We are making a difference!


Jan 30, 2009

This is a message from AnnS, who brought the crisis in rural Alaska to our attention over at Margaret and Helen’s blog. She left it on The Mudflats, a blog dedicated to “Tiptoeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics.”

Read the back story.


Struggling_in_Nunam_Iqua (02:12:47) :

We distributed over 700 pounds of food today here in Nunam Iqua. The Emmonak Traditional Council sent down 600 lbs of food for our village today.  Additionally we received over 100 lbs of food in the mail.  It came from:

Seattle, WA
Miami, FL
and Wahpeton ND

It was a wonderful day! We gave food to 30 families! It took me and my  cousins and aunt 4 hours to sort, inventory, and fill boxes and deliver them to those who couldn’t come and get them. I am on a food drive high right now. I am so proud of all of you  for making it possible for us to help my village.

CNN is picking up the story.  They have spoken to Nicholas Tucker in Emmonak and I received a request for an interview!


33 Responses to “We are making a difference!”

  1. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    My question is: Where is the help from government?

    Sarah! Should the state provide help?

  2. Alaska Pi Δ Says:

    to all who are trying to help –

    Here’s a glimpse of Rural Alaska –
    It’s hard to figure out – in this blogging medium -how to help and what to do and how to tie things together…
    But every little bit does help.


  3. Alaska Pi Δ Says:

    catch proposal by Lyman in/on ADN for heating fuel cap at $3 w/state paying any diff…
    Glad to see it come back again- hope we can make it real this time… ghastly gov or no.

  4. AnnΔ Says:

    The Snap is great. Brings more reality to me about Rural Alaska. I look forward to more!

  5. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    I am so glad to see that cap proposal being brought up. $3.00 is still high compared to what most people in AK are paying.

    I did about 4 posts on M&H, so I expect to get blasted for being off topic. Only one post was about the villages though. I am glad to see videos of the school and the villages surfacing. I wish MSM would send a camera to the village, I think it is a very compelling story – people have no clue about life in AK Bush.

  6. Greytdog Δ Says:

    well here you all are!!! Go away for a week and folks change neighborhoods! Wow. You’ve all been really busy – good for you! And good for all of us that you’re working to make a real change.
    okay – now that I know where you folks are, I’ll be sure to come around more often. Missed you all.
    PS – I’ve printed out Jane’s bulletin board poster and had the folks at Office Depot make copies – then sent those copies to all of the churches in my metro area here. I will be slipping in and out of those places during to the week to make sure those posters get put up!

  7. AnnΔ Says:

    Thanks so much Greytdog. I sure was worried about you!

  8. Greytdog Δ Says:

    Just had to share this snicker – I slipped in during morning services at the local Episcopalian Church to check out their bulletin board. . . this is a tres Conservative, very Republican congregation. . . I wanted to see if the Rector had posted the notice I’d dropped off. . .they had. ..the bottom was barely peeking out from under a women’s prayer circle bulletin. . . so I repositioned the women’s prayer notice. . .plopped the poster squarely in the middle next to the Church poster proclaiming their commitment to “being their brother’s keeper” and then! hehehe. . . put a small sticker of yellow mud-wellies between the two – to connect them. As they say, God moves in mysterious ways. . . and sometimes impish ones!

  9. Greytdog Δ Says:

    Super Bowl is on. . .stopped long enough to Cheer on my beloved Steelers and indulge in The Boss & the E Street Band. Putting together info packets to mail out to 100 congregations from the list my wundermom gave me from her sojourn to DC for Barack’s Inaugural. If anyone has such a list but neither the time nor the resources to send out packets, contact me at cymric@cfl.rr.com with the list – and I’ll take care of it.
    besides the immediate need for food and fuel, I’ve been thinking about housing. JuneauJoe and Alaska Pi, what can we do to improve housing conditions in the villages? What other things need our attention? Medical care?

  10. AnnΔ Says:

    Medical and psychological tx…depression/suicide.I had found a link to an org that is providing this ….have not been proffessional…must retrieve it

  11. AnnΔ Says:

    Alaska Native Health Tribal Consortium….. http://www.aitc.org click on links. I have written” healthy village environments” but don’t know why.

  12. Alaska Pi Δ Says:

    We found that one early on as aitc was onto problems likely occuring in Y-D as early as last May… does that click?

  13. Alaska Pi Δ Says:

    Oh Greytdog-
    We have missed you.
    Housing… There has been a very active weatherization program here in the state. Been trying to figure out how it is being implemented AWAY from our so-called urban areas. Here in Juneau folks get a specialist in for an audit , make upgrades and get a certain amount back. doesn’t sound feasible for villages… Will do some rooting around in next few days.

  14. Greytdog Δ Says:

    No that doesn’t sound feasible, Alaska Pi. Wondering if Habitat International would be a feasible alternative – i mean, if they can build housing in the rainforests and the Mongolian tundra using sustainable resources (and trekking that stuff all over the place on yaks), think it would work in the Delta region? I know some folks who work for H.I. – should I at least make an inquiry? I don’t want to step on toes.
    (PS it’s nice to chat with adults)

  15. Alaska Pi Δ Says:

    I think we are doing a scattershot- all over the board -thing to see what shakes out.
    Elsie and AnnΔ have been combing in-state resources and are getting familiar with certain things. I think Denali Commission has a housing element…
    Is worth a try to see if HI has ideas or help…
    At this point, there are no toes to step on OR everyone’s toes to stumble over…
    Reports are starting to make it out of Alaska, materials are starting to make it in, some of the pertinent issues are back before the Legislature, stop-gap measures are being yakked about by the executive branch ( except by the exec herself… yarg) .
    Good to have another grown up here… thanks for popping in.

