Rural Providers’ Conference
June 7-11, 2010
Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.
Kodiak Area Native Association, Inc.
Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers captivate the crowd with their Julie Knagin lights the seal oil lamp on the first day of
traditional regalia and dance. the conference as Frank Peterson looks on.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Kodiak Island - the “emerald isle” and home of the Alutiiq culture - is the second largest island in America. It is a
region steeped in history and opportunities for adventure.
Photo by Janice Berry
TABLE OF CONTENTS
History of the Gathering 2
Community Hosts Throughout the Years 3
Keynote Speakers 4
A Life Transformed 5
Staking Ceremony 6
Conference Highligts 8
Youth Track 10
Workshop Descriptions 12
The Rural Providers’ Conference (RPC) is an annual
gathering designed by rural Alaskans to share
information, gain skills and participate in training to
address substance abuse in culturally significant ways.
The RPC is conducted in a style compatible with Alaska
Native lifestyles and ways of communicating and
includes ceremonies, talking circles and cultural events.
Participants include substance abuse service providers,
youth, Elders and family members interested in gaining
new energy and celebrating their own sobriety.
The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.
(RurAL CAP), Kodiak Area Native Association, State of
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Elihu
Foundation Charitable Trust, First Alaskans Institute,
Koniag, Inc. and Wells Fargo Bank Alaska sponsored
the conference, with core funding provided by the State
of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community &
The conference theme for 2009 and 2010 was “Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity - Laampaaq Kwarluku,
Allrilurmi Tukningcarluta” (Alutiiq Translation). The RPC rotates to a different rural community every two years,
and will be held in Dillingham in 2011 and 2012.
Cover Photo of Annie Lou Williams of Kalskag and Priscilla Yaska of Chuathbaluk: Margaret David
RPC Logo Design: Amy Modig
Photos: RurAL CAP Staff and Volunteers
Design & Layout: Angela Gonzalez
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 1
HISTORY OF THE GATHERING
About the Rural Providers’ Conference 1984-2010
Over the last 27 years, The Rural
Providers’ Conference (RPC)
has become a leading force for
the state’s growing sobriety
The RPC, also called the
Gathering, was started in
response to the sobriety
initiative among Alaska Native
communities in the early
eighties. Those involved in the
movement saw a need to create RPC attendees at the RPC in Copper Center in 1988
a partnership to share information and resources. The first Gathering was held in 1983 in Anchorage and was
sponsored by the Alaska State Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ADA) and was initially intended for staff in
rural Alaska programs that were funded by ADA. It was at the end of the first meeting when Anna Frank of
Fairbanks suggested that the people in rural Alaska who were served by the programs should be included in
the design of RPC.
Since then conference participants have planned and facilitated each Gathering while RurAL CAP, co-hosting
Alaska Native regional organizations and other sponsors provide logistical support. The annual event has
blossomed to include more
participants from more
communities each year. This
year the event included over
200 people from throughout the
state. Conference participants
now include service providers,
those in recovery, family
members and other participants
who wish to celebrate sobriety
and learn new skills.
The Gathering serves as a forum
where rural providers can share
resources that are culturally
relevant to the Native Alaska way
of life. The conference features
traditional ways of celebrating Attendees listen to a presentation at the RPC in Fairbanks in 1999
and sharing this information, Photo by Shanwne Albright
including talking circles, fiddle
dancing, traditional storytelling and potlucks. Community representatives share approaches that are working
well in their communities. Participating youth voice substance abuse concerns in conference tracks focusing on
prevention. The Gathering unifies and empowers. It serves as a networking center and as a training ground for
community leaders. It encourages the creation of community-made solutions and collaboration of community
efforts to reduce substance abuse and promote wellness.
