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AVCP passes 8 resolutions at annual convention

AVCP President and CEO Vivian Korthius at the AVCP Annual Convention in Bethel, Alaska on Oct. 6, 2016.
Dean Swope

The Association of Village Council Presidents Board passed eight resolutions at its annual convention in September. Here's a description of what those resolutions are.

One of AVCP's resolutions calls for the reintroduction and passage of a stranded piece of federal legislation called the the Alaska Tribal Public Safety Empowerment Act. It would allow an experiment in giving Alaska Native tribes civil and criminal jurisdiction over certain crimes committed in Native villages. The act would allow tribal jurisdiction on a pilot basis for civil issues and crimes such as domestic and sexual violence, violating protective orders, crimes against children, assault of law enforcement, and violating drug and alcohol laws.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkoski first introduced the bill in October 2019. It stalled in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs with no co-sponsors. AVCP’s resolution calls on the Alaska Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor the legislation. 

In a related resolution, AVCP commited to addressing the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The AVCP Board called on its own administration to advocate for law enforcement, expand services to support healthy communities, and work with other organizations to address the crisis.

Additionally, AVCP called for passage of legislation that would give state recognition to the 229 federally listed tribes and tribal organizations in Alaska. 

Another resolution calls on AVCP to arrange a field hearing with the Alaska’s Congressional delegation to discuss the state of salmon in Alaska.

And there’s a resolution affirming AVCP’s commitment “to advocating for the protection of the Bering Sea and its resources.” It also calls for “partnership through the Bering Sea tribal coalition, including supporting the region’s participation in the Bering Intergovernmental Tribal Advisory Council.”

A sixth resolution urges the Alaska Legislature and the governor to increase funding for the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact. The compact is a government-to-government agreement between the state and Alaska tribes and tribal organizations signed in 2017. It allows tribes and tribal organizations to provide child welfare services to Alaska Native children and families. These services would otherwise fall to the state. Alaska Native children make up 65% of the children in the state’s child welfare system despite being 15% of the population. AVCP’s resolution claims that more state funding is needed for tribes to provide these child welfare services and to recruit and retain staff with livable wages.

A seventh resolution says that AVCP will continue work to protect the Power Cost Equalization program for rural communities.

Lastly, a resolution recognizes and applauds the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s service to the region throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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