1 BUSINESS NAME NATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK V OLUME 16, I SSUE 4 M AY 2011 News from the Kanatak Tribal Council It s been a month of change for the tribal council. On April 20, 2011, a representative from BBNA called Shawn Shanigan and offered him the position as Kanatak s tribal administrator. Shawn accepted the position, but could not assume his duties until April 25, as he first had to resign his office as president of the Kanatak Tribal Council. The Constitution of the Native Tribe of Kanatak states in Article V, Section 7: A council member may be hired by the council to work for the tribal government, but while so employed he or she shall abstain from voting on matters pertaining to his or her employment. Generally speaking, one of the president s duties includes supervision of tribal employees; it would be a conflict of interest for president Shawn to supervise employee Shawn. Consequently, Shawn resigned from the office of president on April 24, but he still retains his position as a duly-elected member of the Kanatak tribal council. On May 2 during a special council meeting, Terrence Jason Shanigan was elected president of the Native Tribe of Kanatak; Kathy Lakoduk was subsequently elected secretary-treasurer to fill Terrence Jason s vacated position; Alex Giacometti remains the vice-president. In addition, the council approved one membership and one honorary membership. Furthermore, the council approved paying a number of bills/reimbursements, as well as youth activity funding for three members. Finally, the council discussed using committees, including council members and tribal members, to review the higher education application and membership/enrollment. Also just a reminder to the membership that program funds are available for use see page 10 for details. Beginning May 4 President Terrence Jason Shanigan conferred with a number of entities, namely banks, attorneys, the FBI, Wasilla Police, President of Tuluksak Village Corporation and the BIA, regarding on-going Kanatak legal and administrative issues. In addition on May 9, President Terrence Jason Shanigan and the tribal administrator Shawn Shanigan met with BIA in Anchorage regarding delinquent documentation for a $54,000 roads grant in 2010 under the previous administration. President Terrence Jason Shanigan acknowledges that the tribe is currently spending an inordinate amount of time and money on legal and administrative issues, but wishes to remind tribal members that the problems were created over a 3-year period, that included virtually no oversight during the final 18 months. Tribal members, who desire one-on-one dialog and updates about any of these issues, are encouraged to contact President Terrence Jason Shanigan at or via at INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Kanatak History 2 Meet our Tribal Family 3 Alaska Native History 4 Colors in the Alutiiq World 5 Native Body & Soul Dr. Rita Blumenstein Tribal Happenings 7-8 Kanatak Trail Project 9 Kanatak Programs 10 Struttin our Stuff 11 Right-Clicked photos 12 Kanatak Kids 13 In Memory 14 Contact Info 15 6
2 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 2 Kanatak, Historically Speaking... Long before oilmen from the Lower 48 took interest in the Alaska Peninsula, Native inhabitants had been aware of the area's petroleum seeps since "time immemorial." While encountering first, Russian fur-traders, and later Americans speculators, Alaska Natives happily told these international visitors of "oil seeps in lakes and near riverbeds" scattered along Alaska's coast from Katella to Kanatak. Such accumulated pools produced thick oozing pockets of oil with "an odor that could be detected miles from the source." Bears near Kanatak were reportedly seen "covered with the stuff." Moreover, Native people made good use of these petroleum pools. Some burned blocks of oil-saturated tundra for a fuel to cook their food and heat and light their homes. Later, the inhabitants of Kanatak would use what they called "tar" to clean their guns. Although local Natives and Creoles clearly regarded oil pools as valuable, their uses for it were limited, and therefore, their demand for the resources was considerably less than its supply. What made the possibility of commercial-sized oil in Kanatak valuable was "the human labor and skill that fashioned it into useful objects." Because crude oil in its raw form had much less intrinsic value, local people could afford to be generous in sharing it. "For the most part..." as one historian put it, "...fuel was buried beyond all their knowledge and skill to recover [it]." To make Kanatak's oil valuable, modern geological science had to discover its full extent, appreciate its potential, explain it origins, and figure our how to drill it and use it. A geological description of one of these oil seepages follows: The most frequently visited seepages are those on the head of Oil Creek, about 5 miles west of Cold Bay. Here the largest seepage emerges from a smooth vegetation-covered slope in which no rock outcrops can be seen. The