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March 16, 2021 / This week from The Signal

All the latest news and information from around Alaska.

A kitten named Spot broke out of a car on the Matanuska and then snuck off the ferry in Juneau, alone. Did she have a message to deliver? An important errand? We'll never know. But here's the story of how Spot got back to her family in Haines (photo and story by Claire Stremple).

But first… 

Last week, Alaska became the first state in the country to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 16 or older, doing away with the complicated tiered system it had been operating from for the past few months. This welcome news was in very large part due to tribal health care organizations partnering with the state and municipalities and sharing their federal allocations of vaccines with everyone. This is happening in Oklahoma, too, where the Chickasaw Nation is offering the vaccine to all residents of the state, regardless of tribal status or employment. 

I got my first shot in the series over the weekend at the vaccine clinic organized by the city and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, among other partners. It was an honor to be there, to share in the generosity of Alaska's sovereign tribes, to celebrate our journey toward shared immunity among neighbors. There was live music. The volunteers congratulated me. There were smiles behind all the masks. It was a huge boost to the pandemic funk I've been in and a beautiful reminder of what community is and does for us all.

-- Jennifer Pemberton, KTOO Managing Editor

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Juneau Voices is a series of sound installations, each linked to a sign downtown, with stories and memories told by Juneau residents who lived them. They add up to a walk through the past and a spotlight on untold histories from Dzantikʼihéeni, Juneau. KTOO filmed the process of this project coming together.

KTOO Public Media would like to acknowledge the L'eeneidí and the Wooshkeetaan of the Áak’w Khwáan. Our broadcast studios are on their ancestral homeland. Our building sits on fill that was once tideland and part of what is called the Indian Village. The families of the Juneau Indian Village, like their ancestors, cherish and depend upon their immediate connection to the waterfront. KTOO is working to lift up Tlingit voices and the Tlingit language. Please excuse us for our mistakes, and gunalchéesh for your patience as we learn.

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What are you waiting for? For an entertaining inside take on the biggest news in Alaska, try The Signal – just enter your email to get the latest edition delivered every week - it's free, we keep your email safe, and you can easily unsubscribe any time.