2 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
RPC HOST COMMUNITIES
1987-88 Copper Center/Glennallen
2007-08 Copper Center/Glennallen
Map by Michael Knapp
Communities Represented by 2010 RPC Participants
Akhiok Kiana Ugashik Ganado, AZ
Aleknagik Kodiak Upper Kalskag Oak Bluffs, MA
Ambler Larsen Bay Venetie Reno, NV
Anchorage Manokotak Wasilla Seattle, WA
Bethel Marshall Wrangell West Jordan, UT
Cooper Landing New Stuyahok
Eagle River Old Harbor
Fairbanks Pedro Bay
Fort Richardson Port Alexander
Gakona Port Graham
Haines Pt. Hope
Kalskag Sitka A group from the Bristol Bay region attended the RPC in preparation to host
Kaltag Togiak the 2011 RPC in Dillingham.
Kenai Twin Hills Photo by Angela Gonzalez
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 3
Presenters Amy Modig, Gloria Gorman and Nick Pavloff
Stories about personal and professional triumphs over substance abuse often have a positive impact on
attendees. The 2010 keynote presenters were Amy Modig of Anchorage, Gloria Gorman of Juneau and
Nick Pavloff of Eagle River. The keynote addresses are available online at www.ruralcap.com.
Amy Modig, Anchorage
Amy Modig is an Athabascan with ties to Shageluk, Grayling, Tanacross and
Takotna. Amy currently resides in Anchorage and owns Gathering of Eagles with
her husband, Doug. She works as a researcher, coordinator, writer and artist.
Amy shared three interwoven stories about her life, a traditional story of a little
mouse and about the seventh circle of life. Amy described having a difficult
early childhood until she was adopted at the age of three, then later how she
began having difficulty with life at the age 13. At 28 years old with two children
and no car or home, she became sober and “walked out of the darkness.” She
said to heal, one needs to “Let go of hurts, angers and resentments. Look at
Amy Modig of Anchorage what works for yourself.” She described how her counselor and friends helped
Photo by Angela Gonzalez her to see the possibilities at the beginning of her sobriety.
Gloria Gorman, Juneau
Gloria Gorman of Juneau is from the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. As the
Human Services Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region in
Juneau, Gloria works with Alaska tribes developing strong Indian Child Welfare
Act (ICWA) programs and Welfare Assistance programs. “Alaska has the highest
rate of Native children in the state foster care system. About 60% are Alaska
Native or American Indian. We need to do something about abuse and neglect
in our tribal communities.” Gloria said. She shared the following suggestions
of what communities can do to prevent abuse and neglect: be trained to read
body language; mandate tribal workers to report sexual abuse and undergo
Gloria Gorman of Juneau background checks; adopt a Children’s Bill of Rights; develop village-based child
Photo by Nick Gonzales protection teams and safe homes; teach parenting skills.
Nick Pavloff, Eagle River
Nick Pavloff, Jr. is of Aleut and Russian descent, originally from Karluk on
Kodiak Island, and currently resides in Eagle River, Alaska. He was raised by
his grandparents, Tania and Herman Malutin, in Karluk. Nick was a commercial
fisherman by trade for twenty-five years. Nick held various positions within his
community in an effort to support his family, including construction worker,
heavy equipment operator, and teacher’s aide. Nick spoke of growing up in a
traditional lifestyle and of his struggles with alcoholism and overcoming them,
despite many obstacles. See his story on the next page.
Nick Pavloff of of Eagle River
Photo by Nick Gonzales
4 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE
A Life Transformed Nick Pavloff
Nick Pavloff, Jr. is a certified substance abuse
counselor and visits tribal communities within the
Prince William Sound. Nick received certification
from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rural Human
Services program in the fall of 2008. Nick’s efforts in
the community focus on sharing his life experiences
with others through storytelling.
Nick says drinking alcohol gave him courage to be
around people, and to say and do things that he
wouldn’t typically say and do. Rather than giving him
courage to do things, he says, “It took away more
from me than anything.” He began drinking alcohol
because of peer pressure.
Nick says, “I drank on my 17th birthday simply
because of peer pressure. I didn’t want to drink.