oil, accompanied by an abundant flow of water and considerable gas, bubbles forth as a strong spring, the surface of which is coated with a thick layer of brown oil. A rough estimate placed the volume of the oil flow at about half a barrel a day. The gas flows by heads and is of sufficient volume to support a strong flame for several seconds at a time. From this seepage the escaping water and oil flow down a long grassy slope in which most of the oil is entrapped. Similar conditions have existed for a long time, with the result of building up a large area of the less volatile Barabara (Aleut = ulax), the traditional subterranean winter home paraffin residue of the oil, which has now hardened to a stiff, putty-like consistency. To Jack Lee, a young oil prospector exploring the district of the Alaska Peninsula in the vicinity of upper Becharof and Ugashik lakes, oil had a much greater intrinsic value. Lee, while prospecting in 1900, observed the seeping pools of oil in Kanatak. He knew what the local people did not that oil, among other uses, made a combustible engine run. The abundance of visible oil in the Kanatak area made it a seemingly natural site to drill. It seemed to the early explorers that it was only a matter of drilling straight down through the petroleum residue to strike commercial oil deposits. Brown oil and natural gas (fizzy bubbles) come out of this hole in the ground continuously. There are several oil creeks in Alaska - not a very original name. This particular oil creek in Kanatak feeds into Puale Bay on the western side of the Alaska Peninsula. There is continuous seepage of oil into the creek throughout its upper part.
3 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 3 Meet our Kanatak Tribal Family Anthony M. Forshey, Jr. was born on April 28, 1953 in Anchorage, Alaska. He is the son of Anthony and Evelyn Shangin Forshey. Tony left Alaska with his family in He finally returned to Alaska for a vacation in Not only did Tony visit relatives in the Anchorage area, but he also had the opportunity to visit Pilot Point and Ugashik, but unfortunately not Kanatak. At the moment Tony lives in Port Royal, Pennsylvania in a purported haunted house. Tony reports that when the spirit inhabiting the house was being particularly annoying with its knocking and footsteps, he hung up the Alaskan spirit mask which his cousin Gordon Shanigan had given him. Tony says he s had no further trouble with the spirit, although he suspects he may have chased it to the other side of the duplex! Tony has two sons, Anthony Forshey III and Aaron Forshey. He has 4 grandchildren, Kendal, Evan, and Nathan Forshey, and Ayden VanDoren. Tony s hobbies include camping, fishing, and beadwork, particularly hairpipe chokers. He also loves yard-sales, antiques, and the beach. Tony is disabled now, due to degenerative joint disease; his occupation before was CATV splicer. He plans to visit Alaska again, and also to spend time in Florida. Sorry, no photo provided; this is a replica of an ancient Alutiiq pictograph. Nicholas Gene W. W. Byars was born on November 23, 1983, the day before Thanksgiving, in Anchorage, Alaska. A large turkey was sitting in the sink and had to be given away, as everyone was gathered at the hospital for the momentous event. He was named after two grandpa s and two great-grandpa s. He is the son of Gene Byars and Frieda Shanigan Byars Leonov. Nicholas started walking at the age of 8 months. Nicholas attended school at Chinook elementary and Dimond High. He completed his education at Job Corps in Palmer, AK. Nicholas taught himself computer skills and is a pro at all the gaming systems. He loves movies to the max and is a great chef, along with all his other hobbies. Nicholas is married to Jennifer and they have a handsome little guy, 3 ½ yearold Aiden who everyone loves very much. Nicholas taught Aiden a lot about computers; he is taking after his dad in that area. Nicholas previously served on the Kanatak tribal council and worked at Walmart. Henry M. Forshey was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on July 13, He is the son of Henry F. Forshey; his grandmother was Evelyn Shangin Forshey, who was born in Kanatak. Henry has two beautiful daughters, Corinna and Elliana. He resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Henry graduated school for motorcycle mechanics, but is currently employed in heavy equipment rental, with motorcycle repair as a side job.. His interests are Glenn Beck, motorcycles, surfing, and his family. Nichole Danielle Shanigan was born in Anchorage, Alaska on November 6, She is the daughter of Donnavon Shanigan and Shawna Main; the granddaughter of Gordon and Jeanette Shanigan and the greatgranddaughter of Nick and Mary Shanigan. Nichole has a little brother named Nathan and 2 cats; they all live in Wasilla, Alaska. In the fall Nichole will be a freshman at Wasilla High School. Nichole s interests include volleyball, soccer and animals. In addition, she likes texting and posting on Facebook. Nichole plans to go to college and hopes to become an archeologist.
