Native Village of Eklutna President Lee Stephan is one of many Native leaders who shared wisdom with Executive Leadership Experience participants during their travels.
From June 12 to 14, Southcentral Foundation President/CEO Dr. Katherine Gottlieb led a trip to visit the Cook Inlet villages with 22 SCF Executive Leadership Experience participants and senior directors. They traveled from Knik to Seldovia, with many stops in between. They visited villages, learned about the communities and their work, and built relationships. ELE participants visited:
Native Village of Eklutna: President Lee Stephan, Tribal Council members, and heads of department
Knik Tribal Council: representatives of Knik Tribal Council Mike Tucker, Raymond Theodore, Theo Garcia, Al Tellman, and Larry Theodore
Chickaloon Village: Traditional Council Member and Director of Health and Education Lisa Wade
Kenaitze Indian Tribe: Executive Director Jaylene Peterson-Nyren, Chairperson Jennifer Showalter Yeoman, and Vice Chairperson Wayne Wilson
Salamatof Tribe: Chief Tribal Officer of the Salamatof Tribe Jon Ross, and Chair of the Salamatof Tribe Chris Monfor
Ninilchik Traditional Council: Tribal Council President Greg Encelewski, and Tribal Administrator Ivan Encelewski
Seldovia Village Tribe: President/CEO Crystal Collier and Seldovia Village Tribe Council members
Participants saw how important partnerships are to SCF and had the opportunity to learn about each Tribe from their leadership. Leaders shared the history, governance, challenges faced for sovereignty, and success stories of ways the communities were made stronger through relationships built while developing an inclusive health care system. Participants also had the opportunity to see a Tribal court system and learn how they partner with the State for Alaska Native people to keep families together.
There was a theme of unity and restoration. Some leaders collectively expressed “We are stronger because we are accountable to each other. We are all speaking unified. We are a voice for every family member. This allows for families to work together for healing and better restoration after families have experienced trauma.”