I wasn’t planning to. I drank a pint of vodka and Nick Pavloff was interviewed for a project at the RPC
passed out.” He experienced blackouts over the 23
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
years he abused alcohol. Nick began his sobriety
journey in 1994 at the age of 44. Alaska Natives in the past 100 years. He says, “I’m
tired of watching people suffer.” Nick believes
Nick began to look at reasons as “When I people are not dealing with that historical
to why he started and continued stopped drinking, trauma and are suppressing it by
drinking. He realizes he was everybody looked the drinking. Nick says, “We can’t heal
angry at his parents and same, but everybody was and move forward without dealing
wounded by their divorce speaking a different language. with the history and past first.
and abandonment. “My mom I didn’t quit drinking, I There are things we have to deal
abandoned me three times changed my lifestyle.” with generationally to understand
and my dad disappeared.” He change.”
learned he had to forgive them. His
grandparents told him he had to love his Nick now enjoys time with his wife, Connie,
parents. When Nick was a child, he discovered eight grandsons and two granddaughters from his
he wasn’t a normal kid. He had difficulty learning and blended family of seven.
struggled with dyslexia. He was told he was stupid by
teachers and classmates.
RPC attendees speak
with Nick Pavloff after his
“The first five years of sobriety were the most keynote speech. Often
difficult for me. I almost started drinking again so speakers serve as an
many times. When I stopped drinking, I humbled inspiration to those who
myself to my wife and children and asked for their work in the recovery
forgiveness. It is not easy to change. It took me field.
three years to get my feet on the ground.” Photo by Nick Gonzales
When Nick speaks at events and to people he talks
about the historical traumas that have occurred to
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 5
A Tradition Continues in Kodiak
The Staking Ceremony was introduced to the Rural country. Phil Lane Jr. of Alberta, Canada introduced
Providers’ Conference (RPC) in 1985 to signify the ceremony to Alaska in 1985. In the RPC’s
the commitment to sobriety. The stakes used for modern staking ceremony, participants declare their
the Staking Ceremony symbolize a young man’s commitment to sobriety. The small stakes in the
spear. The involvement in the ceremony is a public ceremony symbolize the warrior’s spear. It is a way of
declaration of one’s intention for sobriety, “tying” oneself to the spear and facing the enemy
because it is made in public with those – alcohol and drug abuse. The stakes are
one respects or honors. always decorated with black, white
yellow and red. Black represents the
The staking ceremony’s roots lay West and African American people;
in a battle between the Mandan white is for the North and White
Indians and the Lakota Sioux. people; Yellow is the East and
According to the tale, a Mandan Yellow People; and Red stands for
warrior “staked” himself to the the South and Red people. Each
earth during a battle with the RPC participant is given a stake to
Lakota. He believed so strongly take home that reminds them of
in his cause that he refused to their commitment to sobriety for
retreat. A Lakota Elder was so themselves and their loved ones.
impressed by the Mandan warrior’s
courage, honor and commitment to The first ceremony had one couple
his people that he stopped the Sioux represent each Alaskan culture, and
who were about to kill him, saying, “Even included an original bundle of stakes. The first
in an enemy, we must honor this example.” Instead, holders of the bundle were Doug Modig of Ketchikan
they nursed the warrior back to health and returned and Amy Lohr of Tanacross. They passed the bundle
him to his people. to John and Teresa Pingayak of Chevak in June 1991
at Kenai and to other Stakeholders since then. Ed and
Since its recreation years ago by a small group Priscilla Peele of Sitka held the bundle from 2003-
in Canada, the modern staking ceremony has 2009. In 2009, the bundle was passed to Fred and
grown tremendously with stakeholders all over the Irene Coyle of Kodiak.
Lureta Porter of Kodiak works with the Youth Track attendees to paint 200 stakes for the Staking Ceremony.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
6 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Staking Down for Sobriety
Stakeholders and supporters prepare for the Staking Ceremony in Kodiak by sharing stories.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
During the RPC, the Stakeholders plan and facilitate
the Staking Ceremony on the final day of the RPC.
They hold prayer ceremonies throughout the year.
They offer guidance and encouragement to people in
recovery from alcohol and drugs.
Stakeholders make a committment to sobriety and
work toward it in personal and professional capacities.