4 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 4 The Russians Use Alaska Russia's interest in Alaska was due to the natural resources that could be turned into economic profit. For all the time the Russians were in Alaska, fur-bearing sea and land mammals were the main resource exploited. After 1741 wealthy Russian merchants put up money to pay experienced Siberian fur traders to voyage to various Aleutian islands in order to trade for pelts. The investors then traded most of the furs to the Chinese for a handsome profit; few of the fur trappers, however, became rich. The traders took sea otter, black and other foxes, and fur seals. The fur traders did not hunt the animals; instead they forced Aleut hunters to do the work. Often the Russians took Aleut women and children as hostages while the hunters gathered pelts. While not all the encounters between the fur traders and the Natives were hostile, many were, and the Russians often brutalized Aleuts who resisted their demands. In addition, the Russians, like other Europeans wherever they encountered Native Americans, brought diseases not known to the Natives, who did not have or had lost traditional immunities. Throughout the Americas, and in Alaska, disease killed more Natives than any other single cause. The voyages from Siberia to America were expensive. Investors worked to save costs and increase their profits by forming partnerships. Eventually two groups came to dominate. One group, led by Gregorii Shelikhov, established the first permanent Russian post in Alaska, on Kodiak Island in Initially, the Kodiak Islanders resisted Shelikhov's invasion into their territory. But Shelikhov had superior arms and thoroughly defeated the Natives. Later, he attempted to improve relations with them by exchanging gifts and trading with them on fair terms. From there Shelikhov sent hunters into Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound. They traded with local Natives, sometimes in a friendly manner, sometimes not. Shelikhov's chief rival, Pavel Lebedev- Lastochkin, established several posts in Cook Inlet, at the mouths of the Kasilof and Kenai Rivers, on the west side of the inlet, and near the mouth of Eagle River. Eventually Shelikhov took over all of these posts. In 1799 the Russian government established a single, government-sponsored company to continue the exploitation of Alaska resources. Though Shelikhov had died in 1795, his widow, Natalia, held his company together and it became the nucleus of the new business. The government gave it the right of monopoly, so no other Russian individual or company was permitted to operate in Alaska. The new company, called the Russian American Company, directed all Russian commercial activity in America from 1799 until the government sold Russian America to the United States in A board of directors in St. Petersburg set the policies for the R-A Company, but a Chief Manager in the colony of Alaska ran the actual operations. The Chief Manager was also the Governor of the colony. In commercial matters he functioned as a manager; but in diplomatic and civil matters, he functioned as a governor. The first Chief Manager was Aleksandr Andreevich Baranov. Baranov was aggressive and determined as the manager and governor. One of his first acts was to extend the colony into Southeast Alaska. At first the Tlingit Indians there welcomed the Russians. But in 1802 the Tlingit attacked the Russian post in Sitka, killing perhaps as many as eighty Russians and Aleuts. A British trading ship rescued some others and charged Baranov a fee to get them back. Baranov considered the Tlingit attack as merely a temporary setback and soon returned to Southeast with a force of several hundred Aleut hunters. When he arrived at the location of his original post, he learned the Indians had moved to a more easily defended location and had erected a formidable fortress. Baranov would have had great difficulty re-taking the post with the weapons he had. Luckily for him a Russian naval ship, the Neva, was waiting to help, armed with a number of cannons. to be continued Alaska Native History or How Did We Get Here? Shelikhov settlement on Kodiak Island, first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska
