Alaska Native

University of Alaska-Fairbanks

One of Alaska’s foremost historians has died. Claus-M. Naske passed away last week at age 78, after a long battle with cancer. Naske was a professor of history at the University of Alaska –Fairbanks who wrote or co-authored nearly a dozen books about Alaska history.

Tanana Chiefs Conference

Alaska Native leader and educator Bernice Joseph has died. The 49-year-old Joseph succumbed to cancer Tuesday. She was a former professor and administrator at UAF. And as KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, she maintained strong ties with rural Alaska.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

Tanana Chiefs Conference President Jerry Isaac and the head of the Health and Social Services Commissioner signed an historic agreement Wednesday that will give T-C-C the lead role in managing foster care for tribal children. The agreement is the first of its kind in the nation, and could serve as a model for other Native organizations.

Fairbanks, AK - A construction project in McGrath last year uncovered three skeletons.  Authorities opened a missing persons case, but it turns out these remains have been “missing” for much longer than anyone expected.  Radiocarbon dating shows the bones could be a thousand years old.  Scientists have spent the last year analyzing DNA and isotopes to find out more about who the individuals were, what they ate and  whether they are related to people living in the McGrath area today.

Some Alaska Native Corporations are feeling the pinch of decreased federal government contracting.  Federal contracting is a major source of Native corporation business, primarily through the Small Business Administration’s 8A program, which offers sole source awards.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports an 8A program reform measure is being blamed for part of the decline.

Dan Bross / KUAC

*This story won Third Place for Best Arts Reporting from the Alaska Press Club in 2013.

The A.F.N. Convention was focused in serious issues and politics, but it also provided a venue for Native arts and crafts.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the craft show offered a lot of traditional works, with a few surprises.

Dan Bross / KUAC

The Elders and Youth Conference, a precursor to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention wrapped up Wednesday at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. KUAC’s Dan Bross reports on one of the highlights of the annual gathering: a presentation by a Tanana 4H group.

Elders and Youth

Oct 22, 2013
Dan Bross / KUAC

The First Alaskans Institute Elders and Youth Conference got underway Monday in Fairbanks. The annual precursor to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is in its 30th year, bringing together Alaska Natives from across the state of all ages to hear speakers and participate in issue and culture focused workshops. KUAC’s Dan Bross has more.

Dan Bross / KUAC

Hundreds of Alaska Natives gathered outside the state court house in Fairbanks yesterday to hear news about a local murder case that’s long raised questions.  Four Fairbanks men, 3 of whom are Alaska Native, are serving time for the 1997 stomping death of local teen John Hartman. The case of “the Fairbanks Four” lacked physical evidence and has been reexamined in recent years by local Native advocates and the Alaska Innocence Project. Yesterday the group filed requests for post conviction relief that cite evidence showing the men are innocent.  KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.

Dan Bross / KUAC

Interior Alaska Native leaders shared stories of hardship and messages of hope during addresses at a conference in Fairbanks yesterday.  The annual Rural Providers Conference is aimed at eliminating alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual abuse and suicide through traditional and modern means.  KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.