They often help people by counseling them or
listening to them. Stakeholders often serve on the RPC
statewide planning committee, speak at the RPC, and Doug and Amy Modig and Camille Booth present the
serve as ambassadors in their region to promote the “Healing Our Future” workshop during the RPC.
Sobriety Movement. Photo by Janice Berry
Amanda Peele of Sitka
Carol Rose of Fairbanks
Doug & Amy Modig of Anchorage Ed and Priscilla Peele
Ed & Priscilla Peele of Sitka moderate an ‘Open Mic’
Fred & Irene Coyle of Kodiak session to give attendees
an opportunity to discuss
John & Teresa Pingayak of Chevak
what they learned.
Randy Mayo and Violet Hunt of Stevens Village Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Reggie & Linda Joule of Kotzebue
Shirley Holmberg of Fairbanks
Tom & Jennifer Young of Sitka
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 7
Evening events included Opening Ceremonies, a Potluck, Culture Share Talent Show and a dance. Many RPC
speakers talked about the need to have fun in the quest for sobriety.
Andy Teuber, President, Kodiak Area The Pilot Bread Band of Anchorage plays fiddle music during the RPC
Native Association provides as warm Dance.
welcome during the Opening Ceremony. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
RPC attendees enjoy a potluck with a sampling of various traditional RurAL CAP Board President, Andy Ebona,
foods from around Alaska. and Executive Director, David Hardenbergh,
Photo by Angela Gonzalez prepare herring eggs for the RPC Potluck.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Doug Modig moderates Circle Talk, a talking circle during the RPC.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
8 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Irene Coyle and Lydia Olson of Doug Modig drums John and Teresa Pingayak sing during the
Kodiak sing Alutiiq songs during the during the the Culture Culture Share Talent Show.
Culture Share event at the RPC. Share Talent Show. Photo courtesy of Doug & Amy Modig
Photo by Janice Berry Photo by Janice Berry
The crowd participates in the Kodiak Island Drummers performance. Youth Track attendees share a meal.
Photo by Amy Flaherty Photo by Joie Brown
“I’m in recovery
myself. I want to
it away. Bring your
family and friends
next year, because
we’ll be doing the
- Ralph Anderson,
Bristol Bay Native
Photo by Angela
Gonzalez The youth hold a Circle Talk of their own during the RPC.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 9
The RPC provides education and
opportunities for teens across Alaska
through its Youth Track. Teens build
connections with others from rural
Alaska. Youth Track participants
attended the morning keynote and
talking circles of the main RPC, and
met separately in the afternoon for
their own workshops. The teens
helped to plan the youth track, along
with RurAL CAP and Sun’aq Tribe staff.
Some of the youth are Members of
RurAL CAP’s new AmeriCorps Youth
This year’s Youth Track is the second Youth edit audio stories with the Alaska Teen Media Institute.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
year of an exciting collaboration
between teens from around rural Alaska and a group of teens on Kodiak Island. The sessions and activities
were chosen to fulfill three key areas: Substance Abuse and Prevention; Skill-Building and Leadership; and
Healthy, Recreational Activities. Activities also included a hike up Pillar Mountain, and tour of the Kodiak Electric
Association’s wind turbine farm.
Media Project & Communication Skills
Presenters: Alaska Teen Media Institute, Robert Stormo, Kelsey Hernandez and Max Jungreis
The Alaska Teen Media Institute (ATMI) provides statewide youth with the tools and training to share their
stories in their own voices. ATMI’s Assistant Director and two veteran teen reporters focused on discovering
and expressing youth perspectives. Participants created audio projects using media equipment to capture the
RPC experience. Listen to their pieces at www.aerho.org/youth_action_program/youth_intro.html.
Music Instruction and Therapy
Presenters: Kodiak Island Drummers, Mr. D. (below) and 4 youth
This lively and rhythmic session introduced drumming basics by Kodiak’s well-known and energetic youth
drumming group. Presenters said, “Everyone has a beat so discover yours!” Presenters discussed music as a
therapy for addiction recovery, a way to improve overall health and connect people to profound experiences.