  16. JuneauJoe Δ Says:


    Housing is a BIG ISSUE! Much of the housing is totally inadequate. They are often poorly insulated sheds.

    Medical: they have PA’s Physician’s Assistants in the villages. It is hard to get them to stay. The PA in emmonak thought he was on a 1 year contract and when the year was up, he had to stay because there was a 2nd year option which the village picked up.

    Medicine is very expensive and no real medicines are given in the village. You have to go to Bethel or Anchorage to see a Dr. Getting in to see the PA is not easy either. They can do simple x rays and that sort of thing. The clinic is a newer building and quite professional – rare to see in the village. They have a nurse on call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week too. I know a fellow who used that on a weekend once. He ended up being airlifted to Bethel after 3 days of getting worse and worse.

    They have a village shower and laundry facility in Emmonak. Since a lot of people do not have showers in their house, they drive their snowmobiles to take a shower and then head back home.

    There is a psychologist in Emo and he provided counseling, etc.

  17. Greytdog Δ Says:

    Well sometimes scattershots actually hit a target, right? (non hunter here, so don’t really know – you really don’t want a gun in my hands, I’d shoot my own foot) I’ll contact my folks at H.I. to see what they have in place organizationally; I’ll research the Denali Commission in order to give H.I. some background and to help cut back on duplication of efforts/resources. And I’ll keep using the backdoor with the mainstream denominations too –
    so okay – early morning in at work so time to walk the muttskis so I can catch some shut eye. ‘night all!

  18. AnnΔ Says:

    I found the link to the remote healthcare org. I had seen in 60 min. They seem to have a base in Knoxville Tn. where I will be going NEXT WEEK!( really how often do people go there) (I used to live there) This is the link- http:/www.ramusa.org/projects/ruralamerica.htm I will read the site info. I hope you all will too. They do alot of Dental which villages need. I plan to then contact a friend in the town who is into all things helpful and get more info. I could actually go in to speak to them to try to promote a trip to the Yukon Delta.Is this in keeping with our Scattershot Mission? I think so…..

  19. AnnΔ Says:


  20. AnnΔ Says:

    I wrote to ram@ ramusa.org to introduce myself, tell about our project and request an appointment when I am in town.I realize that their planes are old and they do not currently have the ability, I guess, to go to the Yukon Delta;but maybe they will have good ideas. I wish they would fly in…

  21. AnnΔ Says:

    I know I still need to write a letter for an email fund raiser.TOO

  22. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    Greytdog: I believe somewhere you asked about drinking water in the villages. Emmonk gets water out of the Yukon and they filter it with charcoal. I had another teacher tell me that the filtration was totally inadequate. I drank the Emo water and survived. Your other choice is to buy pop, which was the cheapest drink at the store or buy it and have it shipped in.

    The water in the Yukon is brown by the way.

    I talked to one fellow who splts time between the lower 48 and Emmonak and he said he thinks the Yukon water is safer than most water in the lower 48. His point was that pesticides are in most lower 48 water ways and you have no clue what the pesticides are doing to us. Juneau water is quite good though.

  23. AnnΔ Says:

    Shit ALL! I heard from Stan Brock@ramusa.org & the problem is the Alaska State Gov. who will not allow Doctors who do not hold an Alaska Med Liscense to come in and give FREE medical treatment!He wondered if We had any influence.Crazy and Annoyed.

  24. Greytdog Δ Says:

    Hi folks – needing some help here – I signed up for an account with WordPress. Step one done – user name and password all accounted for.
    Okay, so then I receive the invite from Jane about anonymousbloggers
    step two.

    Go to step three through link included in invite – and land on the “Set up an account” page. Whaddama doin’ wrong? (besides not being able to think in binary code)

  25. AnnΔ Says:

    Did not do it yet…I am sorry it is not easy.

  26. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    Hey Guys, I know a few of the people in the Tundra Drums Newspaper, including some of the kids. The overall pictures of the villages are super important. If you look further, there is nothing but white – snow and ice. It is cold folks, deadly cold weather.

    Nunam – the pictures were on a sunny day! The day I flew in the wind was blowing 30+ MPH as well as being 25 below zero. I might also add that the sun was often very bright on those 30 below days with clear blue skies. The wind is the tough stuff though.

    I sent a bit of money off this weekend. I am bothered that Dr’s cannot go to the village without a bunch of paperwork. I hope that can be changed. There is serious medical need in the village and it would be so helpful for a Dr. to be able to help out.

  27. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    To fly from Emmonak to Anchorage, it was 2 hours going 250 MPH.

    About a 500 mile flight.

  28. Alaska Pi Δ Says:


    An update of state activity… of sorts.
    Greytdog- see the weatherization program comments… about what I found but hoping something can be expedited in that area. State MAY actually do something…

  29. annishka Says:

    Ok so now I annishka known formerly as Ann

  30. annishka Says:

    Ann; you mentioned my town so I am glad it is arriving.

  31. annishka Says:

    So.. I want to continue to pursue RAMUSA. I will arrange to meet with Mr Brock in Knoxville. I will ask what they have done to gain clearance for their organizatiion from Gov. Palin. I want to find out how to let her know about this group because it is hard to believe she would not sign a waiver. It needs to come to her attention.Right???

  32. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign Says:

    Aaaack! I’ve been checking the wrong thread! I gotta catch up now!

  33. JuneauJoe Δ Says:

    Emmonak made CNN news. I think it is a top story~


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