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.
- The state has asked the new presidential administration for a waiver to pay more than 80 percent of reinsurance costs.
- The state’s only professional sports franchise, the Alaska Aces, will fold after this season. The decision was announced Thursday, Feb. 23.
- Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.
- Things are not looking good for Haines’ Alaska State Trooper post. Trooper Director Col. James Cockrell intends to reassign Haines’ one trooper position to Bethel. The decision isn’t final yet, but the community conversation about how to handle the loss continued at a Public Safety Commission meeting this week.