10 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Townhall Meeting on Underage Drinking
Moderator: Natasha Pineda, Project Coordinator,
Department of Health and Social
Services, Behavioral Health/Prevention
and Early Intervention Services
Community members and RPC attendees were
encouraged to bring their concerns, challenges,
and solutions to underage drinking to the forum
sponsored by the State of Alaska, Division of
Behavioral Health. Participants engaged in a
thoughtful and proactive discussion focusing on Youth Track and RPC attendees discussed the solutions to
what communities and individuals can do to prevent underage drinking in Alaska.
alcohol use among our youth. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
“What Is A Leader?” at the White Sands Beach Outing
Presenters: Nina Gronn, Kodiak teen and all youth planners
Youth discussed and identified leadership qualities, ideas and thoughts about what a leader is and how they
can strive to be positive youth leaders in their communities. Icebreakers were lead by the youth participants.
wreckED: Video, Discussion and Card Game
Presenters: Amy Flaherty, RurAL CAP
wreckED is teen-oriented substance abuse and prevention program from the Partnership for a Drug-Free
America. Amy and Shelsea showed a short video, played a card game, and had a discussion to learn about the
realities and consequences of substance abuse.
Youth Keynote Address: Substance Abuse Prevention at Home
Presenters: Shane Nukwak, Dillingham and Brianna Jeffers, Nenana
The presenters shared their personal stories and commitments. Shane has been part of the foster care system
and shared his healthy message of growing up in chaos yet choosing to live clean and sober. Brianna talked
about witnessing hardship and substance abuse, and her commitment and ideas for clean living and leadership.
Youth Track Planning Coordinators
Amy Flaherty of RurAL CAP and Emily Capjohn Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak
Youth Track Planners
Selena Andrews, Aleknagik Brianna Jeffers, Nenana
Sandi Echuck, Togiak Charley Modig, Anchorage
Ruben Eluska, Kodiak Trevor Nanalook, Manokotak
Marn Elvehjem, Old Harbor Timmy Roberts, Venetie
Matt Faubion, Anchorage Desirae Sam, Tetlin
Jaynee Fritzinger, Wrangell Jodi Samuelson, Kalskag
Nina Gronn, Kodiak Lynn Slats, Chevak
Lawrence Gust, New Stuyahok Shelsea Smith, Port Alexander
Came Inga, Old Harbor Ian Stone-Wahl, Anchorage
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 11
Participants share insights in the “Moving Through the Steps” workshop with Martha Abbot and Dr. Gary Ferguson.
Photo by Angela Gonzalez
RurAL CAP recognizes the need for attendees seeking professional development in the provider field.
Professionals and paraprofessionals had the opportunity to receive training through the Alaska Commission for
Behavioral Health Certification. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for licensed social workers and counselors
were available, as well as a university credit from Kodiak College, UAA.
The RPC workshops are chosen as a result of Statewide and Local Planning Committee meetings. They begin
with a review of the past year’s RPC evaluations where participants list the topics they would like to learn
more about. Concurrently, the local planners circulate a community needs survey to determine what the local
residents and providers want to learn more about. From there, workshop proposals are circulated to potential
presenters. Ultimately, it is left up to the local planning committee as to the final workshops that will be
chosen. There were four concurrent workshops during the afternoons of the RPC, and some were extended
into two parts. Another key part of the conference was Circle Talks, a form of talking circles, which took place
in the mornings.
Advocacy Skills: Igniting the Spark in the Recovery Community
Presenter: Anna Sappah, Executive Director, Alaska Addiction Professionals Association
Advocacy skills are a valuable tool for treatment providers and the recovery community. One of the greatest
challenges for providers is to educate and advocate in their communities. For policy makers it is recognizing the
importance of treatment and recovery services in their area. People seeking recovery services as well as those
who have successfully completed treatment can be the best advocates for programs. Teaching staff, clients and
alumni how to tell their story in the most effective way was one goal of the workshop.
