Senator Murkowski visited Nome for 24 hours as part of a campaign stop before Alaska’s primary election on August 16.
Each day of the conference began with a keynote speaker, whose message was aired on KNOM each morning. All four speeches are presented here.
“They needed to come up with new thinking,” said Greg Razo, an attorney with more than 20 years of experience in Alaska. “It’s too expensive to just build prisons and throw more people in jail.”
While many Bering Strait and Norton Sound tribes have courts that can handle child protection cases, experts say the push is now for tribal authority over misdemeanors and other crimes.
Tribal sovereignty experts at the Kawerak Regional Conference say the regulations could have major implications for foster care in Alaska.
“If you want to be successful here, you can’t leave anything behind. You will have to bring your whole self in—your historical self, your cultural self, your language, your spirituality, your intellect, your life experiences. Everything belongs in this college classroom,” said Diane McEachern.
Traditional knowledge was gathered from over 100 contributing authors spanning 15 villages from the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta up to the North Slope. However, the driving factors for food security were identical across the regions.
“When you just talk about statistics or outline the problem…people feel so overwhelmed and don’t know what to do,” said Ann Rausch. “But when you’re working in prevention, you’re welcoming people back to the table.”
Nome could soon be home to an intensive treatment facility for those struggling with addiction and substance abuse.
Heroin use has been steadily increasing in the United States since 2007, and Western Alaska has been no exception.