5 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 5 Colors in the Alutiiq Art World The world s societies interpret colors in different ways. The Alutiiq language has just 4 basic color terms Kawirtuq (it is red), Tan ertuq / Tamlertuq (it is black), Qatertuq (it is white), and Cungartuq (it is blue). Each of these color terms is a verb root (i.e., kawirtuq means it is red ), as the Alutiiq language has no adjectives. Alutiiqs recognized a broader range of colors, but their traditional language describes most hues with these four terms. For example, green is a shade of blue. Alutiiq speakers also describe colors by their similarity to common things. For example, an Alutiiq speaker might say that a yellow object is the color of oil. It Is Red - Kawirtuq Alutiiq people manufactured red pigments from minerals and plants. They ground ochre, a soft, naturally occurring iron oxide, into a fine powder and mixed it with oil to make paint. On Kodiak, people produced a reddish-brown dye by boiling alder bark. In Prince William Sound, people boiled hemlock bark or a mixture of cranberry and blueberry juices to produce a dark red dye. Widely used in body painting and to decorate objects, the color red may represent ancestral blood. It Is Black Tan ertuq / Tamlertuq Historic sources indicate that Alutiiqs collected a specific stone to make black pigment. They also produced black pigment from a copper ore and from wood charcoal. With black paint Alutiiqs painted faces, particularly of people in mourning. Black paint also adorned masks, both as a background color and as a design component. Black paint often outlines facial features or illustrates brows and eyes. It Is White - Qatertuq Alutiiqs made white pigment from limestone obtained in trade with the Alaska mainland, grinding this soft rock into a powder and mixing it with oil to create paint. At winter hunting festivals, the faces of the first two dance performers were often painted white and red, and masks were often decorated with white. It Is Blue - Cungartuq To Alutiiqs, blue is a powerful color. It is associated with the supernatural, particularly the worlds below the sea. Blue pigment was never used in body painting. However, a blue-green paint adorned hunting hats, and whalers, the magical hunters who pursued giant sea mammals, carried blue or green stones. Modern-day, visor-style Alutiiq hunting hat created by Peter Lind, Sr. Valued at $4,000.
6 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 6 Keeping Body and Soul Together, the Native Way As individuals, we need to become balanced to heal. We have to learn to become us. Sharing and talking in groups helps us to be well." Dr. Rita Blumenstein, Traditional Healer, Tribal Doctor Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Auntie or Grandma Rita, as many call her, is from Tununak, a Yup'ik Eskimo village located on Nelson Island along the Bering Sea coast of Southwest Alaska. Rita is of Yupik, Athabascan, Aleut, and Russian heritage. In the western world, Rita is the first certified tribal doctor in Alaska, but in the way of her Alaska Native people, she has always been a healer. While Rita cannot explain the source of her healing gifts, she acknowledges that the gift is one to share, and not to keep. So, this she does, formally at Southcentral Foundation¹s Traditional Healing Program at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, and informally whenever her gifts are required during her "off-hours." Rita recalls her first memory of healing someone; it was Halloween. While she was at a school party with her aunt, dogs attacked her mother; Rita was 4 years old: "We come home after the party and my mom was moaning and groaning in the house in the bed. My whole being wanted to go to my mom. I went up to the bed. I put my hands, my little hands, onto the wounds. A tired feeling crept up to my shoulders. I released my hands and shook them, as if throwing away the fatigue. I laid my hands on my mother again. The tired feeling crawled to my elbows. I let go and shook it away. I laid my hands on again and again. And then it was over. Now, decades later, Rita is the first certified tribal doctor to practice at Anchorage's Primary Care Center of the Southcentral Foundation, the nonprofit affiliate of Cook Inlet Region Inc. Her colleagues believe she could be the first certified healer of her kind in Alaska, but they don't deny there were people before Rita who had similar abilities. American Natives treated people with traditional techniques for many generations until missionaries and government agents began challenging tribal healing, sending it underground. Rita is one healer who's bringing traditional healing out in the open again, saying it can be used with modern medicine to treat the