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Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Concerns www.nativeknowledge.org.

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Presentation on theme: "Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Concerns www.nativeknowledge.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Concerns

2 Alaska Native Science Commission Y-K Delta Regional Meeting Summary u Changes u Possible causes of changes u Ideas for action

3 Changes u People dying of cancer u Increased incidence of disease - asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and strokes, brain tumors u Problems with drug abuse, alcohol, tobacco, FAS, huffing, suicide, depression, mental health problems

4 Changes u Change in diet –non- traditional food –store bought meats –pop, juices, junk food u Changes in traditional lifestyle - sedentary, not active, “couch potato”

5 Changes u Boredom u Young people’s diet results in changed lifestyle u Addition - There needs to be a change in what we mean by education – it is includes what we learn about living off the land. u Addition – teacher’s tell kids that they have to graduate and go to college; but when they get back, there aren’t jobs for them. Increased dependence on welfare rather than self-reliance u Correction to above – there aren’t many jobs in villages, even for people who go outside for education, so jobs aren’t an option.

6 u No identified tasks - e.g.chopping wood u Use of motorized transportation u Addition – young people don’t identify with Native foods or the lifestyle u Addition - “doesn’t taste good to speak Yupik, or Athapaskan.”

7 Changes u Loss of respect for traditional ways u Addition – elders are concerned about young people showing loss respect by not participating in traditional activities or respecting other people’s property u Failure to follow traditional restrictions and structures u Addition – loss of land base, selling off of Native allotments

8 Changes: Abnormalities in animals and fish u Whitefish wormy u White spots on flesh of salmon like lesions u Addition – probably the white spots were encysted tape worms u 8 dead whales washed up on beach near Quinhagak (southwesterly wind) u Addition – what kind of whales? when was this? u Addition – in the Bristol Bay area the harbor? seals are getting skinnier.

9 Abnormalities in Fish u Salmon skinny - going “round and round” - broken jaws u Addition – broken jaws from propeller action hitting fish u Addition – “round and round” behavior may be due to introduction of whirling disease (a parasite that grows in the brain of the fish) from outside sportsfisher’s waders.

10 u Trout, red salmon, coho, dog salmon - skinny, some eyes have been pierced u Addition – pierced probably from fish hooks u Fish with different colorings on skin u Codfish and halibut with cheek lesions

11 Changes u Lush fish livers u Addition - some kind of growth inside the liver or roundworms in the livers u Mercury from mining camps in rivers u YKHC studying burbot, pike and whitefish for methylmercury u Ballast water from barges introducing foreign organisms, species and pollutants

12 Changes u Decline of fish - numbers and sizes on all rivers in Y-K u Reduced migration of chinook, coho, chum on Kasigluk River u Correction – it should be Little Kasigluk River and Kisaralik River

13 Changes u Increase in beavers u Addition – given low prices, people aren’t trapping as many beaver as they used to. u Decline in shore birds and songbirds u Birds and fish found with plastic around their necks u Mink have disappeared upriver since not trapped anymore u Question – how far upriver? Which area?

14 Changes u Increase in sportfishing - increased waste in river and destruction of habitat u Addition – they tear up the shore by walking up and down the banks. u Fish being destroyed - too many people touch them, measure them, tear up their mouths u Addition – sportfishers and catch-and- release fishers.

15 Changes u Used to be good weather - now changed u Used to be more snow in winter u New plants and trees where they didn’t used to grow u Where there used to be an abundance of edible plants, now only a few u Addition – increasing wolf populations, possibly in response to increased caribou population. Wolves coming into villages are a threat to young children.

16 changes u Addition – increased human population puts more pressure on the environment; more trophy hunters and fishers – in winter as well as summer. A lot of wanton waste.

17 Possible causes of changes u Water pollution –chlorine and fluoride –rust running into river –outboard motors –fuel spills –antifreeze –honey buckets that overflow

18 Possible causes of changes –Population changes in the Delta –Playing with food - catch and release –Using berry pickers - scrape the ground and damage plants –Barges off-loading in set net areas and destroying habitat –Aluminum boats, tools, pots and pans

19 Possible causes of changes: u Transboundary pollution from Russia and Europe u Large airplanes going to Japan affecting the ozone layer u Question – just to Japan?? u Addition – Dust from storms long distances from here making the snow brown u Changes in the weather

20 Possible causes of changes: u Garbage left out on the land u Dumps that are not fenced - animals eat garbage u Addition – garbage like batteries, fuel cans, thermometers leaching into the environment

21 Ideas for action: promote traditional values u More listening to elders u Respect land and animals u Correction – you should group “land, rivers, mountains, sky” and then separately talk about the different types of animals: marine, terrerstrial. u Follow traditional restrictions u Use traditional medicines u Don’t do things carelessly u Preserve knowledge by sharing now

22 Ideas for Action u Addition – you need to get everybody involved so that there are no special interests – the idea of collaborative leadership. u Addition – you hear good ideas but the agendas get written up an agency so that it is restricted to what the agency wants: from one point to another without being flexible.

23 Ideas for action u Addition – the agencies don’t let their agenda be open to local people to implement. u Need to stop talking and do “hands on” work u Abnormal fish and animals should be tested - establish a regional lab u Get training for grant writing

24 Ideas for action u Agencies need to develop a government to government relationship with federally recognized tribes u We all need to work together - federal, state, private organizations and tribal governments u Addition – be sure to specifically include Native corporations in the above.


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