Announcements

Environmental Program Coordinator Job Opening

Job Description

 

Department:    Natural Resources

Job Title:         Environmental Program Coordinator

FLSA Status:  Exempt

Salary Range:  $22.00 Beginner/or DOE

Supervisor:      Director of Natural Resources

 

General Description: The Environmental Program Coordinator works under the supervision of the Natural Resources Director. He/she is responsible for managing the oversite of the Environmental Programs. He/she will collaboratively coordinate the supervision of the Environmental Technician in efforts to supplement environmental activities and assignments as addressed in the IGAP work plan(s). He/she will conduct outreach based on environmental education and awareness practices. He/she is responsible for preparing and applying for federal grant proposals, submitting all reportable documentations in a timely manner. He/she will build professional programmatic core capacity strength through a series of establishing partnerships, networking with local organizations and outside resources, attending region-wide and nationwide trainings and meetings through the environmental network while representing OTNC tribal interests.

The Environmental Program Coordinator is responsible for prioritizing work plan commitments, continue practices in collaboration & planning environmental education, supervise, hire and train employees and interns in the OTNC Environmental Program.

 

Duties and Responsibilities: Oversight of a comprehensive environmental program to enhance quality of life for ONC’s Tribal membership to include the following:

 

  • Supervise the Environmental Technician and other environmental programs under the OTNC.
  • Research and pursue additional funding opportunities to further the development of the OTNC Environmental Program.
  • Implementation and maintenance of air and water quality monitoring projects to obtain baseline data information systems
  • Demonstrate implementation skills based on environmental education and awareness practices for the community of Bethel through the IGAP program & work plan.
  • Build capacity partnerships at the professional level with local and outside organizations and resources through the environmental network.
  • Create environmental plan, conduct and supervise environmental assessments, seek training supported by the environmental program to supplement administration and program capacity
  • Work well with related Tribal organizations, local organizations, and governmental entities and outside resources based on environmental issues.
  • Collaboratively continue building and enhance the OTNC Environmental Program in accordance with the identified needs and priorities as established by environmental assessments and constituency concerns prioritizing the protection of human & environmental health for our tribal community.
  • Other program duties as assigned by the Natural Resources Director

 

Qualifications: High School diploma or greater. Knowledge or experience in conducting survey assessments, policy development and procedures of state and federal environmental programs.  Ability to work well with related tribal organizations and other governmental entities on environmental issues.  Self-motivated individual able to carry out program activities and represent agency interests without direct or daily supervision.  Good computer, data compilation, communications and grant writing skills.  Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing/able to travel when necessary.

ONC is an equal opportunity employer.  Within the concept of Native Preference, all applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin or other non-merit factor.

Environmental Program Coordinator Job Application

Land Acknowledgements

Why are Land Acknowledgements important?

land acknowledgement highlights the ongoing stewardship by Indigenous peoples, uplifts Indigenous voices, and helps audiences and institutions reconsider their roles within a broader community. It’s a sign of respect that’s common in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, tribal nations, and increasingly in the U.S. It’s also a step toward recognizing that multiple perspectives are needed to address climate change.

Nikoosh Carlo

Indigenous land acknowledgement

According to the Native Governance Center,

“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.” Northwestern University

“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

TIPS FOR CREATING AN INDIGENOUS LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT STATEMENT

Key components:

Start with self-reflection. Before starting work on your land acknowledgment statement, reflect on the process:

  • Why am I doing this land acknowledgment? (If you’re hoping to inspire others to take action to support Indigenous communities, you’re on the right track. If you’re delivering a land acknowledgment out of guilt or because everyone else is doing it, more self-reflection is in order.)
  • What is my end goal? (What do you hope listeners will do after hearing the acknowledgment?)
  • When will I have the largest impact? (Think about your timing and audience, specifically.)