Cultural and Spiritual Interpretation of Tobacco
Presenters: Betty MacTavish, Tobacco Education Coordinator, KANA and Nick
Gonzales, Tobacco Education Coordinator, Akeela, Inc.
A discussion of the traditional, medicinal and ceremonial uses of tobacco
was held. Questions such as, “What is the commercial use of tobacco
doing to our Alaskan culture?” and “How we can make positive changes for
the health of our villages through Tribal Tobacco Policy?” were discussed.
Five BIRCH AmeriCorps Members and five youth shared digital stories on
tobacco education and cessation. Personal stories carried messages to help Nick Gonzales and Betty MacTavish
heal, educate, and entertain. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
12 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) 101 Part 1 & 2
Presenter: Nancy Wells, Infant Learning Coordinator, KANA and Lois Law, Southcentral Foundation Pathway Home
Participants learned to understand FASD as a brain based disorder and basic and useful strategies to use when
working with affected individuals. The presentation provided insights into how alcohol interferes with prenatal
development causing permanent damage. Emphasis was placed on damage to the brain and neurologic system
and how that affects an individual over their life span.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) 201 Part 1 & 2
Presenters: Nancy Wells, Infant Learning Coordinator, Louis Law, Southcentral Foundation Pathway Home
Participants learn what interventions and supports have been found effective and promising for individuals with
FASD and practiced using problem solving tools that may be helpful in their environment when living and/or
working with individuals with FASD.
Grief in Recovery: A Tool for Healing
Presenter: Ron Dempsay (at right), Victims for Justice
Participants learned about grief recovery and how it
can be a positive step for healing and recovery. Victims
for Justice helps victims cope with trauma and grief,
ensures their rights are respected within the judicial
system, advocates for change that will make a balanced
justice system, and implements community programs
for violence prevention.
Healing Our Future
Presenters: Doug and Amy Modig, Gathering of Eagles and Camille Booth, Executive Director, Creative Educational
Resourcing of Alaska
Several innovations have proved effective in working with Native Communities across the state. Participants
learned about effective strategies that work for Native Communities toward creating health and wellness,
and participants were invited to share what gains they have made. Camille Booth described her program in
Metlakatla which helps students overcome dyslexia. The workshop brought awareness to the fact that many
adverse behaviors, including addictions, can be directly related to the inability to read.
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 13
Holistic Nutrition in Recovery
Presenters: Dr. Gary Ferguson, ND (at right), Director, Wellness and Prevention, Alaska
Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Martha Abbot, Movement Therapist,
Energy Healer, and Professional Level Yoga Teacher
Participants learned the importance of creating a greater degree of consciousness
around nutrition and its profound effect on overall health for people in recovery. This
presentation incorporated wellness and self-care for the Provider/Clinician/Community
Worker; “walking the talk” in recovery around nutrition, wellness, and being “whole.”
Ms. Abbot shared her work around “moving through the steps.” Nutrient-dense food
samples were displayed, along with simple meal ideas.
Honoring the Truth: Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse
Presenters: Elsie Boudreau, LMSW, Alaska Native Justice Center/Alaska CARES and Linda McLaughlin, Victim
Presenters focused on steps to healing from childhood sexual abuse, with an emphasis on wisdom from Elders,
and allowed time for participation in a safe process.
Hope for the Homeless
Presenter: Ben Kanohokula (at right), Outreach Coordinator, BSW, CDCII,
Homeward Bound, RurAL CAP
Participants gained a greater knowledge of how and why people
become homeless and how they can help within their own community.
Homeward Bound, a self-paced alcohol management program for
chronically homeless individuals, assists residents by providing outreach
to homeless camps and shelters and facilitating access to detoxification,
substance abuse and mental health treatment.
In an Instant, for a Lifetime: Traumatic Brain Injury
Presenter: Jennifer Charvet, Resource Navigator, Alaska Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury is a health crisis in this state, especially in rural
Alaska. This session covered the rates, causes, prevention techniques,
and what participants can do after sustaining a brain injury. Participants learned that official brain injury
rehabilitation may be far from home, but there are some things that can be done at home.