whole person. Indian Health Services took a similar stand in 1998 when its director stated that traditional healing practices should be "respected and affirmed" and considered an important part of a person's healing process. A number of IHS facilities and tribally operated programs have even hired traditional healers. Nobody seems to understand where Rita's knowledge comes from, not even Rita. Her ability comes in spurts, she said, almost like she's awake for an instant and filled with the knowledge she needs, and then she's dreaming -- until it happens again. Bernie Blumenstein, Rita's husband for almost 43 years, doesn't remember talking about her healing abilities that much. When they met, Bernie was an electronics technician, originally from New York City, and Rita was a health aide in Bethel. After they married, Rita focused on other tasks. She raised two children and several grandchildren and taught people basket-weaving, skin-sewing and other traditional practices she learned while growing up. Rita, or Dr. Blumenstein, has extensive traditional knowledge about medicinal plants, energy-based healing, and culturally-based counseling. When asked how she teaches people to become traditional healers, she replied in her soft, soothing voice, "I teach them to become themselves." She has said that her best piece of therapy is that each of us needs to learn who we are. PS I first met Rita Blumenstein about 1990 in one of those skin-sewing classes; it was immediately obvious that she is a special person. Whenever I meet Rita and we share a hug of greeting, I feel as if she is passing something to me perhaps a sense of well-being.
7 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 7 Tribal Happenings Celebrating those special moments in our lives. ***Happy birthday to Tim Forshey, Sr., who celebrated his 55th birthday on May 1, Your Land. Then I gave my presentation about the Aleut. For the finale we all did the Samba Baracoa, where I played a drum. It was fun to do. ***Nathan Shanigan reports that his 5th grade class recently went on a school field trip to Seward, Alaska. The school-bus trip took 5 hours each way. Once in Seward, the students went out on a 5-hour boat tour with Kenai Fjords Tours. Nathan says they saw 3 sea otters, 6 orcas, 1 humpback whale, 1 gray whale, a lot of Steller sea lions, 2 bald eagles, plankton, barnacles, clams and a sea star. Nathan would like to be a marine biologist or zoologist when he grows up. ***Happy birthday to Tessa McGowan, who is celebrating her 42nd birthday on May 25, ***Happy birthday to Joseph Kalmakoff, who is celebrating his sweet 16th birthday on May 19, ***Savannah Shanigan reports that the 4 th grade classes at her school did an Alaska concert on April 28. She says, First we sang the Alaskan Flag Song. Then the students who did projects about the Yup ik and Inupiat did their presentation. Some students danced during the Eskimo Ice Cream Dance, but I beat the Native drum. Then there was a presentation about the Tlingit. Then we all sang the Land Of The Silver Birch. I spoke some poetry. Then there was an Athabascan presentation. Then we all sang This Land Is ***Tony and Bonny Forshey report that Tanya and Bryceton Scott were married April 30 on a beach in Florida. Their grandson and Tanya s son Ayden away the bride. ***Tony Forshey reports that his wife Bonnie will celebrate her birthday on May 26, gave
8 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 8 Tribal Happenings Celebrating those special moments in our lives. ***All dressed up in Easter finery! Pictured below are (back) Darion McGowan, Pierce McGowan, Tori Breneman, Mason McGowan & Anthony Breneman. (front) (yellow dress) Alyssa Breneman, Corinna Forshey, Ellianna Forshey, Noel Lukitsch, Makayla Lukitsch & Christopher Breneman. They are the granchildren of Henry F. Forshey and children of tribal members Tess McGowan, Henry M. Forshey, Nicole Breneman and Jessica Lukitsch. Jeremy McGowan was not present. ***Mmmm, ice cream! Here s a photo of Henry M. Forshey s daughters, Corinna and Elliana. ***Happy birthday to Katherine Hansen, who is celebrating her 38th birthday on May 21, ***Terrence Jason Shanigan shares these photos of his daughter Bristol learning about coloring Easter eggs from her cousins, Nichole and Nathan Shanigan. And this photo of his son Finn Shanigan, a bit too young yet for egg-dyeing. ***Happy Mother s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers in the tribe. The Alutiiq word for mother is aanaq.
