Nenana Wellness Coalition
November 27, 2012
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
There were 10 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Bonnie Reed, Virginia Young, Jessica Durtsche, Rebecca, Bill & Emily Troxel, Miles Martin and Evelyn Verhagan. We enjoyed moose heart with barley soup, Cole slaw, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Rebecca Troxel.
PRAYER was led by Rebecca Troxel, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There was one addition to the agenda as presented.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
Restorative Justice: Kat spoke with our local magistrate, Brian Fischer, to invite his input into this issue. He seems favorable. He also encouraged her to talk to Magistrate McLean in Galena, who apparently is the go-to guy for information on what he calls Circle Justice. The VPSO, staff at Railbelt Mental Health & Addictions, and tribal court are all entities that will need to be involved. Robin has put this on the agenda for the Community Pride/Village Safety meeting to be held at the tribal hall December 31st.
She has talked with key stake-holders in Nenana: the tribe, the city, the school, public safety, and all seem amenable to exploring alternative approaches. There was discussion about how the current system works: offense, arrest, court, incarceration, probation, recidivism. Kat notes that she has had clients that have been involved in probation since early teen years who are now in late 30’s and even 40’s; the behaviors that are resulting in arrest and incarceration continue unabated. One goal of restorative justice is to allow the person who has committed an offense in a community to make restitution to the people/community harmed. For Nenana to be able to create a restorative justice process that can effectively do that will require buy-in from everyone. Kat encourages everyone to talk to anyone they know who might be interested in helping to shape change in our justice system: attorneys, friends and neighbors, relatives, anyone who has been involved in the criminal justice system. Not just key people but members of the general public, across all domains, will need to be involved in this system change if it is to work.
Envisioning Wellness: Per email with Robin Campbell at Nenana Native Campbell, she is willing to do an EW presentation to WIN, an update on NNC. Tim came up with a couple of suggested dates for Robin, December 11, January15th, January 22. Kat will email these possible dates for Robin to pick one. Tim will contact Andreas to identify a date for him to present to us about his PhD project. Rebecca will be preparing a PowerPoint presentation about the city library, per previous discussion.
Low Cost Housing: Miles added this item for discussion. He notes that we have people in our community that are homeless and we have empty housing badly in need of renovation. He wonders if it isn’t possible to obtain these structures (buy them) and use them as alternative housing. Perhaps people who are currently living in a vehicle would be willing to perform repair and maintenance tasks in return for housing. He talked to his friend from Arizona who just bought a derelict building cheaply here in Nenana, which will be used two or three weeks every summer but otherwise left empty. His friend expressed concerns regarding the great liability it would leave on the owner of the property if anyone living there were to become injured; the owner could be sued or held liable. Kat had asked Miles about this as she knew a man currently homeless who has nowhere to live this winter. Miles wonders if there is any way that as a community we could create viable low-cost housing for indigent and transient residents. Virginia suggested that ideally there would be a property manager of some sort to oversee arrangements and help assure that nothing untoward occurred, to foresee and avoid liability issues.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Patience is the key to Paradise ~Turkish Proverb
Howard Luke extends an invitation to everyone to attend a Talking Circle at his campo, starting at 2 PM, Saturday, December 8th.
Directions to Howard’s: Drive out Chena Pump and up Chena Ridge Roads, Turn left onto Rosie Creek Road, follow to down to Old Perkin’s Landing. Park there and hike across the Tanana River one half mile. The trail is well marked.
Virginia: Her daughter and new son-in-law will be staying at her place while she is Outside over the holidays.
Rebecca: Aerin has dyed her hair bright red and is very pleased with the results.
Evelyn: The Verhagans will again host the Christmas nativity, at the Civic Center, December 20th, 7 PM. As always, they need volunteers to play the roles: shepherds, Wise Men, etc. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. There will be a rehearsal the Saturday before. For more information, call Evelyn (907) 460-6840
Tim: The Winter Concert at the school will be Wednesday, 11-28-12, 6 PM, in the gym
Book Club is reading Empire of the Summer Moon and will meet next to discuss that at Kat’s house Monday, December 3, 7 PM.
December 4 is the date set for the next community planning meeting at the tribal hall.
December 6, Thursday, will be the Christmas Program for K-5th grades in the Pit at NCPS, starting at 6:30 PM.
Bill: Has begun driving the ambulance for the EMT responders; has made two runs so far to Fairbanks and received accolades from the passengers.
Bonnie: The Christmas community lunch and bazaar will be held at NCPS December 13, starting at 11AM, in the cafeteria.
December 14th the junior high will have a Madrigal dinner and play, 7PM, in the Pit.
The 17th will be the first home basketball game.
December 20, school is out for Xmas break.
The 21st will be the Christmas lunch at the Senior Center.
Santa will host a community Christmas celebration at the Civic Center December 22, 7 PM, with gifts for the little kids.
December 22 also, PINK will be selling pies at Coghill’s Store as a fundraiser.
Don’t Forget: the Senior’s Christmas Bazaar this weekend, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY at the Civic Center.
David: Cows are all doing well. He’s busy, feeding, milking them, and making cheese.
Kat: Beverly Joseph and her son Michael are back from Seattle. They have returned to Fairbanks, where Michael continues receiving medical care including dialysis. Thanks everyone for the prayers and well wishes.
ADJOURNMENT: 1:40 PM.