News from the Kanatak Tribal Council

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1 Volume 17, Issue 6 June 2012 News from the Kanatak Tribal Council Since the last newsletter a number of events occurred. apartment that shares a wall with the office has been renovated, but is vacant at this writing. Shawn Shanigan and Terrence Jason Shanigan took the small Kanatak fishing boat out of storage, readied it for the upcoming fishing season and noticed some maintenance issues. At this time, the larger boat Little Star remains unsold, though a potential buyer is interested. Shawn, Samantha and Savannah Shanigan did clean-up around the outside of the Kanatak property and noted a number of repair/ maintenance issues that need to be addressed this summer. During the second week of June, the Kanatak tribal council is meeting in Wasilla for face-to-face work on the Kanatak constitution and ordinances. More details will follow via council meeting minutes, after the work sessions and a June 14 council meeting are concluded. By the way, the current contract for the writing of the Kanatak newsletter ends with the upcoming July issue. Jeanette Shanigan is certainly willing to continue producing the newsletter, but if someone else is interested, that person should contact Tess McGowan. Likewise, tribal members should contact Tess McGowan to express interest in other tribal needs, such as election committee members. The next council meeting is scheduled for the second Sunday in July, at 2:00 pm AKDT / 6:00 pm ESDT. Please attend. Your thoughts and comments are valued. If you wish to attend via telephone, here s the info: Call-in number = Passcode = # Should there be a change in the schedule, Tess McGowan will an update. Additional details regarding council meetings can always be found on the Kanatak website ( under NEWS in the meeting minutes for the various dates. Previous newsletters and program applications are there, too. Check it out! Inside this issue: Kanatak Trail 2 Kanatak History 3 Alaska Native History 4 Alutiiq Art 5 Native Body & Soul 6 Tribal Happenings 7-8 Kanatak Kids 9 Struttin our Stuff 10 Right-Clicked photos 11 Kanatak Programs 12 Contact Info 13

2 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 2 For Immediate Release Date: May 30, 2012 Contact: Visitor Services Manager Julia Pinnix: (907) Kanatak Trail in Becharof National Wildlife Refuge Designated as National Recreation Trail On May 30, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved 54 new National Recreational Trails (NRTs), including the Kanatak Trail in Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. This places the Kanatak Trail in the national trail system, authorized by an act of Congress in 1968 to honor trails of significance. Only 3 other NRTs are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. The Kanatak Trail is an ancient route, used for at least 2,000 years to cross from the Pacific Ocean side of the Alaska Peninsula to Becharof Lake and Bristol Bay. Since the mid-1950s, when families no longer lived in the old village of Kanatak, the route has seen little use. Brush reclaimed the path at lower elevations. Spurred by Paul Boskoffsky, a former resident of Kanatak currently residing in Naknek and Egegik, Becharof National Wildlife Refuge staff looked for a way to rescue the route from oblivion. A Recreational Trails Program grant, administered by the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation, was awarded in early 2011 to Becharof NWR to clear the historic route. Visitor Services Manager Julia Pinnix used the funds to partner with the Student Conservation Association, which recruited a crew of 6 students and 2 leaders to clear the route. Archaeologist Tom Prang oversaw the project in the field and ensured the preservation of cultural features along the trail. The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. As a federal land management agency, the USFWS has a responsibility to protect not only the wildlife and habitat within its boundaries, but the cultural history that is a part of the landscape. The Kanatak Trail offers outstanding opportunities for visitors for photography, wildlife observation, and angling, meeting several of the primary goals of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The trail also provides unique educational opportunities: Pinnix and Refuge Ranger Orville Lind are working with Lake and Peninsula Borough School District to bring students to the trail. A brochure about the Kanatak Trail can be downloaded from the refuge s website: becharof.fws.gov. The King Salmon Visitor Center has brochures and information as well: (907) Below is a link to see the trail featured on the American Trails website

