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Alaska Native

  Alaska's largest tribe is boycotting FedEx, a sponsor of the Washington, D.C. NFL team whose name and mascot many consider derogatory to Native Americans. The Juneau Empire reports the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has told tribal employees use of FedEx services will be discontinued.  FedEx is one of the team's top sponsors and owns naming rights to the Washington D.C. stadium. 

Wayside closures will affect travelers on Glenn, Richardson and Tok Cutoff highways

By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

The Alaska House and Senate have reached a deal on the state’s operating budget. For weeks, the two bodies have been at an impasse over whether to fund cost-of-living raises for public employees. House Democrats argued that the state should not go back on its contract with state workers, while Senate Republicans held that it was inappropriate to grant them a pay increase when the state faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit. The House Republican majority acted as a go between.

“Alaska is, frankly, the best model that should be exported to other parts of the country."

Ten years ago, the American Dental Association unsuccessfully sued to get the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to halt its Alaska Dental Health Therapist (DHAT) program. Now that program has won a national award for its innovative approach to providing Alaska Natives with dental care. And the idea is expanding to other states.

Conference Committee, House and Senate scheduled to meet Friday

Representatives of the state House and Senate serving on the Legislative Conference Committee are scheduled to meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. Their assignment is to come up with a compromise operating budget. The Senate calendar shows it plans to convene tomorrow at 11 a.m. and the House at 2 p.m. Friday. Lay off warning notices were sent Monay to about 10-thousand state employees, giving them 30-days-notice they’ll be laid off if the Legislature doesn’t pass a budget by July 1.

The U.S. Congress yesterday [Tuesday] unanimously adopted legislation to create a Commission on Native American children. That's according to a prepared statement by bill sponsor U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. The 11-member commission will study and develop recommendations on ways to combine and coordinate federal programs and funding for Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian children.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

 Housing to increase access to health services for Alaska Natives

Tribal, federal, state, and private sector leaders Wednesday {may 20, 2015] kicked off construction of housing at the Alaska Native Medical Center saying it will improve services for Alaska Native and American Indian people who travel to Anchorage from across the state for health care. A state Senator who helped get the project financed says it will also save the state millions of dollars a year for years to come. 

Governor Bill Walker says his priority is for Legislators to pass a fully-funded budget, not where it's done. A Legislative attorney earlier this week said the move from Juneau to Anchorage would be illegal without the Governor's approval.

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Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

May 1, 2015

Over the past four days, we have brought you stories that go out into the field for an in-depth look at Alaska's rural sanitation situation - a series we call "Kick the Bucket."  We have seen how the lack of modern sanitation is linked to disease as people strain the limits of their clean water supply. And we have looked at the implications of decreasing funding and looming maintenance expenses in villages with a limited cash economy.   Today we’ll wrap up the series by trying to look into the future.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 29, 2015

Even rural communities that have raised the money to build modern sanitation systems face the threat of their ultimate failure due to the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, wiping away whatever health gains were achieved.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Environmental Health and Engineering Department provides technical assistance to water treatment plant operators in the region. Here’s a bit of the conversation during a recent teleconference.

Bill Griffith, Mike Black / ADEC, ANTHC

April 28, 2015

Most of us have never lived with without running water at home. Today, we’ll learn about some people who are just getting used to it, and others who would like to get used to having running water. In the second segment of the series Kick the Bucket, we’ll also hear some of the reasons Alaska hasn’t made modern plumbing a simple fact of life for all Alaskans.

Dan Winkleman, the president of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), described a recent phone call from his mother-in-law in Kwethluk.

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