake, Fort Yukon and Grayling. That
Program, Fairbanks North Star              We would like to extend a special             brings the total number of participating
Borough, Haskell Environmental             thanks to the Koyukuk community for           communities to 35! Together, we
Research Studies Center and the            their contribution to the DVD project.        are surely strengthening tribal
Bureau of Land Management. Thank           As the summer continues we will be            environmental capacity along the river.
you to everyone who helped to make         collecting more footage, so if you
the workshop such a tremendous             happen to catch one of our staff behind
success!                                   a videocamera…no need to be camera
    The Brownfields Program staff          shy! Also if you have photos capturing
has also been busy hitting the road        contaminated sites or the way of life
and taking advantage of the snow-free      for the people in the Yukon River
season. So far this summer, we have        watershed please contact our staff.
completed brownfields inventories              Dn related news, we would like
in Allakaket, Arctic Village, Beaver,      to thank the First Alaskans Dnstitute
Evansville, Hughes, Huslia, Kaltag,        for placing a summer intern with the
Koyukuk, Pilot Station and Venetie.        Brownfields Program. Welcome to
Sonta and D would like to thank            Crystal Frank, originally from Arctic         Sonta Hamilton, YRITWC, with Eliza Jones,
these communities for their generous       Village, who will be providing general        YRITWC Executive Committee Member, in
hospitality and for contributing towards   program support as well as assisting          Koyukuk.
the development of a watershed-wide        in the development of educational
inventory of potential brownfields         materials for schools and summer
sites. To view our online inventory by     camps. Her contribution will help
community, please visit our web site       our staff to deliver age appropriate
at <http://www.yritwc.com/programs/        presentations to children and youth
contamMap.asp>.                            about contaminated site issues.
    Another exciting project that we           On a final note, we are excited
have been working on is the production     to announce that the YRDTWC was
of a Brownfields DVD. With the help        awarded a third year of Brownfields
of Storytellers Productions the DVD        funding from the EPA. Starting
                                                                                         Lina Edwin, Kaltag Tribal Council, and Anna
will be an educational tool for tribes,    October 1st we will begin working             Pratt, YRITWC, use a map of Kaltag to
Environmental Protection Agency and        with an additional five communities           mark potential brownfield sites at the 2007
schools to learn about tribal brownfield   including: Alatna, Birch Creek, Dot           Brownfields Workshop.
                                          yukon rIVer Inter-trIBal WatersHeD councIl                                           PAGE 9

Science Updates
                                                                                                              By mIrIam kIllam
The 2007 YRDTWC Science and
Mapping Program’s water quality field
sampling season is off to a great start
and we are well on track for another
successful year of sampling and data
    The season began in March with a
Water Quality Monitoring Workshop
held in Fairbanks. Seventeen field
technicians attended the three-day
workshop which was designed to
refresh sampling procedures, share
findings from the 2006 season, discuss
the future direction of the program and
preparations for the current season.
Attendees also participated in field
exercises and listened to presentations
                                           Miriah Killam, YRITWC, taking under-ice field measurements on the Chena River
by The River Network, United States        above Fairbanks.
Geological Survey and YRDTWC.
    While most of the field technicians
                                           to the Science and Mapping Program          do not hesitate to call our staff.
and sample locations have remained the
                                           office and made available through a             The Science and Mapping Program
same, there have been several notable
                                           webpage specifically created for the        would like to extend a special thanks
developments including staff changes,
                                           journey. Since this is the first time       to the Administration for Native
increased international participation
                                           anything like this has been undertaken,     Americans for their support. We
and a new sample location at Mountain
                                           it will require a great deal of             would also like to thank all tribal
                                           coordination. Once completed this data      staff, volunteers and community
    Although Bryan Maracle and D
                                           will be a vital resource.                   members for everything you do to
have only been with the program for
                                               Although coordinating the water         protect and enhance the watershed. Dt
a few months, we are in the height of
                                           quality monitoring project takes up a       is an incredibly empowering feeling
sampling season and have managed
                                           significant portion of the program’s        to be working with such an interested
to hit the ground running. Fortunately,
                                           resources, our staff is available to        and motivated group of people. Our
through the support of a Cornell
                                           assist with other watershed issues. Dn      program could not exist without you.
Commitment Traditions Grant, we
                                           April the National Science Foundation       Thank you!
have the temporary assistance of Dave
                                           hosted a Beaver Populations Changes
Pelunis-Messier who in his short time
                                           Workshop in Emmonak, Alaska to
with us has become a great asset to
                                           address concerns related to observed
the program. Dt is also exciting to
                                           expansions of beaver populations
supplement the established sampling
                                           and potential threats to Watershed
sites on the delta with a new site
                                           resources. Over forty participants
in Mountain Village and increased
                                           including elders, resource managers and
samples and data received from the
                                           others gathered for two days to discuss
Yukon Territory.
                                           traditional ecological knowledge,
    Another focus of the program is
                                           possible management options as well as
generating a water quality profile that
                                           changes in beaver population, habitat        Mildred Fitka, Ohagamiut Traditional Council,
will include the majority of the Yukon
                                           and behavior.                                and Jackie George, Marshall Traditional
River. This will be done by mounting                                                    Council, taking a water sample of the Yukon
                                               Df you or someone in your                River above Marshall. Photo courtesy of
a data sonde on the back of a canoe
                                           community has science-related                Jacob Isaac.
traversing the river during the Healing
                                           questions, concerns or needs that our
Journey. Data will be continuously
                                           staff may be able to assist with please
uploaded and remotely transmitted
PAGE 10                                                 currents

