Arctic Shipping Series – February 2023
Alaska’s Native Voice
From the Koahnic Climate Desk, Antonia Gonzales (Navajo) and Emily Schwing provided special coverage of the National Congress of American Indians’ mid-year gathering and the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage.
The one-hour talk show series aired live on KNBA 90.3FM from the Dena’ina Center.
Traditional Knowledge & Healing – June 14, 2022
Indigenous people have long been stewards of the land, using knowledge handed down from generation to generation to care for the land and water. Western ways of thinking and colonization have changed how environmental issues are addressed, but many tribes across the country incorporate both their traditional knowledge and Western science to tackle top concerns, including climate change which is impacting Native ways of life. Join host Antonia Gonzales, guests Yaari Walker (Yupik) and Meda DeWitt (Tlingit), and voices of National Congress of American Indian attendees recorded by producer Emily Schwing as they explore how traditional knowledge is used today.
Indigenous Involvement in Policy – June 15, 2022
At the National Congress of American Indians mid-year conference, tribal leaders, advocates, young people, and many others gathered in Alaska to discuss top issues facing their communities. Among concerns is policy making in the U.S. and beyond to ensure Indigenous people are included in decisions at all levels of government, especially when it comes to the rights of Indigenous people, climate change, and the environment. Join host Antonia Gonzales, guests Jenifer Nelson (Unangax) and Dalee Sambo Dorough (Inuit-Alaska), and NCAI attendee interviews by producer Emily Schwing as they talk about the importance of Indigenous say in policy.
Women in Science – June 16, 2022
Women in science, especially Indigenous women in the field, are encouraging girls to get interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Women are leading the way to help their Indigenous communities and people heal, adapt, and strengthen their resilience through STEM. Join host Antonia Gonzales, guests Yosty Storms (Iñupiaq) and Danielle Stickman (Dena’ina/Koyukon Athabascan), and voices of NCAI recorded by producer Emily Schwing as we learn how those subjects are used in everyday life, especially when it comes to climate change and the environment.
Additional support for Alaska’s Native Voice at NCAI-Rhonda LeValdo, Van Craft.
Typhoon Merbok, Thursday, October 20,2022
Indigenous communities up and down Alaska’s west coast continue to recover from a historic storm, which slammed into the state in September. Typhoon Merbok devastated Indigenous communities. People lost valuable resources from boats to fishing nets, dry houses, and other tools essential to their Indigenous hunting and fishing subsistence way of life. People also lost food they had already stored up, essential to getting them through the winter. Join us as we discuss the typhoon, emergency preparedness, and the impacts of climate change, right after the news. Join host Antonia Gonzales and guests Jan Olson, Tribal Administrator of Hooper Bay, Earl Samuelson with Bethel Search and Rescue, and Millie Hawley, Tribal Administrator of Kivalina.
Elevating Native Women, Friday, October 21, 2022
Indigenous women are leading the way, in their families, in their communities, professionally, and in politics from local, state to the national level. Women are relying on the teaching of their ancestors, using knowledge passed on from generation to generation, to help guide them along the way. History was made in September when Mary Peltola was sworn into the U.S. House becoming the first Alaska Native person to ever serve in Congress. Join host Antonia Gonzales and guests Qualluq Cravalho, Vice President of Lands for NANA Corporation, Tara Sweeney is the former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs during the Trump administration, and Richard ‘Chaylee Eesh’ Peterson is the President of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska.
Alaska Native Langauge and Culture, Saturday, October 22, 2022
Elders, advocates, educators and tribal leaders are among those committed to making sure Indigenous languages and cultures continue to be priorities in education. Efforts are being made for younger generations through higher learning and beyond. Language and culture are being taught in schools, in community learning groups, summer programs, and at cultural events. Language and culture is always a focus of many statewide gatherings and conferences. Join host Antonia Gonzales and guests (elders) June Pardue and Josie Tattauq Bourdon, (youth) Samuel Hiratsuka and Gabe Canfield.
Coverage of the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s (ICC) 14th General Assembly – July 20, 2022
Broadcast on National Native News and the Alaska Public Radio Network
At the general assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Council on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, delegates from the ICC’s four member nations heard a report on how the organization has addressed food security among Inuit communities over the last four years. Emily Schwing reports.
The ICC is a non-governmental organization that represents more than 180,000 Inuit across the Arctic including in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka in the Russian Far East.
Natan Obed is the head of Canada’s Delegation.
“We have some of the highest rates of food insecurity in the world – between 60 and 70 percent in each of our Inuit regions and we know that we need to do much more to ensure that Inuit have enough food to eat.”
The delegations from Alaska and Canada developed the Food Sovereignty and Self Governance Project to examine and better understand food sovereignty issues.
The Alaskan delegation’s cultural sustainability advisor Vernae Angnaboogok presented findings from the project to the ICC.
“The food sovereignty and self governance project builds upon the recommendation from the food security report where authors noted that a key threat to our food security is the lack of decision making power and management.”
Vivien Korthuis is the head of Alaska’s ICC delegation; she noted that a changing climate has a heavy impact on food systems security.
“We are seeing immense changes in the ocean and on the rivers and in our land and weather. Our animals are moving around differently. We have experienced salmon crashes in our region and the impact of that is not just one or two years, it’s going to be for generations.”
The ICC holds a General assembly every four years.
Because this year’s meeting format is a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting, due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, leadership has opted to report on the progress made since its last meeting in 2018.
Alaska will hand over its chairmanship to Greenland at the close of this year’s meeting.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council wrapped up its three-day general assembly meeting – July 21, 2022
The non-governmental organization represents Inuit peoples from four Arctic nations. As Emily Schwing reports, Greenland will assume the chairmanship of the ICC for the next four years.
International chair Dalee Sambo Dorough of Alaska handed over leadership of the Inuit Circumpolar Council to Greenland’s Sara Olsvig.
“By acclimation and for the 2022 to 2026 term, congratulations Sara.”
Olsvig served in both Denmark’s and Greenland’s parliaments between 2011 and 2018. She is also a member of Greenland’s Human Rights Council and Constitutional Commission and an anthropologist. She gave a brief speech to ICC delegates from Alaska, Canada, Chukotka, and Greenland.
“We are crossing uncharted waters. The pandemic has changed the conditions under which we work and the new geopolitical reality puts pressure on us as a people and to the world around us and on the Arctic as a whole.”
Olsvig says international security and safety for ICC members, including those from Chukotka, in Russia’s Far East is a priority as Russia continues its war in Ukraine.
“As an Arctic people, we Inuit are acutely and painfully aware of the difficult situation that we are in and we are in it collectively across the four nation states that we live in and we are going to row our boat slowly and in a careful manner in the years to come to make sure we are all in the boat.”
She also plans to continue the ICC’s focus on formal participation within the United Nations, including in both the Food and Agriculture and International Maritime Organizations to address concerns about food security and the impacts of increasing industrial marine traffic in the Arctic. Olsvig says engaging Inuit youth perspectives in that work is paramount.
“I think that we have a task in both reaching and understanding what the youth expects from us as an Indigenous peoples organization.”
An emerging leaders initiative has provided the ICC’s executive council with recommendations that outline those expectations. The ICC will hold an in-person gathering next summer in Ilulissat, Greenland. Canada will host the next general assembly in 2026.
The Koahnic Climate Desk is supported by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund
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