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Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration's ambitious efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

The first Alaska Native woman to serve as lieutenant governor will lead a key Tribal health organization in the state. 

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium announced in a news release (Friday, March 12, 2021) that Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson (Yup’ik) will serve as interim president.

A 22-page final report released culminates two years of data collected from water, sediment and fish tissue in three transboundary watersheds that straddle the frontier. And now, Alaska and British Columbia governments say their work is done.

Cooperative buying campaign makes second push to solarize

Mar 12, 2021

A cooperative buying campaign is pushing again to get discounted solar panels on more Kenai Peninsula roofs.

Volunteers from Solarize the Kenai mobilized 82 property owners last year to outfit their homes and businesses with panels. It’s a collective effort, so interested homeowners sign up in groups to get group rates.

Biologists search for clues about belugas in the Kenai River

Mar 11, 2021

Cook Inlet belugas used to follow salmon through the Kenai River in the summer. Now, they’re mostly just spotted in other seasons.

Researchers from NOAA Fisheries aren’t sure why. It’s one of many questions they’re asking about the endangered population to better understand why the belugas aren’t rebounding and how the agency can support their recovery.

A study featuring a relatively new DNA sampling technique might help them find answers.

Curyung Tribal Council joins federal project to investigate MMIP

Mar 10, 2021

At the beginning of the year, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Alaska announced that the Department of Justice would embark on a pilot project to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons epidemic in the state. 

The Curyung Tribal Council in Dillingham is one of three Alaska Tribes that volunteered to be part of the project. The Native Village of Unalakleet, and the Koyukuk Native Village are also participating. Each Tribe will develop a Tribal Community Response Plan tailored to its needs, resources, and culture. 

‘What do we want Alaska to be?’: Lawmakers consider unplanned spending from the permanent fund

Mar 9, 2021

The Legislature must decide this year whether to engage in unplanned spending from the Alaska Permanent Fund for the first time. Some lawmakers are raising concerns that once the state starts unplanned spending of billions of dollars, it won’t stop until there are no fund earnings left. 

The Chugach Alaska Corporation has a new president and COO. Dan Fenza has been appointed as Chugach Alaska Corporation’s president and chief operating officer.

The corporation announced the appointment in a Feb. 15, 2021, news release.

Fenza worked for about 20 years with the corporation’s largest government contracting business, Chugach Government Solutions.

10,000-year-old bone hints at how domesticated dogs may have traveled to Americas

Mar 8, 2021

Canine companions are a dime a dozen across Alaska. Now, a dime-sized fragment of dog bone — more than ten-thousand years old — has given researchers new clues about how domesticated dogs first made their way to the Americas.  

Examining a pinto bean-sized bone fragment, the scientist thought she was analyzing an ancient bear bone. 

Anchorage Pacific Islander community brings COVID-19 vaccines to church

Mar 5, 2021

Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians have some of the lowest rates of vaccination against COVID-19 in Alaska — and highest rates of hospitalization and death. Community leaders have gotten creative to encourage vaccination.

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