Gray Whale

July 28, 2017 the village of Napaskiak was targeted for, and most likely labeled as well, what most people native and nonnative explicitly will say, you name it. Whatever it is and was, I’ve been a resident of this village for over 4 years going on 5. I don’t intend or plan to move anywhere else as my fellow villagers have been more then accepting of myself especially my in-laws.
On July 27, 2017…well someone had an unusually strange encounter with what we thought to be a beluga whale. It turned out to be a gray whale. With word spreading quickly like a wildfire and I myself turned and burned. I was already in the forefront of what we expected to harvest. None-the-less time passed and 2-3-4 hours later we were nearing the harvest.
It is very rare for this type of creature to enter and swim the Kuskokwim and such a large creature will not survive even while trying to exit the Kuskokwim. It would most likely have beached and died.
But just because, 30-40 boats including half dozen to a dozen boats from our biggest village in the Kuskokwim Bethel, Alaska. We don’t need to be labeled as such, for those judgmental people who are quick to come to conclusions.
Get your facts straight first then maybe if your mind is not satisfied with our way of life do some constructive criticism to my fellow natives. We have lived by your laws and ever adapting to and telling us how to live.
Tomorrow will be another day gone and soon we will forget that this even happened. We natives have been and always will adapt and adhere to your ever-changing ways and laws. If for any reason I offended you natives from Bethel I am sorry. Respectfully,
Steven M. Alexie
Napaskiak Alaska

YK Delta Constitutional Convention
The Yupik and Athabaskan Tribes of the YK Delta Constitutional Convention is set for August 1-3, 2017 at the Yupiit Piciyarait Cultural Center at Bethel, Alaska. Registration for the convention starts at 8:00 am till 9:00 pm. All Tribal Governments are invited to attend the meeting to take action on the constitution to be ratified by the Tribal Citizens on November 7 General Elections this fall. The election for President and Secretary will be on the ballot. All Village Corporations and Non Profits are invited to attend.
If you have any questions or the draft agenda, please call Mike Williams at 765-2061 for more information.
Mike Williams Sr.
Akiak, AK

Ticket to Work puts people back in the Driver’s Seat
Social Security encourages people to rejoin the workforce when they are able. Ticket to Work is our free and voluntary program that helps people get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support services.
This program is for people ages 18 to 64, who are receiving disability benefits, and need support re-entering the workforce or working for the first time. While many disabled individuals are unable to work and may never be able to return to work, we know that some are eager to try working again. Work incentives make it easier to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from Social Security while providing protections if people have to stop working due to a disability.
Social Security works with employment networks to offer beneficiaries access to meaningful employment. Employment networks are organizations and agencies, including state vocational rehabilitation agencies that provide various employment support services. Some services they may help with include résumé writing, interviewing skills, and job leads.
Ticket to Work gives individuals the opportunity to choose from several employment networks. Participants are free to talk with as many employment networks as they want before choosing one. If someone signs an agreement with an employment network, they’ll help the individual develop an employment plan. We will review their progress toward achieving the goals of their employment plan every 12 months. If they are making timely progress in their return to work plan, we will not conduct a medical review of their disability during the time they’re in the program.
Many people have successfully completed the Ticket to Work program. Anyone interested in the Ticket to Work program should call the Ticket to Work Helpline toll-free at 1-866-968-7842 (TTY 1-866-833-2967). More information on the program is available online at
Remember, Social Security is with everyone through life’s journey, providing resources that can help people reach their work and retirement goals.
Robin Schmidt
Social Security Administration
Alaska Public Affairs Specialist