3 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 3 Kanatak, Historically Speaking As noted previously, by 1952 the Russian Orthodox Church recorded that only 10 people remained in Kanatak. Those 10 people comprised two families, the Peter Boskoffsky family and the Nick Shanigan family. Peter Boskovsky moved from Afognak Island to Kanatak. He met and married Dora Ruff (spelled Rufe on the February 1939 census) and the two had six children. Dora s father Nicholai Ruff was born in Kanatak in 1898 and had wore a uniform with a policeman-style hat that said chief of Kanatak across the front. In 1949, Dora Boskoffsky was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was transported to a sanitarium in Seward, Alaska. While there, she was also diagnosed with cancer. One day in 1951 while listening to the noon-time news over the shortwave radio, the Boskoffsky family in Kanatak learned of Dora s death in Seward, Alaska! The Boskoffskys continued living in Kanatak until the village was almost completely empty, because Boskoffsky family moved to Seward, Alaska. Paul Boskoffsky, born in 1935, is the oldest child of Peter and Dora Boskoffsky. If his name seems familiar, it s because in the past he served on the interim Kanatak Tribal Council, as both vice-president and president. In 2000 he and his family rescinded their memberships in the Native Tribe of Kanatak. It is believed that they are enrolled in the Egegik tribe now. More recently, Paul Boskoffsky assisted with the Kanatak Trail Brushing Project last summer. In the final report, it was noted: Some urgency was felt about accomplishing this project, as the key informant, Paul Boskoffsky, is in his 70 s. He is still fit enough to hike the trial, and provided lots of historical background and personal perspective.

4 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 4 Alaska Native History or How Did We Get Here? The toughest challenge for members of the first Alaska Legislature was to get to Juneau. In 1913, when no one had even dreamed of a town called Anchorage, lawmakers came from places like Nome, Ruby, Candle, Iditarod, Seward, Juneau, Valdez and Fairbanks. There were no airplanes in Alaska, (the first flight took place in the summer of 1913 in a Fourth of July exhibition in Fairbanks) and dog teams were the fastest means of winter travel. The new legislature was permitted to meet only in odd-numbered years and only for 60 days. Three of the legislators-to-be left Nome by dog team in early January. They crossed Norton Sound to Unalakleet and traveled the Yukon River and then the Tanana River to Fairbanks. They covered 700 to 900 miles just to reach Fairbanks. One senator walked from roadhouse to roadhouse along the winter trail to Fairbanks. From there they went 360 miles by horse-drawn sleigh to Valdez, a journey that took a week, and caught a steamer to Juneau. They arrived the day before the Legislature began. The Legislature was made up of five lawyers, one doctor, five businessmen, one fisherman and eleven miners. Their ages ranged from 33 to 63. The pay was $15 a day,( about $275 per day in 2004 dollars) and the travel allowance was 15 cents per mile, or about $2.75 in 2004 dollars. Gov. Walter Clark estimated that the average lawmaker had to make a round-trip of 2,541 miles to reach the capital. There was no government building in Juneau, so the legislators met on two floors of the Elks Hall. They began their work on March 3, The next day, 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as the 27th president of the United States.

