The Tlingit-Haida Central Council holds its 78th Annual Tribal Assembly in Juneau this week.
Delegates from around Southeast and a few other areas will hear reports from Sealaska Corporation, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, and other organizations.
Council President Ed Thomas says this year’s theme is “Hold Each Other Up.”
“We find that so often we spend a lot of time focusing on the negative. So we want to ask people to work together, lift each other up and try to have a positive way forward,” Thomas says.
Delegates also will discuss and vote on resolutions addressing a variety of issues.
They include elder housing, Native language instruction, the Sitka Sound sac roe fishery and sea otter harvests.
“We’re pretty much going to be dealing with the normal agenda. We have some constitutional amendments that I’m proposing and some statutes on tribal courts that will be strengthened,” Thomas says.
Delegates will meet through Saturday at the council’s Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in downtown Juneau.
The president’s seat is not up for election this year. Thomas, 71, has announced he will retire in 2014, at the end of his term. He’s been in the post more than 25 years.
One issue before delegates is changing some of the rules for electing the council’s president.
- Juneau Bar Association asks Gov. Walker to consider geographic diversity before making his selection.
- Many of Alaska’s rural schools are not working. Low student performance and high teacher turnover are just two of more obvious indicators of problems in these mostly Native school districts. Those working in the schools say it’s time for radical changes.
- The festival sold out in record time this year.
- Inuit leaders and organizations from Canada have been lobbying the U.S. for the last year. Polar bear sport hunting is an important industry to the Inuit economy.