Kayaaní Commission to host community potluck on Wednesday, May 30

The Kayaaní Commission, which is coordinated by Sitka Tribe of Alaska in partnership with other groups in Sitka, will host an open potluck from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahidí community house. The public is invited to attend. Please bring a dish to share and a friend.

The Kayaaní Commission is a group of knowledgeable community members and tribal citizens who are concerned with preserving and protecting plants and the traditional ways they are used. It started meeting in 1997 after the USDA Forest Service created a “special forest products” category for non-timber products in the Alaska region that included many of the traditional plants gathered by Alaska Natives for food, medicine and other purposes.

The meetings provided a way for the tribe to share its knowledge and customary practices using these roots, berries, bark, fungi, and other plants with federal and state agencies, so the agencies are less likely to make regulations that prevent their harvest. The Kayaaní Commission also discusses ways to sustainably harvest these plants, so the remain a vital part of our landscape. These efforts are supported by the Forest Service, Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP), Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood (ANB/ANS), National Park Service, (NPS), Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SEAICC) and many other interested parties and individuals along the way.

For more information, please contact Tammy Young at 747-7167 or tammy.young@sitkatribe-nsn.gov.

• Sitka to host five farmers markets in 2011; first market is Saturday, July 16

The Sitka Local Foods Network will host its fourth summer of Sitka Farmers Markets with five markets that start on July 16 and take place on alternate Saturdays through Sept. 10. The Sitka Farmers Markets give Sitka residents a chance to buy and sell locally produced food and crafts.

The Sitka Farmers Markets take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, 30, Aug. 13, 27 and Sept. 10, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (235 Katlian St.). The markets feature local seafood (fresh, frozen, and cooked, ready to eat), locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, baked bread, locally picked berries, jams and jellies, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, locally brewed and roasted coffee, music, local arts and crafts, and a variety of other items gathered or made in Sitka. We emphasize local products and lots of fun. We are the first farmers market in Southeast Alaska to accept WIC coupons. You also can vote for the Sitka Farmers Market in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest by following the links at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2011/07/06/%E2%80%A2-don%E2%80%99t-forget-to-vote-for-the-sitka-farmers-market-in-this-year%E2%80%99s-america%E2%80%99s-favorite-farmers-markets-contest/.

“The Sitka Farmers Market is like a carnival every other Saturday,” Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Kerry MacLane said. “It’s a fun community space to enjoy with your family or to meet your friends for fresh coffee and baked goods. There is live music, cooking demonstrations, art, and, of course, fresh veggies, fruit and seafood.”

The Sitka Farmers Market started as a community project that came out of a health priority planning meeting at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit. This event is sponsored by the Sitka Local Foods Network, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp No. 4, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Sitka Conservation Society, the Alaska Farmers Market Association and the SEARHC Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention programs.

“This is our fourth year for the Sitka Farmers Market and thanks to our great vendors we look forward to another successful season,” said Linda Wilson, Sitka Local Foods Network VP and Sitka Farmers Market Coordinator. “Outdoor vendors will enjoy a new paved parking lot with landscaping, thanks to BIHA. A tent will be set up for outdoor dining where you can listen to live music and enjoy some great food. New this year is a vendor selling Sitka Sea Salt. Look forward to fresh snap and snow peas for snacking, rhubarb goodies and many other edibles.”

Vendor fees are $2.50 per foot for table space, or $2.00 per foot for vendors with their own outside tents. The fees help us cover the costs of renting ANB Hall and its kitchen, hiring musicians and other expenses. To learn more about being a vendor or to sign up for a table, contact Sitka Farmers Market Coordinator Linda Wilson at 747-3096 (evenings and weekends) or by e-mail lawilson87@hotmail.com. Vendor rules, registration forms and other information for potential vendors can be found at https://sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/2011/06/01/%E2%80%A2-vendors-need-to-start-registering-for-booth-space-at-this-years-sitka-farmers-markets/.

• Spaghetti dinner and auction fundraiser Friday (Sept. 18) for ANB Hall repairs

Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, where the Sitka Farmers Markets take place

Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, where the Sitka Farmers Markets take place

A spaghetti dinner and auction fundraiser to raise money to make needed repairs to Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall Camp No. 1 takes place from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.).

Funds raised at the spaghetti dinner and auction will be used to make repairs as ANB gets ready for its 100th anniversary in 2012. ANB Hall is on the list of National Register of Historic Places, so the building has a cultural significance for Sitka in addition to being the venue used by the Sitka Local Foods Network to host our Sitka Farmers Markets each summer. The Sitka Local Foods Network encourages Sitka residents to support our partner.

The fundraiser will feature a spaghetti dinner, followed by a Chinese auction (so bring your dollar bills). There also will be a silent auction where people can win prizes from around the world. Jude Pate will be the auctioneer.

The dinner costs $8 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, contact Carolyn McKee at 747-3310.