Nenana Wellness Coalition
October 27, 2015
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, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had seven participants today: Kat McElroy, Bonnie Reed, Virginia Young, Jeannie Bennett, Miles Martin, Tim Horn and David Poppe. We enjoyed moose stew, kimchee, pickled purple cabbage, raisins with pecans, and Ritz crackers with sliced cheese for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson, Jeannie Bennett.
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: Tim sang a song and made a short prayer followed by a moment of silence.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There was one modification to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list. Kat mentioned that when she booted up her email this morning, last week’s minutes popped in to her In Box, so perhaps they did not mail out last week when she hit send. She will be more conscious in the future of the lag time with her slow computer at home.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new visitors today.
Envisioning Wellness: November 10th we will have a presentation by Inna Rivkin, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Center for Alaska Native Health Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks who wants to do an oral history project as a prevention strategy with our students in Nenana interviewing elders. She is a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She and her colleague Lisa Wexler have been in dialogue with Eric Gebhart and Sherri Carattini about the project. They are seeking to engage collaborators to partner with and guide the project so that it fits Nenana’s needs and context.
From Dr. Rivkin’s email to Tim: The proposed project involves developing, implementing, and testing a collaborative intervention, for which we would seek funding through an NIH (e.g. NIAAA) intervention planning grant. As part of this intervention, digital stories would be used to prompt intergenerational conversations about resilience and mentorships for high school youth in Nenana. The project would build on traditional cultural systems (Elders guiding youth) and would use digital media to expand the impact of storytelling and help promote positive cultural identity, belonging, and purpose. The details on the project would depend on what would best fit for community / school district priorities and contexts. As part of the program, Native adult and Elder role models would create digital stories about cultural resilience and sources of strength in coping with struggles in their lives. These stories would be viewed by groups of local native role models (from Nenana and from students’ home communities) along with high school youth. The local role models would expand on the themes in the stories and reflect on how they intersect with their own lives and perspectives. Youths would share their own stories, and would then create digital stories as well. Outcomes of the intervention would be assessed through a combination of computerized surveys, focus groups, and participant narratives.
November 17th, Kat will show the award-winning documentary The House I Live In, which explores the economic and moral failure of U.S. “War on Drugs” and won the top documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. It which questions why the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on drug arrests in the past 40 years, and yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. The film examines the economic, as well as the moral and practical, failures of the so-called “war on drugs” and calls on the United States to approach drug abuse not as a “war,” but as a matter of public health. We need “a very changed dialogue in this country that understands drugs as a public health concern and not a criminal justice concern,” says the film’s director, Eugene Jarecki. “That means the system has to say, ‘We were wrong.'” The film features Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow,” Canadian physician and bestselling author, Gabor Maté, and David Simon, creator of “The Wire.” Kat would like to use this viewing as a springboard to have a public showing of the documentary for the greater community sometime this winter.
December 215th, Miles Martin will be talking to us about Winter Gardens. He will talk about some of his successes with indoor gardening the past few winters. He said he especially wants to focus on how to deal with pests (like aphids).
Thanksgiving: Jeannie is talking to Kathy Morgan about use of the tribal hall. There are issues of other users not cleaning up after themselves. A cleaning deposit may be required. Kathy will ask the Native Council when they meet and let Jeannie know. Rebecca is willing to cook the donated turkey. Kat will make mulled cider, potatoes and gravy. Miles donated cider and apples for Mary to make a pie. Bonnie will also make pie. The time is set for 4 PM, Friday November 27th.
Nenana Health Fair: The Fair is scheduled for April 2nd, 2016, to be held at the Civic Center. This year it will focus on adult health issues but as always we would like to have youth participation. After considerable discussion, it was decided that we would have blood work from 8 AM- Noon and have participant booths scheduled from 9 AM- 1 PM. Jeannie is filling out the registration paperwork and will have Laura cut a check to pay the site fee so our event will be officially registered.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: “O Great Spirit Whose voice I hear in the winds, And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.”
Tim: The Nenana Book Club is reading The Ravens Gift, by Don Reardon and will meet to discuss it first Monday of November, 7 PM, the 2nd.
Friday, October 30th, the kids will be wearing their costumes to school and so one might expect some trick-or-treaters that night. There will be a Harvest Festival 4-6 PM at the old court house, hosted by the LDS for youngsters and at 6PM, the school Halloween Carnival, in the school gym. Annalee Coy suggested on the Nenana FB page: If you are welcoming those early birds on Friday, indicate so with your porch light on. If you don’t want kids Friday (or Saturday for that matter), simply turn off your porch light.
Saturday, October 31st, there is a Trunk-or-Treat sponsored by Village Subs, people who live out the road are invited to bring their vehicles there, and youth are encouraged to come trick-or-treat. Folks can line up their vehicles and pass out candy from 3:00-5:00PM, contact Angie for more information
Fall Back, one hour, the evening of Saturday, October 31st.
Dr. Victor DeNoble will be doing his presentation twice on November 3, at Nenana City Public School, once at 1 PM to the elementary students and again at 2PM for the Jr, High and HS students, open to the entire community.
The Nenana Ice Cream Classic will be held Friday and Saurday, November 13th and 14th, in the gym, at Nenana City Public School.
David: Bought a big mixer/grinder from Ann Bradshaw which should make shorter work of grinding hundreds of pounds of feed each day to tend the 60 plus pigs.
Kat: Will be gone next week to the Change Agent meeting in Anchorage.