The Tlingit and Haida Central Council expects some hits from sequestration. It also honored tribal members, including a Southeast basketball star.
President Ed Thomas told delegates about projected cuts during the council’s recent Tribal Assembly in Juneau.
“I think pretty much across the board, we’re talking about a 5 percent negative impact. Nobody has come up with anything less than that,” he says.
He says the cut would take about $1.3 million out of the council’s approximately $27 million annual budget.
The federal government provides much of the funding. Council programs provide vocational training, public safety, family and youth services, and tribal courts.
The Tlingit and Haida Central Council also uses interest from an approximately $11 million trust fund. But President Thomas says the earnings need to be saved.
“All and all, we can’t keep spending the interest and expect to survive for the long term. We have to have at least inflation-proofing. And the only way to do that is to live within our means and not do things that cost money we can’t pay for,” he says.
The Juneau-based council represents more than 28,000 tribal members in Alaska and the Lower 48.
The tribal assembly voted down a proposal reducing the number of voting delegates by around 20 percent.
Rules require one delegate per 150 tribal members. A proposal from Thomas would have only counted members with active addresses that establish their residency.
Thomas says it’s a problem in bigger cities.
“Seattle and Juneau have the largest number of delegates and the largest number of people that we have bad addresses for,” he says.
April’s Tribal Assembly was the council’s 78th. It was held in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in downtown Juneau. (Read the minutes from the meetings.)
Tribal Assembly delegates also:
- Heard from Thomas also about succession planning, as he will retire at the end of his term in 2014.
- Paid tribute to the late Clarence Jackson, past central council president.
- Seated Aurora Lehr of Anchorage and Bob Loescher of Juneau as Tribal Court judges.
- Named Shirley Kendall of Anchorage as Citizen of the Year.
- Named Konrad Frank of Angoon as Youth Representative.
- Honored tribal citizen and Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee Herb Didrickson. First Vice President Will Micklin presented him with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a proclamation that declared Friday, April 19, 2013, as Herb Didrickson Day.
- “So what we’re seeing here is a giant step — a beautiful step — backward in time, where we’re remembering that there is no us versus them. There’s only us, and we are the people, and the people are the police."
- Eaglecrest Ski Area is opening this year ahead of schedule.
- Alaska and British Columbia signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday expected to increase the state’s role in transboundary mine decisions.
- New rules could make it possible to develop more renewable energy in Alaska, by making it easier for independent projects to sell their power to the grid.