Yaghali du?

The tribe recently gave a welcome and blessing to Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot at the Kenai Peninsula Inaugural Ball. Executive Council Chairperson Rosalie Tepp expressed to the governor and lt. governor that the tribe is committed to working with the state government to help solve issues that affect us all.

We followed the offer to help with action.

Rose; Vice Chairperson Jennifer Showalter Yeoman; Council Member Audre Gifford; Dr. John Molina, Director of Health Systems; and Analisa Selden, Director of Human Services, joined me in Juneau shortly after Kenai’s ball. We met with members of the legislature and the governor’s staff to express our concerns on a wide range of issues, especially the Medicaid expansion, and to highlight our potential for working together with the state.

We are committed to working with the state and other government and non-government entities to fulfill our tribe’s Mission: To assure Kahtnuht’ana Dena’ina thrive forever. Our presence gives us the opportunity to make sure the state knows what we value, and gives us the opportunity to work together to promote those values.

Working with others is so important our leadership incorporated the task in our 2025 Vision: We are to work “toward united effort with Native organizations and other governments that impact our people.”

Tribal practices are making a difference, too. The state court system is collaborating more closely with tribal court. Dana Fabe, Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, stressed to the legislature the importance of working with tribal courts during her third State of the Judiciary address earlier this winter. Fabe singled out our Tribal Youth Circle as an example of a successful solution to a complex problem.

Gov. Walker has said, “When we pull together, we do not dilute our ideals, we do not set aside our values – we come together for the greater good, and together, we are strong.”

We are committed to pull together – and we are doing a lot of good. Together, we can assure that we each thrive.

Have a wonderful spring!

Jaylene Peterson-Nyren

Executive Director