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Testimony

Submitted to the
Alaska Natives Commission
in connection with a hearing at

Nome, Alaska
September 21, 1992

ALASKA NATIVES COMMISSION
JOINT FEDERAL-STATE COMMISSION
ON
POLICIES AND PROGRAMS AFFECTING ALASKA NATIVES
4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Witness List | Exhibit List | PDF Version

ALASKA NATIVES COMMISSION
HEARING
Nome, ALASKA
SEPTEMBER 21, 1992

Stella Weyiouanna*

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Next would be Stella Weyionanna, instead of Josie, and the (indiscernible) Stella will be speaking on their behalf.
(Pause.)

MS. WEYIONANNA: You'll have to excuse my cold. My name is Stella Weyionanna. I'm the president for our IRA Council at Shishmaref, Alaska.

REPORTER: Can you spell your last name, because I didn't have you.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Yeah, it's the same as Josie -- Josie.

REPORTER: Okay.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Just cross out Josie and put Stella.

REPORTER: Right, thanks.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Actually, we had directed our general manager to get more information regarding this Alaska Natives Commission testimony, so we didn't quite have anything prepared. I'll just kind of bring out some main concerns that usually come up from -- at our meetings.

One that I could kind of touch up on is the Native education. As Stanton was saying, I had this kind of written down, 'cause it was stressed that -- at an AFN resolution that was introduced -- a youth resolution that was introduced at the ICC, it was stressed that an elder should be placed in a school system where Inupiat, or where our languages -- or where our bilingual staff are not fluently talking it; but in those schools where our bilingual instructors are teaching like the culture and tradition in English and not having our Inupiat language spoken, that an elder should be placed along with the bilingual staff to pass on -- even to have the kids recognize the Native language when it is spoken, and then to converse with the other bilingual staff, and in that way they at least exposed to the sound and maybe start to understand and even talk the language. So that was -- and als -- not only the language, but also to teach the culture and tradition of those people.

The other priority, I think, that we're always coming up with in the villages is the water and sewer. That should become a priority in the villages, because some of the villages do not have water and sewer, and they end up with a system where it's -- like in Shishmaref they have the honey-bucket system; and they have like a bin placed in each home; and this happens to -- this tends to draw a lot of these real unhealthy flies. We've been getting a lot of those, and we have like a dump at the other si -- other end of the village, and I think it should be stressed that water and sewer should become a priority to make it more healthy for the people in the villages. And that way I guess it would kind of lessen so -- a lot of the illnesses that's go around.

And as for our IRA Councils and offices, we, in the last few years, have hardly any moneys to operate on, because of our 104-A moneys being -- I'm not sure if you call it distinguished -- or I mean extinguished; but, in order to have a strong governing body to address important issues as these, like the subsistence, we need to have moneys in our IRAs to fund like a full staff -- not only a general manager, but a full staff, like a secretary --

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Administration fund.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Administration, yeah.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: ‘kay.

MS. WEYIONANNA: That type. Because, without that, we can't keep addressing issues that come up like this, without having a full --

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Right.

MS. WEYIONANNA: -- a full staff.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Do you call 'em 104-A?

MS. WEYIONANNA: They used to be called 104-A moneys.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Okay.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Through BIA.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Okay, okay.

MS. WEYIONANNA: But I guess we need to try to find moneys to make our councils more stronger, so we can address issues such as these.

And also under the education, this has, I guess, been brought up with the school districts, but the classified staff payroll is usually like during the school year; and they're left without any type of income during the summer months. And we weren’t sure which direction to go to, even to somehow get unemployment compensation for those classifieds now. I don't know if that's a federal or state issue, but it seemed like that we should look into this, so the staff like during the summer months wouldn't have to apply for public assistance or that type situation.

And another point that I had wanted to bring up was that it would have been beneficial if this testimony would have been right after the regional conference, where all these issues -- all the Native issues would have been brought up. They would have been reviewed and discussed, and if they were -- if they had discussed these and then brought them to like a hearing like this, I'm sure that that would have been very beneficial for our region.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Okay, Stella.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Uh-huh (affirmative).

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: Thanks. I have checked into the unemployment issue, and it was originally a federal responsibility, and they paid the BIA staff, you know; and when the states took over the BIA, the state paid in the neighborhood of three and a half million, four million a year. And in order to keep it going, they would have had to put about a four-million-dollar thing in there, and this is one of those things that Willie Hensley tried unsuccessfully to get; and we helped him trying to get it; but thanks for bringing it up here at a Commission hearing (indiscernible). Putting it in the record is valuable, so. . .

MS. WEYIONANNA: Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah, even if it -- they did get -- I mean, they find other sources, you know, to try to get their income, such as like public assistance, and that still does use, you know, considerable moneys to try and get them back up.

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: 'kay.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: Just for -- well, to help me, and I think perhaps there may be others on the Commission who don't know exactly what you meant by 104-A money. If you could just -- for the record, maybe if you could just let us know what that is.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Those used to be BIA moneys that were what they call 104-A moneys, and the IRA would operate on these moneys that were allocated like from the -- I believe, the federal government. And like they had these for years, and in the last few years, they kind of started to become smaller and smaller, until now the villages are no longer receiving these moneys. But if you wanted to get a clarification of that, the BIA area office should have that information. I'm not too sure if I clarified that.

COMMISSIONER ELLIOTT: All right. Thank you, Stella.

MS. WEYIONANNA: Uh-huh (affirmative).

COMMISSIONER TOWARAK: What we'll do right now is stand in recess until we receive more people to prepare testimony, and we will resume when more people come in. Thank you.

(Off record at 2:00 p.m.)


This document was ocr scanned. We have made every attempt to keep the online document the same as the original, including the recorder's original misspellings or typos. The correct spelling is supposed to be "Weyiouanna".

 
 

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