9 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 9 During the past month a couple of tribal members, namely Frieda Shanigan Byars and Sophia Kalmakoff Rane, sent their memories of Kanatak to Julia Pinnex. Jeanette Shanigan also sent the story of Gordon Shanigan s birth, the last tribal member to be born in Kanatak, as well as a couple of photos. (Note: Frieda and Sophia also shared their memories with Jeanette, so they will appear in the Kanatak newsletter from timeto-time; see page 14, for example.) If any other tribal members have memories or photos of Kanatak to share, please send them to In response, Julia Pinnex wrote the following note: I truly appreciate your sharing these beautiful memories! I know I will wish to include your stories in the interpretation of Kanatak. May I quote from your writing? When I do assemble flyers and podcasts for the website and the visitor center, if I have used quotations or people's names, I will first send copies to folks who have contributed to be sure what they see is acceptable before it goes out to the public. It is, after all, your history. Thank you again for sharing ---Julia Remember, if you re between the ages of 15-19, an Kanatak Trail Project Update unbelievable opportunity is available to you to be part of the Kanatak Trail volunteer work crew! Trips are planned to the site to re-locate the route and clear brush to make it safer and easier to hike. Three lowkey signs are planned to mark the trail. Development will be limited to keeping the trail clear and providing outhouses to reduce human waste issues. This is the trail that your ancestors used to move between Bristol Bay and Kanatak; it is the same trail that was used to transport mail and supplies from the eastern part of the Alaska Peninsula to the western. The route leads over a pass that affords spectacular views of Becharof Lake, Mt. Peulik, and the Pacific Ocean. Imagine being one of the few tribal members who have actually been to Kanatak! If you re interested in donating your time for this historic adventure, please contact Julia Pinnix at Full contact info listed below: Julia Pinnix Visitor Services Manager Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 277, King Salmon, AK, (907)
10 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 10 Programs Currently Available Through Kanatak Do you need help with housing? If you are a member in good standing with the Native Tribe of Kanatak and meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for assistance from the Bristol Bay Housing Authority. The income requirements are established by HUD and vary depending on the place of residence and the number of family members. For example, to meet the income eligibility standards in the Mat-Su borough, where Wasilla is located, the yearly income for a family of three can be no more than $54,450; yet, if that same family of three resided in the Anchorage area, that maximum would be $58,000. Through BBHA, there are currently programs for rental assistance, utility vouchers, home repairs, downpayment assistance for home purchase and crime prevention/youth or cultural activities. There is also the option for the Kanatak tribal council to assess the memberships housing needs and create other programs in the future, subject to federal guidelines and BBHA approval. To apply, you must fill out an 18-page application which includes supplying proof of income, such as yearly income tax forms. The application is available at the BBHA website: Phone numbers for contact with either the King Salmon or Dillingham offices are also available at the above-listed website. Once your application is complete, mail it to this address: Bristol Bay Housing Authority PO Box 50 Dillingham, Alaska Do NOT mail your application to the Kanatak tribal office! Native Tribe of Kanatak The following programs are available for the members of the Native Tribe of Kanatak: Education Program: Funds to be awarded to eligible tribal members seeking higher education and/or specific job-skill training required for employment/certification. Tribal Youth Activity Program: Funds to be awarded to eligible tribal members between the ages of 1-18 for extracurricular activities, such as school sports, boy/girl scouts, summer or sports camps, music lessons, dance lessons, etc. Emergency Assistance Program: Funds for tribal members unexpected emergencies that threaten basic quality of life, such as fire damage, leaking roof, nonfunctioning furnace, water heater, etc. (Low-income members should seek this