Big future plans part of positive State of the Tribe address

Big future plans part of positive State of the Tribe address

Speech includes updates on programs, economic development and more

Things are on the upswing for Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, according to President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson’s State of the Tribe address.

During a speech that stretched to well over an hour the first morning of Tlingit & Haida’s 84th annual Tribal Assembly, Peterson shared updates on tribal activities and finances that he largely colored as positive.

[Dunleavy remarks draw criticism from Tlingit & Haida president]

“I’m not trying to put a rosy picture on things,” Peterson said. “I’m very candid. I believe in accountability and transparency, and I never try to dodge those arrows. I am very excited this year. This year especially, it was great to put together this report with my staff and be reminded of all the good things that are happening.”

Peterson said previous executive council’s and presidents laid the foundation that led to financial and program success, and he thanked the hard work of Tlingit & Haida staff.

Among the successes Peterson touted were the Tribal Child Support Unit collecting $1 million in child support, more services for tribal citizens, the impending opening of Tlingit-language child care center Haa Yóo X‘atángi Kúdi,outreach efforts that include building rapport with international indigenous communities, progress toward a cultural immersion park and strong and varied revenue streams.

“The success is starting to show, and I’m really very proud of it,” Peterson said.

He particularly highlighted local businesses such as Smokehouse Catering, Sacred Grounds and Sacred Shine Auto Detailing and Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall’s use as an event venue.

“It’s working, and we’re putting people to work,” Peterson said. “Not just people, our people.”

He said the day is coming soon there will be a Sacred Grounds Coffee in in Anchorage, Seattle or potentially a village.

[Tribal Assembly meets in Juneau]

Peterson also identified some pending developments he expects to have a big impact.

He said Tlingit & Haida have executed a letter of intent with Channel Construction and Shorty Tonsgard for the acquisition of 86 acres of land on Douglas Island.

“One of the things you say is, ‘What’s a tribe without land?’ Well, here you go,” Peterson said.

Also, Peterson said he was proud to announce Tlingit & Haida had entered into purchase agreement January 2019 with Triplette Construction with the intent of turning it into a construction academy.

“”It’s going to be a big deal,” Peterson said. “It’s amazing to create jobs and see our people find that self-worth and value in themselves and they do well making coffee and working in catering, but we want to take it to the next level, and we want to build real, life-long careers.”

He said the emphasis on economic development is in service of sovereignty and increasing the services available to tribal citizens.

“I never want to use the term again, ‘You don’t live within the service area,’” Peterson said. “The only way we’re going to abolish that term in this tribe is through economic sovereignty.”

• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

(Juneau E
Aurora forecast for the week of Nov. 27

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

“The Phantom of the Opera” is screened with a live musical soundtrack at the Gold Town Theater in April. Three of the musicians are scheduled to perform Sunday during two screenings of the 1928 silent film “The Wind.” (Courtesy of Gold Town Theater)
This weekend’s lineup at the Gold Town Theater really blows

Xmas Bazaar Xtravaganza nearly sold out already, but seeing “The Wind” to live music a breeze.

Scant patches of snow remain at the base of Eaglecrest Ski area on Wednesday despite snowmaking efforts that occurred during the weekend, due to warmer temperatures and rain this week. The opening date for the ski area, originally set for Dec. 2 and then delayed until Dec. 9, is now undetermined. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest opening delayed again, target date now TBD

Warm temperatures and rain thwart efforts to open ski area on Saturday.

Work crews continue removing hundreds of truckloads of debris from Zimovia Highway since the Nov. 20 landslide in Wrangell. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Clearing work continues at Wrangell slide; fundraising grows to help families

Juneau, with several thousand pounds of food collected in drive, among many communities assisting.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Dec. 4, 2005. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Dec. 10

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Staff of the Ketchikan Misty Fjords Ranger District carry a 15-foot-long lodgepole pine near the Silvis Lake area to a vessel for transport to Juneau on Nov. 30. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Together Tree departs Ketchikan for Governor’s Residence in Juneau

Annual Holiday Open House featuring 21,350 cookies scheduled 3-6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Female caribou runs near Teshekpuk Lake on June 12, 2022. (Photo by Ashley Sabatino, Bureau of Land Management)
Alaska tribes urge protection for federal lands

80% of food comes from surrounding lands and waters for Alaska Native communities off road system.

Ron Ekis (wearing red) and Dakota Brown order from Devils Hideaway at the new Vintage Food Truck Park as Marty McKeown, owner of the property, shows seating facilities still under construction to other local media members on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New Vintage Food Truck Park makes year-round debut

Two of planned five food trucks now open, with covered seating and other offerings in the works.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read