by Representative Tiffany Zulkosky
March 8, 2019
It is day 53 of the 2019 Legislative Session, Iditarod mushers are howling along the trail to Nome, and we’re on the second straight week of blue skies in Southeast.
In the House, budget subcommittees are underway and several Standing and Special Committees have begun scheduling hearings on a variety of topics.
Today I’ll provide you an update on the inaugural hearing for the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs, an oversight hearing held in the House Health & Social Services Committee, and reminders about public engagement opportunities.
It continues to be a great privilege to represent District 38 in the Alaska House, working alongside our communities and leaders of the region to advance our shared work.
House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs
The inaugural meeting of the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs was held on Thursday, March 7, 2019. This committee is the first of its kind for Alaska. It was important to me, in my role as Chair, that our first meeting was held in a manner that respects our traditional and cultural values of engagement.
The meeting began with an acknowledgement of the traditional territories we meet on, with welcoming remarks provided by elders John Morris (representing Taku Kwan) and Marie Olson (representing Auke Kwan).
Andrea Sanders, Kwinhagak Tribal Member and Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center at the First Alaskan’s Institute, presented history of our Alaska Native governance structures and defined the Trust responsibility establishing government-to-government relationships of federally-recognized tribes.
Alaska Federation of Natives representative, Dr. Rosita Worl, presented a history of the organization and its ongoing advocacy efforts.
Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President Richard Peterson spoke to the role of tribes, the effects the proposed budget will have throughout tribal communities, and the shared constituency of the state and tribal citizens.
If you were not able to watch the hearing live, you can watch an archive here: https://www.360north.org/gavel/video/?clientID=2147483647&eventID=2019031057
Overview Hearing: Unresolved challenges at Alaska Psychiatric Institute
This week I chaired an oversight hearing in the House Health & Social Services Committee regarding the state’s sudden decision to privatize management of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API). Many Legislators and stakeholders expressed concern involving the Department’s handling of sole-source procurement worth several million dollars, inconsistent timelines and lack of performance metrics within the publicly available contract, and concerns about lawsuits before the contractor related to patient safety and well-being.
The archive of the API Oversight Hearing can be watched here: https://www.360north.org/gavel/video/?clientID=2147483647&eventID=2019031068
Save the Date
Lower Kuskokwim School District Science Fair, March 14-16
Board of Game Conference: Anchorage Sheraton Hotel, March 14-19
Tununak Yuraq, March 15-17
Chefornak Yuraq, March 22-24
YK Delta Career Fair, Bethel, March 28
KYUK Alexie Isaac Memorial Scholarship, Applications Due March 28
Camai Dance Festival, Bethel, March 29-31
Bethel Bowls (supporting Bethel Winter House), April 27
This morning, Alaska students from across the state organized a sit-in before the House Education Budget Subcommittee to ask, “Are we worth it?” As the Legislature considers the unprecedented cuts proposed by the Administration, to areas like education, the question posed by the next generation of our state’s leaders and our greatest renewable resource is a poignant one.
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Subsistence Regional Advisory Council
The YK Delta Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet March 12-13, 2019, at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. daily.
The Council will develop proposals to change federal subsistence hunting and trapping regulations and discuss other issues related to subsistence in the YK Delta.
The public is welcome to attend and participate in this meeting. To call into this meeting, dial toll-free: (866) 864-5314 (passcode: 3091862)
All meeting materials can be found here: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/regions
You may also request to have meeting documents mailed, faxed, or emailed to you by contacting the Office of Subsistence Management.
The Federal Subsistence Board is committed to providing access to these meetings. Please direct requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning, or other accommodation needs to the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 / (907) 786-3888 or via e-mail at [email protected]
View full news release at:
Alaska House Floor
Tlingit Code Talkers were honored on the House Floor this week for their significant contributions to World War II. I had an opportunity to visit with Jodi Mitchell, a decedent of Tlingit Code Talker Robert Jeff David, Sr., before floor session began. Alaska Natives have a proud history of service to defending our country and continue to have the highest number of veterans per capita in the nation.
Donlin Gold Pipeline Comment Period
The proposed pipeline would transport natural gas from the Beluga Natural Gas Pipeline system to the Donlin Gold mine. The 14-inch diameter pipeline would originate 7.7 miles north of the Beluga Power Plant and terminate at the Donlin Gold mine, which is about 10 miles north of Crooked Creek. Of the proposed 315-mile-long pipeline, approximately 207 miles would be located on State of Alaska Lands. Donlin has requested a 150-foot-wide right-of-way (ROW) for pipeline construction and a 50-foot-wide right-of-way for operations. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources is proposing to close the lands within the proposed ROW, plus 100 feet on either side, to mineral entry through Mineral Order 1212 for the protection of the pipeline. The mineral order would potentially affect up to 14,706 acres of State lands, reducing to roughly 6,250 acres after construction.
Atwood Conf. Center (Anchorage), March 12, 5:30-7:30pm
Skwentna Roadhouse, March 13, 11:00am-1:00pm
More information on the DNR Commissioner’s proposed decision can be found online. All comments about the Commissioner’s Analysis and Proposed Decision must be submitted in writing to the SPCS before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, addressed to:
State Pipeline Coordinator’s Section; 3651 Penland Parkway; Anchorage, AK 99508; Phone: (907) 269-6479; Fax: (907) 269-6880; Email: [email protected]
Scholarship + Event Opportunities
Does your organization provide scholarship or event participation opportunities to individuals throughout the state and rural Alaska? Are you looking for support to share this information? Rep. Zulkosky would love to learn about scholarship and event participation opportunities available through communities, non-profits, and other organizations, in an effort to share that information with others!
Community Events Calendar
Does your community have an event or celebration coming up? Is your organization hosting a gathering in House District 38 that you would like to let your state delegation and others know about? Rep. Zulkosky would like to stay in touch about the happenings in and around your community.
Yugtun qalartetukuvet ikayuryugluten-llu, qayagauryugngaavkut maani Representative Tiffany Zulkosky-m caliviani!
Please reach out to my office at 1-800-323-4942 or (907)465-4942; Address: Capitol Building Room 416, Juneau, AK, 99801; Phone: (907) 465- 4942; Toll-Free: (800) 323-4942; Email: [email protected]; Facebook: www.facebook.com/RepTiffanyZulkosky/