An unusual mortality event, or UME, was designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for ice seals in the Bering Strait region in 2019.

With hundreds of ice seal strandings last year in the Bering Sea, researchers from NOAA Fisheries plan to set sail this April to find out more information about how ice seals are doing with less sea ice, and what might be causing so many to become sick or die.

The Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation is restructuring its operations to prepare the region for coronavirus.

Health providers based at Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham normally travel regularly to villages around the region to provide care to residents. But in an effort to prevent any spread of the virus to communities, BBAHC has postponed village travel for its staff indefinitely.

Alaska Pacific University announced Tuesday, March 24, 2020, that Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will succeed its current president Bob Onders on April 25th.

The appointment will make Davidson the first female president of the Anchorage-based liberal arts and sciences college.

Davidson has a long history of working in Alaska Native leadership, health, education, law and policy.

Demand for products like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and toilet paper has spiked across Alaska, spurred by concerns over the coronavirus. That strain has been tough for some rural communities. The Alaska Commercial Company operates 33 stores around the state, several of which are in Bristol Bay.

At Doyon Limited’s annual shareholder meeting Friday, March 20, 2020, CEO and President Aaron Schutt shared some positive news during his address.

The meeting was held as a virtual webcast out of coronavirus concerns. Though some shareholders took to Facebook to comment about problems with streaming internet in rural Alaska.

During his address, Doyon Limited CEO and president Aaron Schutt (Koyukon Athabascan) apologized to shareholders for the change in process.  He  acknowledged concerns about bandwidth -- particularly in rural areas -- affecting access to the meeting.

A bill that would substantially reform the state’s Village Public Safety Officer Program received public testimony from various Native leaders across the state.

Petersburg Courthouse to get a mural of civil rights leader

Mar 21, 2020

A mural project is underway in Petersburg that would honor local civil rights activist Elizabeth Peratrovich on the outside of the local courthouse. The project is collaboration between the local arts council and the tribe and organizers hope it leads to recognition of other leaders in the future.

Doyon Limited’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday (March 20) will be virtual.

The announcement made on the Alaska Native corporation’s Facebook page is part of a continued effort to reduce the risk of spreading illness.

Doyon Limited previously scaled back its agenda to only include the election of directors and the president’s report.

In response to the health emergency surrounding COVID-19, People Mover bus service and paratransit service AnchorRides is providing rides for free. But it’s also limiting each bus to nine riders at a time.

According to a news release on its website, the services are also encouraging riders to only take essential trips.

People Mover – an Anchorage-based public transportation agency – operates buses within Anchorage city limits and also provides service to Eagle River.

Cook Inlet beluga whales are continuing to decline in number, according to a NOAA abundance estimate released last month. From Alaska’s Energy Desk, Kavitha George has the story of how the decline in belugas is both controversial and largely unexplained.