assistance through BBHA.) Wellness Program: Funds for education and promotion of healthy living, including suicide prevention, alcohol/drug prevention and tobacco-use prevention. Tribal Burial Assistance Program: Funds to be awarded to help with final expenses of tribal members who were in good standing with the tribe at the time of passing; maximum award per deceased member = $1,500. Tribal Social Activity Fund: Funds for 2 activities directors to create and organize quarterly tribal social activities in both Alaska and the Lower 48. Culture Program: Funds to promote culture and communication among tribal members. These programs generally require the following: completed tribal membership/enrollment completed application for program documentation of need/amount, bids where requested, and proof/receipts of expenditures name/address of 3rd party to whom checks will be issued; as a rule, checks are not issued directly to tribal members. Contact the executive director, tribal administrator or Kanatak tribal council for additional information about these programs.
11 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 11 Frieda Shanigan Byars has been winning cooking contests for years. The success stems from her greatest hobby, which is cooking. She loves everything about food: the taste, the feel, the color and smell of it. Food brings her pleasure. Her cooking interest started when she was about 15 with baking pies and cakes; then she branched out to every kind of food from every culture, including Native foods. After awhile she discovered she had a talent for cooking and just kept it up. Because of that interest in cooking, she attended one year of culinary arts training in 1968 at Haskell Institute American Indian College in Lawrence, Kansas, where she cooked for the football team. Frieda returned home that spring to Pilot Point, Alaska, and waitressed in the mess-hall at Alaska Packers Association for all the fishermen. When the cook was fired, the cannery hired Frieda as the new cook. She went from making about $300 a month to $1,200 a month at 18 years of age. Back in 1969, that was a huge salary! Frieda says she was terrified the Frieda Byars and prizes totaling $10,000 first time she had to prepare the meal for the cannery crew and fishermen, about 60 people. That first meal was hot dogs and sauerkraut. It was a hit! She prepared three meals a day and 3 mug-ups (coffee breaks). She says she baked up a storm and made everyone fat. Not only was she the cook at 18, but she was also the boss of 2 bull cooks and a waitress. Frieda won a cooking contest for her coleslaw at an Atlantic Richfield picnic, where 500 people attended. She has won several other cooking contests throughout the years, but the biggest win was in 2006 when she won the Fish Alaska Magazine cooking contest. Frieda won prizes worth $10,000, including a trip to a remote site where she learned to fly-fish. She cooked for Larry Csonka, NFL football star, and his crew for 3 days while they went hunting and fishing. Frieda also cooked for the Prime Minister of Japan and his entourage 3 years ago when they visited the Alaska Native Medical Center. She made Alaska salmon pie and kelp salad. It was a big hit! Frieda credits her mom, Mary Shanigan, for her knowledge of Native foods, as her mom passed down what she, in turn, had learned from her mom, Frieda s grandmother. To this day, Frieda says she cooks, bakes and makes up all sorts of recipes to try out on people. She keeps the good ones, because one day she hopes to write a combination cookbook/ poetry book. Here s one of her recipes: Ingredients: SALMON FAJITA MACHO TACOS Smoked salmon, skin off, or baked fish, deboned, skinned 1 large bag Doritos (spicy) 1 large onion 3 fresh jalapenos, cleaned and sliced thin 3 tomatoes ¼ cup olive oil Grated cheddar cheese (Mexican mix) Slice the onions diagonally. Clean and wash the jalapenos and slice into thin strips. Slice the tomatoes into thin strips. Add the veggies to a hot pan with ¼ cup olive oil and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook! Frieda s Fabulous Food On a large plate, put down a layer of Doritos. Spread pieces of salmon or fish over the chips. Top with a layer of the veggie mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat the layering. Microwave until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes, or bake for a few minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted. Before serving, top with a dab of guacamole and a dollop of sour cream. Serve hot.
