A new study from Alaska Native Tribal Health Center shows that cancer rates among Alaska Native people have gone up over the last half-century. Researchers say the data points to opportunities for prevention.

The most common cancers among Alaska Native people are breast, colorectal and lung cancer. With screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, they can be detected and treated early.

Military branches gear up for Northern Edge 2021

May 5, 2021

Thousands of troops and the latest in American military hardware will soon descend on Alaska for war games between branches of the armed forces. “Northern Edge” is a biennial, large-scale exercise held in May. And planners are looking ahead at the next decade of maneuvers in Alaska’s skies and waters. 

Northern Edge 2021 will span from the Aleutians to Fairbanks to Juneau, in the air, and on the water in the Gulf of Alaska. 

Washington law bans Native-themed school mascots — unless nearby Tribe approves

May 4, 2021

Washington public schools with Native American-themed team names or mascots have a decision to make now that Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a ban on such symbols. The schools have until year’s end to find a new mascot or try to win the blessing of a nearby Tribe for continued use under an exception.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation installed a specialty water filtration system in the Tuluksak school on March 2, 2021. YKHC said that the system could provide enough drinking water for the entire Tuluksak Native Community, but soon the system was only being used by the school. 

Kruzof mystery deepens as skeletal remains determined to be modern

May 3, 2021

Human skeletal remains found on Kruzof Island near Sitka in 2020 are modern, but not especially recent.  A DNA sample will be compared to a national database of missing persons, and could shed light on who the individual was, and how they came to an end in the woods behind Shoals Point.

Alaska lawmakers are considering legalizing hatcheries to boost wild shellfish stocks like king crab and mussels. It’s an idea that’s been around since at least the 1990s, and the goal would be to replicate the economic success of Alaska’s enhanced salmon fisheries.

A lawsuit challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act received a split decision in federal appeals court on April 6, 2021. The law, the lawsuit and the split resulted in a 300-plus-page decision that confounded experts and lay people alike. The decision won’t impact Alaska directly. But legal experts  say Alaska should still keep an eye on the case.

A third of the state’s subsistence salmon harvest was caught in Bristol Bay in 2017, according to a McKinley Research Group report. Critical to Bristol Bay’s culture, the subsistence economy is remains the oldest and most continuous use of salmon.

The report, “The Economic Benefits of Bristol Bay," attempts to quantify what it would cost to replace subsistence salmon with other protein sources from stores in the region.

The arrival of the hooligan, at one time, meant the difference between survival and starvation at the end of a long hard winter in Southeast Alaska.

Traditionally hooligan, also known as eulachon, candlefish, or saak, provided not only food for the Chilkat and Chilkoot Tlingit people of the Upper Lynn Canal, but also medical, social, and spiritual well-being.  Their arrival is often forecasted by the presence of gulls, ducks, seals, sea lions, and orca.  

Alaska’s commercial fishermen have been speaking out against big trawlers for years, complaining that the large vessels in federal waters are scooping up mature and juvenile fish.