Members of SEARHC present the Skagway Traditional Council with the $50,000 check at the council’s community center. PHOTO BY DAN FOX

By DAN FOX
EDITOR

At a small presentation in April, members of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) gave a check for $50,000 to Skagway’s Traditional Council.

According to Leatha Merculieff, vice president of executive administration with SEARHC, the group is only asking the organizations that received the money to document what the funds are spent on.

Skagway is one of fifteen communities to receive the money from SEARHC, Merculieff said.

The gift comes down from the SEARHC Board of Directors, which voted to distribute $50,000 to 15 of the Southeast Alaska communities SEARHC is active in.

The window of time for the money to be spent is limited; it needs to be spent by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

“What a gift,” said Jaime Bricker, president of the Traditional Council, after the money was presented to the Traditional Council. “I speak for all of us when I say thank-you from the bottom of my heart. We will do some really great things for our community and we’ll document it and we’ll get that information back to you.”

Sara Kinjo-Hischer, tribal administrator for the Traditional Council, said a number of programs will be provided thanks to the SEARHC money.

The Traditional Council will be providing Recreation Center memberships for Alaska Native/American Indian residents in Skagway. They will also provide helmets for Skagway kids, make smoking cessation patches available and provide bathroom safety items like non-slip mats and grab bars.

In addition, the Traditional Council will also start accepting contribution requests from community organizations in the future.

In an email, Kinjo-Hischer said the hope is to make Skagway a healthier community, one that’s safe for all ages.