Nenana Wellness Coalition
December 20, 2016
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 7 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Natalie Chong, Jessica Shaw, Magen Spencer, Virginia Young and Mary Alexander. We enjoyed baked penne pasta with marinara sauce, meat balls, pickled turnips, kimchee, pickled salmon bellies, Ritz crackers, assorted sliced cheeses and mixed raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Virginia Young.
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was lead by Kat, with a short prayer asking for strength and guidance in our wellness efforts.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no changes to our agenda today.
MINUTES: Minutes generated last week were posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
A Training Opportunity: Jessica Shaw brought us information about a TCC traini9ng opportunity. Nenana may select three candidates to participate in a series of trainings that focus on community efforts to reduce sexual and domestic violence. These three multiple day workshops will be held in Fairbanks, conducted by nationally renowned trainers and are scheduled to take place January 18-22, March 27-29 and May 10-12. They are seeking to identify community members, not necessarily professionals already working with these issues, willing to participate in the trainings, to institute community action plans to reduce violence via leadership development. Interested people may email Teisha Simmons at Tanana Chiefs Conference: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jessica at Nenana Native Council for more information. Candidates need to be identified by the end of the week. They are seeking people with a real passion for this issue.
Jessica also told us that NNC has an opening for a 20 hour a week Grant Development Specialist, for up to 400 hours of employment. The successful candidate will be given training through TCC but need to have strong writing, communication & organizational skills. This position closes January 6th, 4 PM. Interested parties should call Jessica at Nenana Native Council.
Lastly, she mentioned that NNC just posted a flyer on Americorps opportunities for working with youth.
Web Art : Natalie Chong Began our wax resist/watercolor project with a short discourse on how she does this activity with youth in the school. The purpose of the project is to allow people to explore the nature of their individual webs of support. She talked about some of the different approaches various students took and showed us some examples of their work. This helps people identify their anchors and patterns of relatedness. She explained how people’s webs morph over time as we mature. We become more frequently anchors for others, and our webs of support expand proportionally. She talked about how being connected to others helps people to develop “feels good” chemicals such as oxytocin. She asked us to think about all the people who support us, and the people we support and to use this art project to depict some aspect of that.
Natalie provided us with heavy water color paper, pencils and wax crayons and we each began working on our project. The wax crayons were used to sketch our webs of support, and then water colors were used to add color and texture to our depictions. Natalie showed us a neat technique of using salt to fast-dry the watercolors, which created some interesting effects. We chatted as we worked, discussing support systems, families, community, work, school, how whatever people we spend time with become part of our web in often mutual support. It was noted how younger people are more dependent and need strong and multiple supports while as we grow older, we are less dependent and can provide more support to others. Then, often as we age, we find ourseleves becoming dependent again, and in need of strong webs of support with many anchors. Afterwards, we discussed a little bit about our art work and how it represented our webs of support.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: The Great One has given every human being at least one special talent and one special gift. We need to develop and practice these gifts because they are the handiwork of God. Maybe we are artists-when people look at our work it puts joy in their hearts; maybe we are singers- when people listen to our songs, their hearts are happy; maybe we are writers of song or poetry-when people hear or read our work, it may change their lives. We need to honor ourselves and our gifts. We need to thank the Creator for our talents and our gifts.”
Jessica: Thursday night, 12-22-16, will be the NNC Christmas community dinner and gift exchange, 6:30PM.
Bonnie: Tim’s procedure is complete and she will be coming home tomorrow.
Mary: Harriett is back and looks and says she feels “wonderful.”
Natalie: Brought colorful handmade Christmas greeting cards created by her students which they are selling as a fund raiser.
Also, she bought 100% cotton thick hooded sweat shirts and good gloves and hats for the four NSLC students in need of better winter gear and is accepting donations to help defray those costs.
Kat: Nenana Urban Farm has beef for sale: 832-1078.
Next week, as a special holiday treat, Natalie is going to cook us a Korean meal. Kat will bring a pot of brown rice. Everyone should join us for a wonderful traditional meal!