                                          Welcome New YRITWC Staff!
Capacity                                  My name is David (“Dave”)               David Pelunis-
Bulder                                    Pelunis-Messier. D am from the          Messier,
(Circuit                                  bustling metropolis of Derry, New
Rider)                                    Hampshire where my parents and          Water
                                          two sisters currently live. As an       Quality and
                                          intern for the YRDTWC Science           Monitoring
Valerie Andrew is originally from                                                 Program
St. Mary’s, Alaska. She currently         and Mapping Program, D assist in
lives in Marshall with her husband        organizing water quality samples and incoming data
Nick Andrew Jr. and six children.         from the Yukon River and its tributaries. This fall D
Ms. Andrew graduated from Mt.             will be returning to Cornell University to finish my
Edgecumbe High School and later           final year of undergraduate studies in Natural Resource
Alaska Pacific University with a          Management. D am looking forward to working with the YRDTWC staff, gaining
Bachelor of Arts degree. She owns         valuable field experience as well as exploring the state.
a small consulting business and has
experience in social service and
administrative management.
                                                                                            My name is Crystal Frank and D
                                                                   Crystal Frank,
Marilyn Paukan, Local Summit                                                                am Di’haii Gwich’in Athabascan
Coordinator (Not pictured)                                          Brownfield              from the communities of Arctic
                                                                    Program Intern          Village and Venetie, Alaska. My
Marilyn Paukan was born in Bethel                                                           parents are Kenneth and Caroline
and raised in St. Mary’s, Alaska.                                  Frank of Arctic Village. D recently graduated from the
Her paternal grandparents are the                                  University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor in Rural
late Maggie (Kamkoff) and Dvan                                     Development and am planning to pursue my masters
Sipary. Her maternal grandparents                                  within the next year. My interests lie in environmental
are Eva (Plentikoff) and the late John    protection of land and water, cultural preservation and sustainable development.
Tcheripanoff of Unalaska. Marilyn’s       This summer I am interning with the YRITWC Brownfields Program as part of
father, Pius S. Sipary, is Yupik and      a leadership program sponsored by the First Alaskans Dnstitute. D chose to intern
was raised along the lower Yukon          with YRDTWC because D believe in protecting our lands and improving our
River villages. Her mother, Virginia      communities for future generations. D am thankful to be working on environmental
A. Sipary, is Aleut and was raised in     issues and helping to protect a river that my people have utilized for thousands of
Unalaska. Marilyn is a tribal member      years.
of the Yupiit of Andreafski. She and
her husband Eric Paukan are raising
five wonderful children. Marilyn’s
work history is primarily clerical and    Polly Hyslop is Upper Tanana Athabascan.            Polly
administrative positions. She attended    She was born in Northway and is a beneficiary Hyslop,
the University of Alaska Fairbanks        member of the White River First Nation.
for three years pursuing an accounting    Polly has two sons—Tim, a graphic artist in         Yukon
degree. She is currently taking a break   New York City, and Ben, a college student.          Region
from being a full-time student to focus   She holds a degree in print journalism from         Summit
on her family. She is very grateful and                                                       Coodinator
                                          the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is
pleased to be working for YRDTWC          currently undergoing training in traditional skills and language
as the Local Summit Coordinator.          which is a lifelong endeavor. Polly moved back to Northway
Marilyn can be reached by phone 907-      in 1995 and now resides in a house that was built many years
438-2329/fax 907-438-2513 or email        ago by her father. Polly enjoys being part of an organization like the YRDTWC
marilynsipary@hotmail.com.                that works to keep our waterways alive and well. As the Yukon Region Summit
                                          Coordinator in Whitehorse, Polly is helping coordinate the Ten Year Anniversary
                                            yukon rIVer Inter-trIBal WatersHeD councIl                             PAGE 11