Do your homework. Put in the time necessary to research the following topics:

  • The Indigenous people to whom the land belongs.
  • The history of the land and any related treaties.
  • Names of living Indigenous people from these communities. If you’re presenting on behalf of your work in a certain field, highlight Indigenous people who currently work in that field.
  • Indigenous place names and language.
  • Correct pronunciation for the names of the Tribes, places, and individuals that you’re including.

Use appropriate language. Don’t sugarcoat the past. Use terms like genocideethnic cleansingstolen land, and forced removal to reflect actions taken by colonizers.

Use past, present, and future tenses. Indigenous people are still here, and they’re thriving. Don’t treat them as a relic of the past.

Land acknowledgments shouldn’t be grim. They should function as living celebrations of Indigenous communities. Ask yourself, “How am I leaving Indigenous people in a stronger, more empowered place because of this land acknowledgment?” Focus on the positivity of who Indigenous people are today.

Additional factors to consider:

Don’t ask an Indigenous person to deliver a “welcome” statement for your organization. Cantemaza McKay (Spirit Lake Nation) explains this very clearly. Check out our land acknowledgment event livestream, and hear his comments at the 27-minute mark.

Build real, authentic relationships with Indigenous people. In addition to normal employment and family obligations, Indigenous people are working to heal their traumas, learn their languages, and support their nations. If you reach out for help, lead the conversation by asking an Indigenous person what you can do for them. Chances are, they’re likely overworked and could use your help.

Compensate Indigenous people for their emotional labor. If you do plan to reach out to an Indigenous person or community for help, compensate them fairly. Too often, Indigenous people are asked to perform emotional labor for free.

Understand displacement and how that plays into land acknowledgment. Land acknowledgment is complicated. Remember that the United States government displaced many Tribes from land before treaties were signed.

There are many types of land acknowledgments. Don’t expect to find a specific formula or template. Land acknowledgments that come from Indigenous people vs. non-Indigenous people look different, too.

Take action:

Land acknowledgment alone is not enough. It’s merely a starting point. Ask yourself: how do I plan to take action to support Indigenous communities? Some examples of ways to take action:

At the end of the day, remember:

Starting somewhere is better than not trying at all. We need to share in Indigenous peoples’ discomfort. They’ve been uncomfortable for a long time. Dr. Kate Beane (Flandreau Santee Dakota and Muskogee Creek) says, “We have to try. Starting out with good intentions and a good heart is what matters most.”

Visit our resources page for more helpful land acknowledgment tools! And read our own land acknowledgment statement: The Land We’re On.

Pebble Mine Permit Denied

Alaska’s Controversial Pebble Mine Fails to Win Critical Permit, Likely Killing It

The immense project would have been one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines, but regulators found it “contrary to the public interest” due to environmental risks in the pristine Alaskan tundra.

The proposed site of the Pebble Mine project this summer.Acacia Johnson

The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, likely dealing a death blow to a long-disputed project that aimed to extract one of the world’s largest deposits of copper and gold ore, but which threatened breeding grounds for salmon in the pristine Bristol Bay region.

The fight over the mine’s fate has raged for more than a decade. The plan was scuttled years ago under the Obama administration, only to find new life under President Trump. But opposition, from Alaska Native American communities, environmentalists and the fishing industry never diminished, and recently even the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., a sportsman who had fished in the region, came out against the project.

On Wednesday, it failed to obtain a critical permit required under the federal Clean Water Act that was considered a must for it to proceed. In a statement, the Army Corps’ Alaska District Commander, Col. Damon Delarosa, said the mine, proposed for a remote tundra region about 200 miles from Anchorage, would be “contrary to the public interest” because “it does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines.”

Opponents said the large open-pit operation, which would dig up and process tens of millions of tons of rock a year, would irreversibly harm breeding grounds for salmon that are the basis for a sports-fishing industry and a large commercial fishery in Bristol Bay. Salmon are also a major subsistence food of Alaska Natives who live in small villages across the region.

“The Corps’ denial of the permit for the Pebble Mine is a victory for common sense,” said Chris Wood, chief executive of the conservation group Trout Unlimited. “Bristol Bay is the wrong place for industrial scale mining.”

