Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau

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Jennifer Canfield is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

The 32nd annual Elders and Youth conference begins today in Anchorage. Hundreds of Alaska Natives, young and old, will meet over the next two-and-a-half days to learn about and discuss a diverse set of issues. This year’s theme is “Not in our smokehouse!”

The Office on Violence Against Women this week launched a website aimed at helping colleges and universities deal with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus. The office, which is in the U.S. Department of Justice, calls the site a “comprehensive online clearinghouse.” Download Audio

Law enforcement must uphold tribal protection orders the same as it does state protective orders, regardless of whether the order has been registered with the state, the attorney general announced in an opinion issued Thursday. The AG also encouraged the legislature to amend Alaska law to bring it into compliance with the Violence Against Women Act. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Thursday in Anchorage. The bill, also known as Erin’s Law, was controversial for some and stalled by a legislature that was at odds regarding the state’s fiscal situation. While the fight over Erin’s Law may be over, two lawmakers who worked on the bill say there is still more to be done.
Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, testified last year in the House Education Committee on House Bill 233, also known as Erin’s Law. Rep. Geran Tarr is the bill sponsor. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would fund the implementation of Erin’s Law in states where it’s been adopted.

The State of Alaska still has not released all documents and emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal. Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News sued the state for the documents last October after the Parnell administration took four months to deny public record requests. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker named his new rural affairs adviser Tuesday at the Alaska Federation of Natives winter retreat in Kotzebue. Gerad Godfrey’s full title is “Senior Advisor on Rural Business and Intergovernmental Affairs” — a title that Godfrey says is meant to communicate that much of his work will focus on economic development in villages and bringing tribes to the table when the state consults local governments. Download Audio

Sen.-elect Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, plans to introduce a bill to move the Alaska Legislature to Anchorage. Stoltze isn’t proposing a full-on capital move. Instead, KTUU reports that the bulk of state government would remain in Juneau and legislative sessions would be held at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. Download Audio

Rep. Cathy Muñoz (R- Juneau) will reintroduce a bill this legislative session to make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Download Audio

All three of the capital city’s state lawmakers handily won re-election Tuesday. Sen. Dennis Egan and Reps. Cathy Muñoz and Sam Kito III all got at least 60 percent of the votes counted in their respective races on Election Day.

The Federal Subsistence Board’s rural determination process will change, according to an announcement made at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention last month. Download Audio

There are numerous redactions in the released documents, and some of the requested documents are not included; many are still under review and are subject to release in the coming days.

The U.S. Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case concerning a non-Native couple’s adoption of an Alaska Native child. In September, the Native Village of Tununak lost its appeal against the State of Alaska and the adoptive couple. Download Audio

University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh will retire in May. He announced his retirement Monday in an email to Southeast campus councils and the UAS Alumni Board of Directors.

The Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up their annual convention with the usual process of amending and voting on resolutions. The resolutions process was similar to past conventions except for the notable difference this year of candidate endorsements. Download Audio

Candidate for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and incumbent Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday. AFN delegates voted Saturday to endorse Begich for re-election. An endorsement of Bill Walker for governor and Byron Mallot for lieutenant governor was also announced.

Candidates for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and Sen. Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday. Download Audio

The head of Alaska’s largest Native organization publicly criticized Gov. Sean Parnell Thursday morning, the opening day of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage. Download Audio

The Tanana 4-H club returned to the Elders and Youth Conference Tuesday, following up on their emotional presentation at last year’s conference. The group’s message is still the same: they don’t always feel safe or cared for and they want that to change, but now they’re also taking a stand against marijuana legalization. Download Audio

Alaska’s largest Native organization will vote on candidate endorsements Saturday morning. The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors has drafted two resolutions that will be heard on the final day of the AFN convention in Anchorage. Download Audio