Oct 26, 2010
Somehow the summer months, which were busy enough, have morphed into an even busier fall for all of us here at AB! We are sure that NONE of you have ever faced this situation and thus can’t relate to our feelings of being overwhelmed with all our ‘projects’ :-))
Given that, we all still want to catch all of you up on a number of things we have been watching!
Here is what else has captured our attention lately, besides the political scene, our families and all the rest of the mundane life things!!
This is just plain neat! All of us are thrilled to see this effort, which we feel needs to be encouraged by any and all villages….
What’s being called the first large-scale excavation in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has yielded a treasure trove of ancient Eskimo objects, and sparked a race against global warming along the eroding Bering Sea coast.
“In the time I’m giving this talk hundreds of artifacts are washing out to sea all over the delta region,” said Rick Knecht, a longtime Alaska archaeologist now employed by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
We are following this, which happened last month, and will have more updates as we move into the winter months….
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the awarding of $5 million in federal disaster relief to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to assist with the recovery of fishing communities and fisheries from a commercial fishery failure in the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery, a written statement from the U.S. Commerce Department said.
The Commission will use the funding, which Congress approved and the president signed as part of Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010, to provide financial assistance to Yukon River salmon fishermen and to pay for replacing one type of fishing gear with another that allows for more adult females to swim upriver and spawn.
“Fishermen and their families have been struggling in recent years because of the low chinook salmon returns on the Yukon River,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The Alaskan delegation worked hard to ensure that this funding was approved by Congress to provide much needed assistance to fishermen and their families and put in place gillnet gear that aids in the long-term conservation of salmon.”
We all know how hard it is for villagers to obtain healthy foods at reasonable costs, let alone fresh foods. This effort will be fantastic to watch. During Victoria’s time at the Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening meeting last March, she heard about the efforts already underway in this area (her report)…
The award of $411,256 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be used to deliver a course called the “Alaskan Growers School.”
Project director Heidi Rader says the course will help Alaska Natives grow food to complement traditional subsistence lifestyles. Rader is the tribes’ extension educator with the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Some good news out of the Yukon area. It is good to hear that tensions seemed to have eased, and health professionals are better able to do their jobs in some of our area villages
The clinic in Nunam Iqua, located near the end of the Yukon River, closed this spring when its employees, including two health aides, gave their notice. They said a lack of local police increased the dangers of the job and opened them to harassment from fellow villagers when they couldn’t respond to risky scenes.
The dream of electrical engineer Dick Levitt, the project is about as environmentally friendly as man can get. There is no towering dam cutting off passage to fish. There are no spinning windmill blades to kill birds. There are no banks of solar cells covering the floor of a valley. And there is, because of this project, no longer an exhaust-spewing diesel generator burning costly fossil fuels in the 400-plus community of Gustavus with a summer population at least twice that.