Lindsay Layland, deputy director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, which has fought the project for years, said that while the decision means the project may be dead, the threat remains that the gold and copper ore could still be mined in the future. “It doesn’t mean that those minerals aren’t going to be in the ground tomorrow,” she said. “We need to continue to push for long term and permanent protections down the road.”

In a statement, John Shively, interim chief executive of the project’s developer, Pebble Limited Partnership, said the partnership would “focus on sorting out next steps for the project, including an appeal of the decision.”

Mr. Shively described the Corps’ action as “politically driven,” particularly given that earlier this year the Corps had approved an environmental impact statement that, he said, “clearly stated the project could successfully coexist with the fishery and would have provided substantial economic benefit.”

The environmental impact statement was finalized in July by the Corps, which had authority to approve or deny a permit under the federal Clean Water Act. But a few weeks later the Corps said that the company’s plan to compensate for environmental damage from the mine was insufficient, and requested a new plan.

The new plan, which was not publicly released but was believed to designate land near the mine to be permanently protected, was submitted last week.

The mining industry and many state officials have supported the project for the revenue and other economic benefits it would bring. But some important Alaskan politicians, notably Senator Lisa J. Murkowski, a Republican, had been noncommittal, saying the mine should go forward only if it could be shown to be environmentally sound.

In a statement on Wednesday, Senator Murkowski said the Corps’ decision affirmed “that this is the wrong mine in the wrong place.”

“This is the right decision, reached the right way,” she added.

Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed an earlier ruling, allowing the environmental review by the Corps to proceed. Under the Clean Water Act, the Corps reviews any dredging and filling activities in waterways, including wetlands like those in the area of the proposed project.

Support for the mine among Republicans was never as ironclad as it has been for some other projects with potential environmental consequences, notably potential oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, also in Alaska. And many Democrats had been fiercely opposed.

One of the project’s biggest Congressional critics, Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, hailed the Corps’ decision. “But denial of a permit does not mean Bristol Bay is safe from the threat of the Pebble Mine,” Senator Cantwell said, adding that the incoming administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. should make it a priority to establish permanent protections for the Bristol Bay fishery.

The Pebble project even generated a rare dispute within the Trump family. In August, Donald Trump Jr., an avid sportsman who has fished in the Bristol Bay area, tweeted his opposition to the mine: “The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with. #PebbleMine.”

President Trump, when asked in following days about his son’s sentiments and the prospects for the project, said only that he would “look at both sides” of the issue and that politics would not play a role in any decision. Privately, however, administration officials said they expected that the permit would be approved.

But in September, the future of the multibillion dollar project appeared in doubt when secret recordings of company executives suggested that they were planning for a much larger mine, and one that would operate far longer, than what had been proposed to the Corps.

The recordings were obtained by an environmental advocacy group, with two members who were posing as potential investors in the project meeting by video with two project executives. The executives described how the mine could operate for 160 years or more beyond the proposed 20 years, and how its output could double after the first two decades.

In the fallout from the recordings, one of the executives, Tom Collier, chief executive of the Pebble Partnership, resigned.

BIA Funding Opportunity

The BIA has released Requests for Proposals for the Fisheries, Wildlife & Recreation Programs. Projects will be funded in four program areas: endangered species, invasive species, hatchery maintenance, and Tribal youth initiatives.

Applications must be received by the Alaska regional office by January 31, 2021. Forms for all four program areas are available on the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society website who are also offering technical assistance for applicants.

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2020 Salmon Harvest Summary

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Commercial Fisheries

Press Release: November 9, 2020

CONTACT: Forrest R. Bowers, (907) 465-6139, forrest.bowers@alaska.gov

2020 Salmon Harvest Summary

(Juneau) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has published preliminary harvest and value figures for the 2020 Alaska Commercial Salmon Fishery.

