On Monday, December 22, at 4PM the Igiugig Village Council convened for the annual meeting, election, and Christmas party. Chief Financial Officer, Sandy Alvarez, provided the financial overview for 2014, including BIA funds, fixed assets, and the electric utility. Overall, greenhouse sales doubled from last year, but fuel, electric, rentals, gift shop, etc. stayed fairly constant. In 2014, IVC hired 40 employees in a village population of 64. The local hire rate was 93% and the local wages were 99%.
The President, AlexAnna Salmon, reported how administration and employees work to fulfill the Igiugig Comprehensive Community Strategic Plan and our organizational mission: The Igiugig Tribal Village Council serves Igiugig, a self-sufficient village with strong cultural and environmental values. Our mission is to provide resources, programs, and infrastructure to enhance our quality of life.
2014 was a phenomenal year for the Emergency Services, the local ETT group was recertified, IVC acquired a patient transport vehicle, a firetruck, and rescue boat. It was also a stellar year of renewable energy demonstration projects with the hydrokinetic demonstration successful, the wind power study underway, and the hangar lighting upgrade. It was also a good year for cultural endeavors. The Igiugig Book was completed. A documentary on Mary Olympic is nearly complete. A grant titled, “A Yup’ik Understanding of the Plants Around Us” is underway. In 2015 we would like to create a short cultural play for the students to perform, which depicts the history of our people and the values we live by.
IVC is also looking to add a new tribal administrator, accounting assistant, and new IGAP director for 2015.
Kannon Lee, IGAP Director until January 15, provided a report on current projects and future goals for the environmental program. An Air-Monitoring Project is in progress, involving the installation of monitors in homes to check air quality. A Spill Response Project is a future goal under water quality management, in order to train residents how to respond in the event of an oil spill affecting the river. Solid waste management is a primary focus for next year’s budget which is now being finalized. He also recognized our outstanding youth workers who are taking initiative in helping the program.
Next, we heard an annual update from our two subsidiary companies. Christina Salmon, Manager of Iliaska Environmental, reported on Big Mountain ground water sampling and the purchase of a rock quarry - a long term investment of the company. Karl Hill, Assistant Manager of Iliamna Lake Contractors, provided a report on 2014 jobs which included the hydrokinetic project, repairing the Fish and Game landing, management of our local roads program, and the upcoming surface water in-take project. The majority of labor for both subsidiary companies was completed by local workers. The manager of the company, Helene Herndon, is phasing out her involvement in the coming year so ILC is preparing for that transition.
After the formal presentations, Jiles Pourier and Renee Grounds presented certificates and prizes to the seven teams that completed the Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Kannon Lee was recognized and thanked by IVC for his hard work and dedication as our Grants Administrator and Environmental Director the past few years. Sandy Alvarez was selected as the Citizen of the Year 2014. Meeting goers then watched the 2014 Slide Show, produced by April Hostetter, a wonderful photographic year in review.
Door prizes, large and small, were announced throughout the gathering. Tanya provided the Christmas gifts to all the children from the BBNA Angel Tree project.
THANK YOU for another wonderful year serving this community and IVC Board. The RuRAL CAP Board President, Jacqueline Dailey, said it best: “People know it’s never just one person or one leader that brings about change for communities. It’s all of us working together because we each have a very important role in our communities.” This echoes nicely with an important quote from my recent Community Doers trip to Fairbanks, “No one Is More Important than All of Us.” And of course, the theme of the AFN Convention this year was Rise as One. Let’s carry this message through 2015. Happy New Year!