5 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 5 The Alutiiq Use of Bone Like stone, wood and hide, bone was a primary manufacturing material among the prehistoric Alutiiq craftsmen, and the skeletal remains of animals were carefully butchered to preserve bone for raw material. Bone was processed into pieces much like wood. Large elements, like whale and sea lion ribs, were split with the aid of wedges and mauls. Lengths of bone were then Alutiiq bone tools cut to size by whittling a fragment until it could be snapped into two segments. Tools were then shaped with a stone knives and sanded to a smooth finish with abrasive pieces of stone and pumice. Due to its flexibility bone was the preferred material for subsistence implements. Bone points, hooks, and digging sticks gave with the forces of use rather than breaking. Porous, lightweight sea mammal bone was particularly prized for harpoons, bird arrows, fish spears, fishing hooks, and war arrows. Bone was also used for a variety of household objects - whale vertebrae were hollowed into vessels for grinding plants, and compact, lightweight bird bone was fashioned into needles and awls. In addition to their technological value, some bones had spiritual significance. The Alutiiq people believe that every animal has a soul - a tiny replica of itself that rests in a special part of its body. The Prince William Sound Alutiiqs held that the spirit of the sea otter rested in its bones. As such, the skeletons of captured animals were returned to the water to insure their rebirth. The Alutiiq word for bone is neneq. Until the early 1900s, Alutiiq hunters used harpoons to kill seals and sea lions. This heavy bone harpoon has a sharp blade made of polished stone. It was placed on the end of a long wooden shaft (not shown). The shape of the harpoon made it twist beneath the skin of the animal so it would not pull out.

6 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 6 Keeping Body and Soul Together, the Native Way For thousands of years, Alaska Natives have used the Devil s Club plant for its medicinal qualities. It is said that the plant s beneficial properties were discovered by humans when they noticed injured bears in the wild ingesting the plant. Devil s Club, a large plant found in abundance in Alaska, is also called Devil s Walking Stick and for good reason...the plant is covered with sharp spiny thorns. Botanists also call the plant Echinopanax horridum. It is in the Araliaceae (or Aralia) family and very closely related to Ginsing. Panax is derived from the Greek Panakos (a panacea) in reference to the vast medicinal uses. Echino refers to the spiny thorns and horrid (um) is self evident. Another name for it is Siberian ginseng. The berries are poisonous but have been used to kill lice by mashing them up and applying the paste to the hair. This also treats dandruff and makes the hair shiny. The stems and roots are the primary medicinal part and both can be used, but the roots are more concentrated and easier to use, since the roots don t have the spines and are easier to peel. The dried bark can be brewed into a tea or made into a tincture. It is analgesic, anti-rheumatic, cathartic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, hypoglycaemic, alterative, adaptogen, ophthalmic, and tonic. The active constituents may be saponins and substances with insulin-like activity, but research is still ongoing to identify these medicinal components. It has been called the most valuable medicinal plant native to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Alaska Natives and Native Americans have used it to treat acute & chronic disorders, as well as a protective charm. Laboratory tests of the extract on rabbits showed the blood sugar levels were reduced without any toxic side effects. Laboratory research has also found the extract to be effective at inhibiting a respiratory syncytial virus, and significant anti-candida (yeast) activity, as well as antibacterial and antimycobacterial activity, with ability to kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium. This explains the common use of the tea to treat coughs, colds, and respiratory ailments as well as stomach and intestinal problems. For rheumatism the tea was drunk and also applied to the painful joints. A poultice of the root bark was applied to a nursing mother s breasts to stop excessive flow (at weaning?). An eyewash of the tea was used to treat cataracts. Treatment of diabetes, especially adult onset insulin resistant diabetes is just incredible, reportedly reducing the craving for sugar as well as the elevated blood glucose levels. Some call it a blood and liver tonic. In large doses it is emetic (causes vomiting) and purgative. It has also been used in herbal steam baths for treating general body pain. The burnt stems mixed with oil make a salve for swellings. The root bark boiled in oil and used to treat psoriaisis worked better than hydrocortisone in one study. Like all the ginsengs it is an adaptogen, balancing the stress response and stabilizing the body. The plant, dubbed the Tlingit aspirin by some because of its prevalent use, has not been approved for medicinal use by the Food and Drug Administration.