12 Shanigan sisters: Marlane, Nikki and Frieda, early 70 s. Aiden Byars, son of Nick & Jennifer Byars; grandson of Frieda Byars Nick Shanigan, Grandpa Harold Jensen, Mary Shanigan and kids: James, Marlane, Frieda, Nikki and Gordon, in Egegik about Alex Stailey, Mason McGowan, and Henry Forshey. Danny Forshey Right-Clicked Photos of tribal members Nathan and Nichole Shanigan with their mother Shawna Main. Savannah Shanigan with prizewinning entries at the Alaska State Fair, Contribute photos at Anthony Forshey II
13 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 13 Kanatak Kids ALEUT AND ALUTIIQ HUNTING HATS Color your hunting hat in bright colors and add additional decorations representing animals you would hunt. Wooden hats were important pieces of gear for Aleut and Alutiiq hunters when pursuing sea mammals. Hats and visors were made by carving a piece of wood into a thin layer and carefully bending it with steam. Hats were embellished over the life of a hunter. Decorations were added or changed to reflect individual experiences and achievements. Each hat was a work of art painted in bright colors and decorated with ivory carvings, sea lion whiskers, woven tassels and beads. The sea otter atop this hat would have been carved from ivory. The volute, also ivory, sticks out from the hat like ears, but actually represents a bird s beak.
14 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 14 Memorial Day, May 2011 Death in traditional Alutiiq society was followed by a set of rituals that moved the deceased from daily life to the afterlife. In the Alutiiq universe, people were reincarnated five times. After their fifth and final death, the human soul ascended to the fifth of the five sky worlds, an earth-like place where their spirit could look back down to earth. The Alutiiq say that stars in the night sky are the eyes of ancestors. This month we honor and remember those members of the base roll of the Native Tribe of Kanatak who have passed. In some cases, they were the leaders of the tribe during its renewal in the 90 s. Rest in peace. Mary Joy Shanigan Abalama Brenda Chernikioff-Baehm Sarah Chernikoff Gary Collier Lucy Amock-Dupree Dennis Forshey Frank Forshey Johnny Giacometti Tony Giacometti Anna Giacometti-Hamlin William Kalmakoff Robert McKinney-Olivera Daniel Olsen Gloria Reamy Donnavon Shanigan Gordon J. (Sonny) Shanigan Gordon R. Shanigan James F. Shanigan Nick Shanigan Afonie Takak Joe Takak Frances Yovino John Yovino Pauline Yovino Kanatak Connection through Memories Sophia Kalmakoff Rane recalls, I remember going to my grandma's house (a barabara) on Sundays. I can still recall the musty, but pleasant smell of her house. We always had fresh bread with jam and tea, which was poured onto the saucer and sipped because it was so hot. Program funding is available for use by tribal members; see page 10!
15 N ATIVE TRIBE OF KANATAK P AGE 15 President Terrence Jason Shanigan Vice-President Alex Giacometti Contact Information Secretary/Treasurer Kathy Lakoduk Council Member Henry F. Forshey Council Member Shawn Shanigan Executive Director Tess McGowan or Tribal Administrator Shawn Shanigan Newsletter Editor Jeanette Shanigan Mailing Address: Native Tribe of Kanatak PO Box Wasilla, Alaska Physical Address of Office: 1251 Copper Creek Road Wasilla, Alaska