In all my life growing up in Igiugig, I do not remember a more spectacular spring season. Everyday the sun is shining, naturally energizing us all. We’ve had more barbecues, maniaqs, and outdoor adventures in an ice-free lake and river. There is something about the outdoors and sunshine that brings the community together and you can feel the happiness. We are such a happy bunch right now if a big rain cloud were to roll up we’d probably jump with pure joy!
In the last month we had a visit from Ruth St. Amour, the local government specialist for DCCED to review the Municipal Lands Trustee Program (MLT). This program is for Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) villages that do not have a city government. Section 14(c)(3) of ANCSA stipulates that at least 1,280 acres (unless otherwise agreed upon) of village corporation land conveyances from the federal government must be designated for community use and expansion of a city. In communities without a city, the State of Alaska holds the land “in trust” for any future city (http://commerce.alaska.gov/dcra/pub/OverviewMLTProgram.pdf). The Igiugig Native Corporation finally completed it’s 14(c) survey, and thus just last month all the 14(c)(3) properties were deeded to the State of Alaska in trust for the future city of Igiugig and IVC will be signing leases for parcels that we use. For example, the washeteria, bulk fuel farm, the landfill, etc. are on municipal lands. The Igiugig Native Corporation has also deeded certain properties directly to IVC such as Lot 13, which the clinic sits on, so this property is owned by the tribe and lies outside the MLT. The MLT Program must consult with local residents in the management of municipal trust land, and a representative group called an “appropriate village entity” (AVE) can speak for the community; in Igiugig, the village council serves as the AVE. This is just a little of what I’m learning on the job that I thought worthwhile sharing.
We also applied for TIGER VI funding to build the eleven miles of Kaskanak Road, which is a wish in the wind but worth trying for. We also submitted a small application to design trail improvements for the 23 miles of Kukaklek Lake Trail and will see what surfaces.
I’ve made the most of the good weather before the swarms of sandflies came out. I organized a clean-up crew to tackle the landfill and wind-blown trash – we picked up over forty bags! We prepped the landfill, water treatment plant, distribution line, and lagoon for the arrival of a BBAHC Environmental Health representative to complete our Sanitary Surveys. I will help with the Village Clean -up that is scheduled on May 20th, but after that my spring cleaning will be officially done with for the year.
Other than the mundane and ever time-consuming administrative activities, I still try to make the most of each day. I managed to ace my Yup’ik 103 exam and plan to take the next course in the fall. I attended an evening of Goose Camp festivities, baked a cake for Stacie Garrison’s goodbye barbecue, had a good visit with the dental team, and had a wonderful Mother’s Day and Graduation celebration. Congratulations Class of 2014—we are so proud of you!!! Best of luck to our friends and graduates, as they venture out of this little village!