YK tribes demand special AVCP convention

Executive council of the Association of Village Council President’s 51st annual conference. (Photo by Dean Swope/ KYUK)
Executive council of the Association of Village Council President’s 51st annual conference. (Photo by Dean Swope/ KYUK)

Yukon-Kuskokwim tribes are demanding the Association of Village Council Presidents hold a special convention next month to discuss regional self-governance.

Akiak tribal member Mike Williams says almost 30 tribes have signed a resolution calling for the convention, scheduled for March 22-23 in Bethel in the ONC multipurpose room. The timing allows tribes to gather before summer subsistence hits.

The demands come, Williams says, after AVCP regional delegates unanimously passed a motion at last fall’s annual convention to hold a special gathering on Feb. 16 on regional determination, but the event failed to occur.

“We had been looking at a borough and constitutional form of government under the tribes. We had been examining a lot of options to unite the region,” he said.

Williams says the tribes have received no response from the AVCP administration on their demands.

But AVCP Executive Vice President Mike Hoffman says he has not received any information from the tribes on this issue and that Feb. 16 was never a hard date for a special convention.

Rather, Hoffman says, the delegates floated the date at the annual convention, but the executive board nailed down the official days for June 8-9 at its meeting last month.

Akiak Native Community Chief Ivan Ivan says he signed the resolution and will attend whenever the convention occurs.

On Thursday Ivan announced his resignation as Unit 4 representative for the AVCP Executive Board.

His resignation began immediately and left no executive AVCP representation for Akiachak, Akiak, Kwethluk, or Tuluksak.

“I served on their behalf to the best of my abilities to protect their subsistence hunting and fishing life and to fight against alcohol and drug issues and our quest to continue our yuyurag as instructed by our family members and area elders,” he said.

Ivan says he will continue working on these issues as Chief of the Akiak Native Community.