KNBA - KBC

Alaska Native

April 27

How many times a day do you wash your hands? 

If you have running water, you probably wash your hands many times a day, each time in clean, warm water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, hand washing consumes one gallon of water per wash.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 27, 2015

How the lack of running water and flush toilets affects public health in Alaska

Legislators debate states’ rights and constitutionality of a state law to seize federal lands

Monday, legislators voted on a controversial bill that would seize some 170 million acres of federal land in Alaska, excluding national parks and the military. Opponents said the bill is unconstitutional, and, with a fiscal crisis at hand, now is not the time to begin pointless litigation. But bill supporters said Alaskans should be able to fight for what is rightfully theirs. The bill passed 27 to 11 along caucus lines. It will now be sent to the Senate.

Historical trauma at the root of substance abuse and other mental health maladies

An Ojibwe woman and independent journalist recently visited Alaska for a series of stories on historical trauma and Native American mental health practices. Mary Annette Pember said the troubled lives of Native Americans reflect their troubled history.

At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools.

Democrat Donny Olson introduced a bill on Friday that would create a special certification process for instructors of Native languages, so that it would be easier for them to teach in schools.  He’s hoping to build on the success of legislation recognizing Alaska’s Native languages as official languages in their own right.

Alaska Native advocates ask Walker to ensure the Indian Child Welfare Act is properly implemented in Alaska

The Alaska Federation of Natives, and all the regional Native nonprofit organizations in the state are asking Governor Bill Walker to change his position in a case involving the adoption of an Alaska Native child. They say the state’s position in the case Tununuk II vs. the state of Alaska erects barriers between tribal children and tribal homes. The state has said it’s only arguing for compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Legislators hear another perspective as they consider a proposal by Gov. Bill Walker to expand Medicaid to low-income Alaskans Legislators, aides and others heard an alternate viewpoint on Medicaid expansion from a senior fellow with an organization that has referred to the "dangers" expansion poses in states that opt for it.

 

Christie Herrera, with the Foundation for Government Accountability, spoke to problems that she said some states have experienced. Herrera spoke during an informal "lunch and learn," sponsored by Sen. Mike Dunleavy.

 

State contributes 25% required match for federal funds

Members of the Legislative Bush Caucus last week in a “Lunch and Learn” session on rural sanitation were told about 900 million dollars is needed to build, replace and maintain rural sanitation systems. Last year the state put about $9 million, and federal agencies put $51 million, toward rural sanitation in Alaska. The combined 60 million dollars is less than half the amount allocated ten years ago.

Goal of tribal same-sex policy is inclusion of all tribal members

Tribes’ attorney says state of Alaska seeks to delay a ruling it has little chance of winning on appeal

Pages