The 2020 commercial salmon fishery all species harvest was valued at approximately $295.2 million (nominal), a 56% decrease from 2019’s value of $673.4 million. A total of 116.8 million fish were harvested, a 44% decrease in the 2019 total harvest of 208.3 million fish. Of this total, sockeye salmon accounted for approximately 59% of the total value at $174.9 million and 40% of the harvest at 46.1 million fish. Pink salmon accounted for approximately 21% of the value at $61.8 million, and 51% of the harvest at 59.4 million fish. Chum salmon accounted for 9% of the value at $25.9 million and 7% of the harvest at 8.7 million fish. Coho salmon accounted for approximately 6% of the value at $18.2 million and 2% of the harvest at 2.3 million fish. Chinook salmon harvest is estimated to be nearly 260,000 fish with an estimated preliminary exvessel value of $14.3 million. A total of 6,461 individual permit holders made commercial salmon landings in 2020, an 11% decrease from 2019 (7,256 permits).

When compared to the long-term time-series (1975-2019), the 2020 commercial salmon harvest of 116.8 million fish is the thirteenth lowest on record. In terms of pounds of fish, the all-species salmon harvest of 517.5 million pounds is the eighth lowest all-species salmon harvest recorded since 1975. Adjusted for inflation (CPI, 2020 prices), the 2020 exvessel value estimate of $295.2 million is the lowest exvessel value reported since 2006.

These are preliminary harvest and value estimates which will change as fish tickets are processed and finalized. Dollar values provided by ADF&G are based on estimated exvessel prices and do not include post-season price adjustments. Final value of the 2020 salmon fishery will be determined in 2021 after seafood processors, buyers, and direct marketers report total value paid to fishermen in 2020.

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For additional information, contact:

Division of Commercial Fisheries Deputy Director

Forrest R. Bowers at (907) 465-6139

forrest.bowers@alaska.gov

Ways of Knowing Dialogues

Reconciling Ways of Knowing Dialogic Forum

Several dialogues have taken place over the last few months in discussion of how we can reconcile our ways of knowing between Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science. Each of these dialogues is available for viewing free on the forum website. There are also free blog post summaries under each video available on the website.

Continue reading “Ways of Knowing Dialogues”

2020 Clean Up Before Freeze Up… A Success!!

This fall’s Clean Up Before Freeze Up has been a huge success. Together, from October 9-11, we picked up 150+ bags of trash and recycling all around Bethel. Below are just some of the faces behind the operation- quyana to ALL!!

Our first group of volunteers filled 9 bags!!

Elle Loughlin, Eleanor Oser, Tanner Condit, and Lily Merrigan were some of our volunteers cleaning up. They collected over a dozen bags of trash from Ptarmigan!

Staff and family at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge cleaned up in Brown’s Slough. Shoutout to Gisela Chapa, the Community Engagement specialist at the Refuge, for hopping into the water to get a tire!

The team at Arctic Chiropractic collected 9 bags of trash today around their office!

James Reams, teacher at BRHS and baseball coach for the junior high, cleaned up the pathway by the 4-H Club.

Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Executive Director Mary Peltola and her sons and neighbors have collectively thrown out 15+ bags of trash this weekend! Quyana for making City Sub that much cleaner.

The Trimble family picked up 4 bags of trash around Uiviq subdivision!

 

The Jackson family collected 7 bags of trash and recyclables around Alligator Acres this weekend. We’re grateful for all the help we’ve received from everyone in our city!

Throughout the weekend, 5 families within Hoffman sub collected 15 bags of trash! Here are Jenette and Jeremiah Robson adding their young power to this effort.

The King family cleaned up 14 bags worth of trash from Kasayuli!

And finally, quyana to Kara Black and Terese Schomogyi for putting this whole operation together! Below are some photos of them working hard to clean up Ptarmigan and keep trash out of our water!

A special Quyanaqvaa to our donors- AC and Fili’s Pizza for providing us with gloves and free pizza vouchers for ALL of our volunteers, as well as to Beverly Hoffman for giving us pool passes to hand out to our prize winners!!

Until next time…