Congratulations to YRITWC’s Most Recent
                                                                                         YRITWC Guiding Principles
College Graduates:
                                                                                             We will strive to:
                                                                                               Be Good Listeners
 Sonta Shares in Shageluk’s Graduates Successes                                           Be Honest • Be Consensual
                                                                                         Be Trustworthy • Be Respectful
Congratulations to Sonta Hamilton who recently graduated from the University of
                                                                                            Be Timely • Be Unifying
Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor in Rural Development and emphasis in Land,
Resource and Environmental Management. After attending her own graduation                  Be Flexible • Be Tenacious
                               ceremony, Sonta was invited by the graduating                  Be Non-judgemental
                               high school seniors from her hometown of                        Be Fair and Equal
                               Shageluk to be the keynote speaker at their               Have Integrity • Share Wisdom
                               graduation. Her response—“D was humbled and                   Be Inclusive • Be Bold
                               since D’d known the graduates my whole life, it                     Be Patient
                               was that much more special.” Her message to the
                               students was to always remember that they have
                               a strong cultural heritage which will give them
                               direction and strength in their lives. “Youth today
                               need both modern and traditional culture,” Sonta
                               shared before presenting each graduate with a Deg
                               Xinag language dictionary as well as a Webster’s

 My Denali Expedition
                                                                By DanIelle Pratt
Dt is great to be back in the sunshine and the greenery but nothing compares to the
grandeur and enormity of the mountains in the Alaska Range. After graduating
from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor in Sociology, I
accompanied my husband Casey and some friends on an expedition to climb the
tallest point in the Yukon River watershed, Denali (Mt. McKinley). On May 7,
we left Talkeetna and made it into base camp just before the weather closed in.
We were the only team to make it in that day! Progressing quickly we made it to
14,000 feet in just six days after which we spent another six days acclimatizing.
The weather was unusually cold often hitting -60°at the high camp (17,000 feet).
We made two attempts at the summit however due to bad weather we had to turn
back both times. Despite not summiting D still consider the trip a success. We are
going back next year!

  Danielle Pratt, YRITWC, at 14,000 feet.     Danielle Pratt holding the YRITWC flag
                                              with Mt. Hunter in the background.
PAGE 12                                              currents

                                                                                Currents is printed by Graphic North, Inc.

  AlAskA Region office
  815 2nd Ave., Suite 201
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701-4859 USA

Thank You to Our Donors
Administration for Native Americans   RIDOLFI Engineering

Alaska Conservation Foundation        Tribal Contributions

Evenor Armington Fund                 Walter Duncan and Gordon Foundation

Bancker-Williams Foundation           U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Denali Commission                     U.S. Department of Agriculture

Environment Canada                    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

First Nations Development Institute   National Geographic Society’s and IBM’s   Anchorage Office
                                      Genographic Legacy Fund                   725 Christensen Dr., Suite 3
Lannan Foundation
                                      Nathan Cummings Foundation                Anchorage, Alaska 99501
National Science Foundation                                                     Phone: (907) 258-3337
                                      Rasmuson Foundation                       Fax: (907) 258-3339
Oak Foundation—Indian Law Resource
                                                                                E-mail: jwaterhouse@yritwc.com
                                                                                Yukon Region Office
Please help us update our                                                       Box 31213-211 Main St.
mailing list. If your mailing                                                   Yukon Territories, YIA 5P7
                                                                                Phone: (867) 393-2199
address has changed,                                                            Fax: (867) 393-2198
                                                                                E-mail: rrosenfeld@yritwc.com
e-mail Roslyn at

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