Increasing Youth Resiliency: A Strategy to Prevent Substance Use and Suicide
Presenter: Becky Judd, Resiliency Youth Development Specialist, Alaska Division of Behavioral Health
Participants learned about what resiliency has to do with youth substance use and suicide, what it means to
be resilient, and how they can nurture resiliency in themselves and others. An overview of ways to measure
resiliency was also presented.
RPC is a friendly, personal interaction of people. I greatly benefitted from the conference and kindness of all
- Attendee reflecting on the RPC
14 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Journey to Wellness
Presenters: Nick Gonzales (at right), Tobacco Prevention Specialist,
Akeela, Inc. and Marilyn Balluta
The presentation focused on the power of storytelling as a change
agent with the use of digital storytelling. It combines stories about
alcohol/tobacco use and traditions. This workshop included information
about traditional activities, values and culture; wellness and health;
and spirituality and healing.
Moving through the Steps
Presenters: Martha Abbot, Movement Therapist, Energy Healer, and
Professional Level Yoga Teacher and Dr. Gary Ferguson, ND,
This workshop applied the process of Movement Therapy to the
principles of the Twelve Steps of Recovery. Participants were led
through a process for the purpose of gaining personal insight, exploring and integrating that insight through
creative expression, and then ‘owning’ that insight by sharing with the group. Participants received a greater
self-awareness and a sense of empowerment.
Raising Grandchildren, the Hidden Heroes
Presenter: Linda Price, BSSW, MS Counseling, Volunteers of America, Alaska
The presenters shared information about grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren and support
that is available to them through Volunteers of America, Alaska. Many grandparents are raising their own
grandchildren due to drug and alcohol abuse or mental health issues of the children’s parents.
Responding to a Child’s Disclosure
Presenter: Melody Livingston (at right), Behavior Health Consultant, KANA
This workshop covered the importance of how one responds to a child’s disclosure
of abuse. The response to a disclosure can make the difference between the child’s
ability to work through the victimization in the present or having the effects of
trauma throughout their lives. Presenters covered ways to help the child feel safe,
connected and empowered.
Stress Management for Couples in Recovery
Presenter: Jim Miller, Alcohol Program Coordinator, Port Graham Recovery Services
This presentation was developed for Llangcarwik Residential Treatment program. Attendees learned about
myths/facts about stress, gender differences with regard to stress response and stress management.
Participants learned to effectively handle stress for relapse prevention, health and relationship satisfaction.
We need to heal the wreckage of our past. There has been so much pain and hurt. There’s also been a lot of
healing. We need to clear away the fog and confusion.
- Doug Modig, Anchorage
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 15
Taking Care of Each Other: Incorporating HIV Prevention into the Care
of Persons Living with HIV
Presenter: Fransing Daisy (at right), PhD, University of Washington
Encounters with clients in recovery means providers have to know about HIV.
Providing brief, tailored interventions works better than mere education about
HIV. Participants learned about how to recognize someone’s attitudes, beliefs,
skills and readiness to make a change. They also learned how to help clients think
about ways to address circumstances of their sexual practices. Local and statewide
resources were discussed and identified.
The 12 Steps and Early Recovery
Presenter: Cisco Penamora, Addictions Coordinator and Heidi Barrett-McNerney,
Chemical Dependency Counselor II, KANA
Based on their practical experience, the presenters explored how working the Twelve Steps can enhance an
individual’s early recovery and help them maintain long-term sobriety. There was a group discussion of the pros
and cons of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and how it has worked or not worked as a tool for recovery with clients
and in attendees’ personal lives.
Traditional Healing: Alternative Health Care Options
Presenter: Maria Dexter, Traditional Healer, Norton Sound Health Corporation
Participants learned about the power of natural healing. The session provided an introduction to traditional
hands-on health care to help patients increase circulation, improve overall health, and overcome chronic pain
associated with injuries. The presenters demonstrated a few of their traditional healing techniques on members
of the audience.