7 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 7 Tribal Happenings School directed to all who contributed to their campaign to raise funds for their school trip: The Pilot Point Lynx are leaving for Hawaii TO- MORROW!!!...and we are so excited! For those who want to follow the action, we will toss together small videos when we are able and post them to the Pilot Point Lynx YouTube channel. The best way to stay updated is to go to the link below and subscribe to us. You can always unsubscribe after the trip if you wish. Pilot Point Lynx YouTube Channel Thanks to those of you who played a role in the making of this miracle! =o) It is no exaggeration to say that you have played a role in challenging, and even changing, young lives for the better. =o) Our best to each of you, and thanks again. ***Brittany Arey graduated from high school on May 27, *** Frieda Shanigan Byars commented: Brittany Arey s story was very moving and touched my heart. Her story hits close to home and we should all feel a deep sense of pride for her efforts to work at changing the history of abuse in our tribal family, and throughout Alaska. I am sure she will become a great leader, as she is already working toward that goal at her young age. I applaud her for all the great work she is doing. ***A thank-you note was received from the Pilot Point ***Jessica Lukitsch says: I am so proud of my girl, Makayla!!! She had her school awards and won the Christian Character award and the most caring award!! Also from Kingdom Kids at church she won the Goodness award!! God has blessed me with an amazing, God-loving, caring daughter.

8 Native Tribe of Kanatak ***Alex (Tiny) Stailey submitted the following note: I want to thank the Kanatak Council for the great program in which interested Kanatak members were provided a bike. morning and love it. It is so refreshing, not to mention good exercise! It has been a long time since I have ridden one! The first test ride (like I told Tessa,) I crashed in the yard lol, but was determined and went to the street, and now am riding fairly well...here is the picture of Page 8 My son is graduating on June 12th from 8th grade and will be attending Notre Dame High School. The tribe helped partially fund my son in an Elite Baseball Program called Top Tier. Thank you. ***Sophia Kalmakoff Rane submitted the following: These photos are from an 8th grade graduation boat trip for my grandson Joey and his classmates given by his school. He graduates Tuesday, the 12th of June. ***Helen Rane Carbone submitted the following: I finally have something for the newsletter. Attached are pictures of my children. Michelle is catching in softball for the DePaul team.

9 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 9 Kanatak Kids Motorized boats began to impact Alutiiq fishing practices in the late 1930s, as small outboards became available. In those days, a 10-horse kicker cost about $800! In the decade following World War II, more Alutiiq families began to acquire fishing boats. Boat-building became a profitable winter activity. Craftsmen made skiffs, dories and even large boats, such as purse-seiners from local spruce. Those who fished in the Bristol Bay area used 32-foot gill-netters, rather than purse-seiners. Color this picture as you wish. Which type of fishing boat is this: gill-netter or purse-seiner?

10 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 10 Struttin Our Stuff BUT, don t be bashful or humble! If you have not previously been featured here and have a talent, interest, or hobby that might be of interest to the tribal membership, PLEASE contact me, so I can interview you. I can t write what I don t know! Thanks so much!

11 Right- Clicked Photos of tribal members

12 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 12 Programs Available through Kanatak The following programs are available for the membership: 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 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, down-payment 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! Education Program: Funds to be awarded to eligible tribal members seeking higher education and/or specific jobskill 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, non-functioning furnace, water heater, etc. (Low-income members should seek this assistance through BBHA.) Wellness Program: Funds for education and promotion of healthy living, including weight-loss, 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 mum 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. Bicycle Safety Program: Completed this year. These programs generally require the following: completed tribal membership/enrollment (member in good-standing) 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 is- members. Contact the executive director, tribal administrator or Kanatak tribal council for additional information about these programs.

13 Native Tribe of Kanatak Page 13 President Henry F. Forshey Vice-President Alex Giacometti Contact Information Secretary/Treasurer Terrence Jason Shanigan Council Member Anthony Forshey Jr Council Member Shawn Shanigan Executive Director Tess McGowan Tribal Administrator Shawn Shanigan Facebook: Newsletter Editor Jeanette Shanigan Kanatak Tribe Members Website: Mailing Address: Native Tribe of Kanatak PO Box Wasilla, Alaska Physical Address of Office: 1251 Copper Creek Road Wasilla, Alaska