Yup’ik language advocate

I wrote a letter to the person who was in charge of the Yup’ik language department in LKSD, Lower Kuskokwim School District. The letter stated that speaking, learning Yup’ik would be contrary to the prominent English language.

Apparently Yup’ik was supposedly learned from early childhood.

We all know that a language is spoken by a child when he/she is 5 years old. I read somewhere that Albert Einstein, an extremely intelligent man, did not speak until he was 5 years old.

A fellow Christian told me that Yup’ik wouldn’t be learned by the little ones; I listened to her and disagreed with my younger sister who wanted Yup’ik to be spoken at an early age by the students of a Yup’ik immersion school.

The Lower Kuskokwim School District is teaching Yup’ik in specified classrooms. They are doing well as far as I know. The District needs people who can write children’s books in Yup’ik. I am an advocate for Yup’ik education now.

May God be with all of us.

Olinka Nicolai, Anchorage, AK

Subsistence criminals

Hello to all the subsistence users and criminals that have been charged with illegal use of unlawful gear. This is what is happening today. Follow and get on our knees and we have no more rights to live in harmony with our lifestyle (regulations) that have not been challenged through meetings with the fish and game (oppressors). Challenges that could easily turn ground or won through aboriginal rights that have been recognized through federal bylaws for our very existence.

These regulations affect the very livelihood of our people by ink or pencil pushers who probably think more than they don’t know of our subsistence activities (poor management or decisions) then and now.

The high seas where big trawlers and ships are fishing for fish are catching some of our salmon species, but are never reported (bycatch) in catching so the vessels are not being charged for catching our salmon species with unlawful gear.

As we are alienated from our subsistence activities, some who are no longer with us, and those that are still here undergo the blame that is implied to us other than those that are making actions and improper regulations and decisions.

Fishing with king salmon gear was never a crime, but it is now. Maybe the fish and game don’t know better. These gear are sold by companies that sell to natives. They don’t inform us with written labels that they’re against the law to fish with!

Where is the Alaska Federation of Natives that make and pass all kinds of resolutions every October? Thank you.

Michael “Joe” Nicolai, Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center, Bethel, AK

A letter to the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chairwoman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate

Dear Chairwoman Murkowski:

The National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR) is a national nonprofit membership organization representing Forest Service retirees across the nation. It is dedicated to sustaining the heritage of caring for America’s National Forests and Grasslands and helping the U.S Forest Service.

Throughout our careers we have also worked closely with highly professional and dedicated Bureau of Land Management employees and leaders for the past 70 years with a shared goal of caring for, managing, and protecting America’s public lands. We have the utmost respect for them and their increasingly complex and difficult mission.

We are writing to request your crucial and immediate oversight of the BLM. It faces a significant challenge to its future ability to accomplish its mission and possibly its future viability. The proposal to move BLM leadership and staff from Washington DC to various Western locations will hamstring the agency. That much is clear to almost any leader who has spent his or her career managing public lands. To move its Director and principle staff to a relatively small western community signals either a lack of understanding of the complexity of agency leadership or worse, it signals a deliberate attempt to weaken the agency.

Your immediate oversight is desperately needed. A transparent hearing would show that the perceived benefits of such a move are simply not real. It is not necessary to provide that analysis here because the Public Lands Foundation has already done a thorough job of doing so. The importance of the BLM and the resources it manages demand a national headquarters located in Washington DC.

We also firmly believe a historic agency altering decision such as this should not be made by an acting director but should wait until the BLM has a properly vetted and Senate confirmed permanent Director. As you know the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 requires Senate confirmation of the BLM Director. It is the law and has not yet occurred. At a minimum we urge you to assure this potential dismantling of the agency be put on hold until a Senate confirmed Director is in place and can be part of the process.

We stand ready to offer our assistance and experience in any manner that might be helpful. Thank you for your consideration.

James L. Caswell, Chair, National Association of Forest Service Retirees, Ft. Collins, CO

Example: 9075434113