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KNBA News - To uphold tribal protective orders, Bethel police get training on domestic violence

Feb. 10, 2016

Based on a story by KYUK - Bethel

Law enforcement officials in Bethel are receiving training on domestic violence after the Attorney General said the state must uphold tribal protective orders. KYUK in Bethel reports the training began Monday for tribal and non-tribal enforcement and judicial officials

Climate change brings wins, losses

By Joaqlin Estus

The Alaska Forum on the Environment conference underway in Anchorage this week offers dozens of sessions on a wide range of topics.

A panel of speakers talked about how they’re working to incorporate traditional knowledge into science.

But , during the question and answer session, one [unidentified] man said he doesn’t see the point.

“Are you doing this as some sort of an intellectual exercise? We already know things are changing. We don’t need you to tell us. We already know. We base our life on empirical knowledge. We learn by observing and doing. We base our life on it. Our life depends on it.”

Wilson Justin, of Slana in eastern Interior Alaska, said traditional knowledge can help guide reactions to climate change.

“Without traditional indigenous science knowledge, you’re going to kind of blunder your way through what’s coming down,” said Justin.

Tony Ganger, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, had given a report on a project documenting changes to the plants in northwest Alaska, research he said won’t have an immediate payoff for subsistence hunters.

“How they will use that information, I’m not sure either,” said Ganger. “My own private motivation, one of them, was again building the case for climate change effects in hopes that building this body of knowledge will even influence policy and decision makers about impacts of climate change, of which there will be winners and losers in terms of wildlife.”

Several people commented on the ill or worrisome effects they’re seeing from climate change – thinner ice, fiercer storms, and lower animal population numbers. But Chris Crews, a wildlife biologist at the U.S. Department of the Interior, said climate change can also have positive effects.

“When you start getting more mule deer and elk out there or wood bison coming in through the highway corridor on the road, which will eventually happen, especially as the Interior turns more woodland, which favors grazers, people are going to probably appreciate being able to stash an elk or two in the freezer or meat locker if they have to. I mean there’s always winners and losers.” 

And Crews said one of the losses will come when wild boar begin to infiltrate Alaska. Their numbers are already skyrocketing in western Canada. By destroying habitat, wild boar can edge out indigenous animals. Their numbers can soar quickly. One wild boar sow can produce as many as 18 offspring per year. And as they become prey for larger animals, predator numbers can increase.

The Forum on the Environment continues through the week at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage.


Alaska State Troopers steer clear of tribal leadership dispute

The Associated Press

Alaska State Troopers said they don’t know who the rightful tribal leaders are in a western Alaska so they’ve taken no action weeks after a federal judge said the agency could use force to evict former leaders involved in a prolonged power struggle.

The Jan. 12 ruling was in response to a request by the new leaders in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Newtok who asked the court to enforce a November ruling that ordered the old faction to stop claiming to be the community’s governing body.

The former leaders have refused to leave the tribal offices or relinquish records

The dispute began in 2012 and has stalled millions of dollars in government funds for relocation efforts for Newtok, one of Alaska’s most eroded villages. A federal appeals panel also sided with the new tribal council in August.

NOTE: Posted Feb. 21, 2016