U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Alaska Native Affairs

Overview

Alaska Native peoples have been here for thousands of years and continue to live a traditional way of life; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) honors that livelihood. We partner with tribes and Alaska Native organizations on formal financial and non-monetary agreements; and countless ongoing, long-standing informal and formal agreements across Alaska. These pages are just a snapshot of the many activities in which, together with Alaska Native peoples, we collaborate, live with, live from, learn from, and enjoy this place we call home.

Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council with Commissioner Sam Cotten and Regional Directory Greg Siekaniec after the ceremony. Photo by USFWS
Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council with Commissioner Sam Cotten and Regional Directory Greg Siekaniec after the ceremony. Photo by USFWS

State of Alaska joins Service in Formal Apology for Harmful Impacts of Past Bird Harvest Phohibitions

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game formally apologized to Alaska Native peoples Thursday, September 13, 2018. The apology recognizes hardships Alaska Native families experienced from implementation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the 1960s and 70s. "This moment ... can bring healing, and healing is what needs to happen for Natives throughout the State," said Gayla Hoseth, AMBCC Native Caucus Co-Chair and Bristol Bay Regional Advisory Committee Representative. Council members honored many Alaska Native leaders who worked to change the Act during the ceremony. The apology was presented to the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council at their fall meeting by USFWS Regional Director Greg Siekaniec and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten. 

Cleaning fish on the river
Cleaning fish on the river. Photo Credit: USFWS

Writing an Alaska Native Relations Policy

Alaska Native peoples have lived from, with and as a part of the environment since time immemorial, and as such, have a direct connection to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mission.  We are in the process of developing a new chapter of the Native American Policy which will be tailored to the specific uniqueness of the Alaska Region.  Tribal consultation and ANCSA Corporation consultation is available through September 2016.  An open public comment period will occur in early 2017.  Here is a draft Alaska Native Relations Policy for your review and comment.  Contact Crystal Leonetti to set up consultation for your Tribal Government or ANCSA Corporation..

Refuge Law Enforcement Cross Cultural Communication

Federal Wildlife Officers in Alaska engage in a range of public outreach and education activities. They annually host and participate in Youth Wildlife Officer Camps at various locations across the state, speak in schools, participate in the Ride for Life suicide prevention program, and lead hunter education, snow machine safety, and wilderness survival courses. Officers in Alaska approach their work with a heart-felt compassion for community and personally take the initiative to deliver moose, sheep, caribou, duck, goose and fish to elders. They invest in cross-cultural training and education, including recently developing a 13-minute video to help raise awareness among Federal Wildlife Officers, Special Agents, and other employees of the Service about Alaska Native communication and how to avoid misunderstanding and rush to judgment, especially during law enforcement contacts and interviews. View the video on our YouTube Channel!

Refuge Law Enforcement Cross Cultural Communication
Refuge Law Enforcement Cross Cultural Communication. Photo Credit: USFWS

Alaska Native Relations

Crystal Leonetti
Alaska Native Affairs Specialist
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99503
907-786-3868
crystal_leonetti@fws.gov
Joanne Bryant 
Tribal Communication and Outreach Specialist
101 12th Avenue, Room 236
Fairbanks, AK 99701
907-455-1834
joanne_bryant@fws.gov
Kyle James
Tribal Wildlife Grant Coordinator
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99503
907-786-3696
ak_twg@fws.gov