Voices of our Children
Presenters: Lureta Porter, ICWA Family Advocate, KANA, Amanda Metivier, Facing Foster Care in Alaska (FFCA)
Coordinator, Shane Nukwak, FFCA Alumni, and Debbra Washington, Kodiak Office of Children’s Services
Participants listened and watched through “digitelling” (digital storytelling) and in-person stories from the voices
of youth who shared their experiences of being in custody of the State Office of Children’s Services (OCS)
and in the foster care system. The presenters emphasized the importance of establishing and maintaining
cultural identity and connection for children, and they offered their ideas and suggestions as to what they
need from their relatives, tribes and communities for support. Information about licensed and unlicensed
kinship or guardian tribal homes in Alaska was provided, including Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) preference
placements, and working with OCS.
Wellness Through The Arts—Art Promotes Resilience
Presenter: Carol Loftfield, BIRCH AmeriCorps Member, Nondalton
This program addressed stress reduction and anger management, interpersonal and intrapersonal
communication, and creative cooperation. Participants learned about how the techniques can be applied in
their homes and communities. The workshop offered a multimedia presentation with interactive skill-building,
through music, inspiring text, artwork, video and art-activity. Participants were taught how to foster relaxation,
healing and creative problem solving.
16 Lighting the Lamp for Strength in Unity
Janice Berry of RurAL CAP, Margie Bezona and Tammy Hansen of KANA
stAtewIde PlANNINg CommIttee membeRs
Dee Dee Bennis, Bristol Bay Native Association
Joseph Cantil, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Nick Gonzales, Akeela, Inc.
Randy Madigan, State of Alaska Div. of Behavioral Health
Linda McLaughlin, Alaska Native Justice Center
Jim Miller, Port Graham Recovery Services
Doug and Amy Modig, Gathering of Eagles
Priscilla Peele, RPC Stakeholder (Sitka)
Carol Rose, Tanana Chiefs Conference
Tammy Hansen and Margie Bezona
loCAl PlANNINg CommIttee membeRs Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Margene Andrus, KANA Melanie Nelson, Providence Kodiak Island
Melissa Berns, Woody Island Tribal Council Counseling Center
Margie Bezona, KANA Lydia Olsen, RPC Stakeholder
Emily Capjohn, Sun’aq Tribal Council Frank Peterson, Sun’aq Tribal Council
Fred and Irene Coyle, RPC Stakeholders Lureta Porter, KANA
Tammy Hansen, KANA Joanne Quass, KANA
Cindy Harrington, KANA Rita Royal, KANA
JJ Marsh, KANA Gwen Sargent, KANA
Denise Malutin, Native Village of Afognak Nancy Wells, KANA
Iver Malutin, KANA Jennifer Wolfrom, KANA
dooR PRIze doNoRs
Angelo’s Joanne Quass
Anita Bailor Kodiak Arts Council
Arc-n-Spark Kodiak Electric Association
Channel Side Chowder House Kodiak Veterinary Clinic
Coastal Creations Lisa’s Island Hair & Tans
Cy’s Sporting Goods Mack’s Sport Shop
Era Aviation Northern Pacific Fuel
Gwen Sargent Scuba Do
Henry’s Restaurant Total Interiors
RuRAl CAP stAff
Janice Berry Bruce Greer
Joie Brown Ben Kanohokula
Cathie Clements Shannon Johnson
Margaret David Ella Morris
Amy Flaherty TJ Snell
2010 Rural Providers’ Conference Summary 17
27th Annual Rural Providers’ Conference
sponsors and Partners:
Stake for Sobriety
Core funding for this conference was provided by
the State of Alaska Department of Commerce,
Community and Economic Development.
Kodiak Area Native Association
Providence Kodiak Island
Academy Woody Island Tribal Council
Join us at the next Rural For more information:
Providers’ Conference in Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.
P.O. Box 200908
dillingham, Alaska on Anchorage, AK 99520
may 30 - June 3, 2011! (907) 279-2511 in Anchorage
(800) 478-7227 toll free in Alaska