Sequestration to hit regional tribal programs

 

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductee and tribal member Herb Didrickson receives the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from THCC First Vice President Will Micklin during the recent Tribal Assembly. Photo courtesy THCC.

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.

Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Ed Thomas, who told delegates about financial challenges at its recent 78th Annual Tribal Assembly in Juneau.

“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.