Wrangell Sentinel -

By Dan Rudy 

Tribal fair extends services to region's villages


Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

On Aug. 25, Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Richard Peterson (seated, left) meets with community members at the Client Service Benefit Fair in Wrangell. The annual fair travels throughout Southeast at the end of each summer and will be in Kasaan this afternoon.

On Aug. 25, members of Wrangell's Native community were invited to stop into Wrangell Cooperative Association's new cultural center to meet with Tlingit-Haida Central Council (CCTHITA) President Richard Peterson and various department heads.

In an effort to improve the council's outreach to its member communities, Peterson has pushed to reinvigorate its end-of-summer Client Service Benefit Fair since taking office last spring. Starting with Saxman on Aug. 24, fairs will be held through the next month in Craig, Klawock, Hydaburg, Kasaan and Haines.

"I think this was a pretty large gathering of their employees," commented Aaron Angerman, WCA's tribal administrator.

Tables laden with information and forms were set up inside the Wrangell facility, and residents had the opportunity to meet with more than a dozen heads or representatives of CCTHITA's different programs. Not only were tribal citizens able to learn about different opportunities, but they could also provide feedback, thereby improving the delivery of services.

As a federally-recognized tribe representing nearly 30,000 tribal citizens worldwide, CCTHITA provides a wide range of services in the region. The council negotiates an annual agreement with the Department of Interior, Office of Self-Governance and Bureau of Indian Affairs to fund these services.

Through tribal resolution, village tribes can engage CCTHITA to enter a compact with the federal government on the their behalf. Programs are offered as needed, and some communities opt to provide certain services for themselves. Among the council's offered services are burial assistance, college student assistance, enrollment, forestry and natural resources, welfare and general assistance, Indian Child Welfare Act, Johnson O'Malley, job placement and training, and Realty.

Other programs and services are also offered to communities based on funding received through other agencies. A full listing of services available through CCTHITA can be found online at http://www.ccthita.org/services/overview/documents.


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